What to Know About Different Types of Engine Oil

mechanic pouring oil into engine

What to Know About Different Types of Engine Oil

It’s common knowledge that after about 3,000 to 5,000 miles, our vehicles are due for an oil change. Shortly after taking your car to the mechanic to swap out the old oil, you are likely approached by one of the experts with a question about which oil you would like them to use. Of course, much emphasis is placed on the most expensive oil as a highly recommended option while the cheaper oils are addressed with a rather cavalier attitude. After choosing one of the cheaper options, you are perhaps left feeling slightly judged by the mechanic, wondering if you had made a harmful mistake. Don’t worry, most people have been in that same position.

After such an experience the question inevitably arises: does the oil I choose really make that much of a difference? Well, as your Medford auto care experts, we are here to shed light on that topic— and no we never judge anyone for their motor oil decisions. 

What is Motor Oil?

There is nothing terribly complex about it, motor oil is a substance that acts as a lubricant inside the engine and consists of base oils enhanced with various additives. Motor oil works to reduce friction and wear on the engine’s moving parts and also helps to clean the engine from sludge. There are four main varieties of motor oil each of which we will briefly discuss. 

Conventional Oil

Conventional oil is the most commonly used oil among all makes and models and is best for standard, simple engines with relatively low mileage. To be clear, conventional oil is by no means a bad option in many instances, it just tends to be less refined than synthetic oils and offers a lower degree of protection. In other words, it is not a poor choice, but there are certainly better alternatives. 

Synthetic Oil

Full synthetic oil is manufactured entirely from, you guessed it, synthetic materials. Although in some contexts, this isn’t always the best thing, in the case of motor oil, it most definitely is. Because of controlled synthesis, synthetic oil is usually very consistent and offers a high degree of protection for your engine. It also tends to last longer with is always a bonus. 

Synthetic Blend Oil

As the name suggests, synthetic blend oil is a mixture of both synthetic and conventional oil thus giving it some of the benefits of full synthetic oil while keeping costs a bit lower. The results are about exactly what you would expect, better protection and performance than conventional oil but not quite as good as synthetic oil. 

High-Mileage Oil

Separate from the other three oil types is high mileage oil. This type of motor oil contains special additives that are designed to protect engine seals which prevent oil evaporation and improve overall performance. If you drive a vehicle that is approaching 100,000 miles, it is highly recommended you begin using this oil as it may help increase the life of your engine. 

At the end of the day, the type of oil you choose should largely depend on the car you drive and the mileage it carries. But if you want to extend the time before oil changes, potentially saving you more money in the long run, the slightly more expensive synthetic options may be a good choice. 

Choose Master Muffler

When it comes to oil changes, we keep things simple, fast, and affordable which is why Oregon residents have been trusting us with their vehicles for years. If you are in the Medford area and are pushing past that recommended mileage between oil changes, come pay us a visit. Our auto repair experts and Oregon mechanics will make sure you are back on the road with fresh oil in no time.