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Synthetic oil vs. conventional oil

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What’s the real difference between full synthetic, synthetic blend and conventional oil? Pretty much everything.

They all begin in the ground. But that’s where the similarities end.  
Synthetic oil is not only refined but also distilled, purified and broken down into its basic molecules. This process not only removes more impurities from the crude oil, but also enables individual molecules in the oil to be tailored to the demands of modern engines. These customized molecules provide higher levels of protection and performance than conventional oils. While there are no firm industry definitions, full synthetic motor oils typically use the highest quality base oil combination as a starting point. Synthetic blend motor oils will typically be either a blend of high- quality and lower- quality conventional base oils or all high- quality (higher than conventional) base oils. But the synthetic base oil is only half the story. The correct blend of additives must go into the mix to create the oil.
The tailored additive system in Mobil 1™ motor oils gives the additional performance benefits above and beyond those found with synthetic blend oils.
Our Mobil 1™ brand of advanced full synthetic motor oils has a unique, balanced formulation to keep your engine running like new. So what are the benefits of Mobil 1 advanced full synthetic oil? Full synthetic oils typically outperform conventional and synthetic blend motor oils in providing more protection for your vehicle. Here’s how all that chemistry translates to the real world.

Synthetic motor oil keeping your engine clean

Keep your engine cleaner
As oil circulates through your engine it can pick up deposits. Over time, conventional oils can sometimes form sludge, which can reduce your engine's efficiency and, ultimately, reduce the life of your engine. Mobil 1 advanced full synthetic motor oils contain fewer impurities compared to conventional and synthetic blend motor oils and can better resist the formation of sludge, thereby preventing deposits from forming in your engine.

Synthetic motor oil for engine wear protection

Offer greater engine wear protection
Engine parts are in constant contact with each other. They’re also moving at high speeds. In the extreme environment of your engine, components can wear and break down. Your motor oil is the protective barrier between these components. As conventional and synthetic blend oils break down, their ability to prevent engine wear diminishes. Mobil 1 advanced full synthetic motor oils, on the other hand, retain their wear protection properties for a much longer time, increasing engine life.

Mobil 1™ oil in car driving in cold weather with snow on ground and trees

Flow better in low temperatures
When your car sits for awhile (let’s say overnight), the oil settles. But, when you fire up the ignition, it begins flowing through critical engine parts to protect against friction. With conventional and synthetic blend motor oils, it takes more time until they are able to flow smoothly through the engine. During the cold winter months, or if you live in an extremely cold environment, this flow process takes even longer. Mobil 1 motor oils, however, are engineered to flow quickly even at low temperatures, and they start protecting your engine right after you start your car.

Synthetic oil in car protects in desert high temperatures

Protect better at high temperatures
When running, engines are hot. Really, really hot. Over time, the high temperatures in your engine can cause conventional and synthetic blend motor oils to break down or evaporate, exposing your engine to wear. Mobil 1 motor oils are engineered to resist these high temperatures, which is especially important if you’re driving in hot climates.

Synthetic oil protects turbocharger engine parts

Protect critical turbocharger parts 
To meet consumer demand, automakers are building cars with smaller engines (for greater fuel efficiency) but adding turbochargers (to boost power). We already mentioned how engines run at high temperatures, which can break down conventional and synthetic blend oils faster, but today’s turbocharged engines are even more aggressive. The shaft inside a turbocharger can spin upwards of 200,000 revolutions per minute, so it’s critical that your motor oil can get to that shaft and lubricate it properly very quickly. Conventional and synthetic blend oils can break down faster under these conditions and leave deposits on turbocharger components, which can lead to failure. Mobil 1 advanced full synthetic motor oils can protect these components much better than conventional oils, keeping them operating at peak performance and boosting your engine’s power

While full synthetics as a motor oil category provide better protection than conventional and synthetic blend oils, not all synthetics are created equal. Learn about the science of Mobil 1 advanced full synthetic motor oils and see their amazing performance in the lab, on the road and on the track.

Synthetic vs conventional comparisonMotor Oils

Compare our Mobil™ motor oil lineup to find the best formulation for your engine.

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