Do synthetic lubricate better?

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I was reading an article where someone suggest switching to synthetic even if your car takes conventional. The author suggested that it was because synthetic lubricate better and have reduce friction. Is there any evidence to that? I thought synthetics last longer but I haven't heard that they lubricate better. Paul
 
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I have to explain this often to clients because on almost every lube program build or training I do this is a lead off question. The truth is ( from the position of vendor neutrality) that any lubricant that meets the needs of the application is proper and adequate and any difference at that level is insignificant. The question would be better rephrased because conventional and synthetics have different properties( even if we null all additional properties of additives) so it would be better stated as "Will my specific application and conditions benefit from the enhanced qualities of a synthetic over a conventional"?
 
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Another question "is my conventional a conventional?" Probably not. I'm sure the branding question will be even more confusing with SP oils and that a decade from now all of this will be settled.
 
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There have been some owners manuals stating to not use synthetic oil until engine break in has been complete. I think this was more common on vehicles from prior decades. So there is that aspect to think about. From a technical stand point synthetic oil does stand in grade better and resists shear better and this is something pretty much all motor oil companies will tell you. So yes, I do think synthetic oils lubricate better but the benefit may only be realized in some engines. A low stress engine may not require a synthetic oil because the engine design won't stress the motor oil and will get the same wear protection regardless if conventional or synthetic oil is used. I think it really boils down to engine design and what the manufacturer recommends.
 
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Originally Posted by Paul_Siu
I was reading an article where someone suggest switching to synthetic even if your car takes conventional. The author suggested that it was because synthetic lubricate better and have reduce friction. Is there any evidence to that? I thought synthetics last longer but I haven't heard that they lubricate better. Paul
Is anyone else thinking "41 posts, the most discussed questions, we're getting played here"?
 
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Originally Posted by HowAboutThis
Originally Posted by Paul_Siu
I was reading an article where someone suggest switching to synthetic even if your car takes conventional. The author suggested that it was because synthetic lubricate better and have reduce friction. Is there any evidence to that? I thought synthetics last longer but I haven't heard that they lubricate better. Paul
Is anyone else thinking "41 posts, the most discussed questions, we're getting played here"?
It's quite possible.
 
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Had I been an internet guy 20 years ago, I might've asked if synthetic oil was better for my engine. I knew you could use it twice as long as advertised by the local quick lubes places. However, it was usually cost at least twice as much and at that time of my life, that's all that mattered. I didn't know much else about synthetics until years later and even some of that had been debunked here.
 
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In a laboratory in certain tests ,synthetic oils will have superior results. The term synthetic is somewhat muddled in today's oils. Whether your application requires enhanced properties that lend themselves to synthetic base oils is going to be determined by your application. So to answer your question? Synthetic oils are better at the extremes of application such as temperature. Most applications for everyday drivers don't require anything too special coming out of the jug.
 
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Originally Posted by buddylpal
There have been some owners manuals stating to not use synthetic oil until engine break in has been complete. I think this was more common on vehicles from prior decades. So there is that aspect to think about. From a technical stand point synthetic oil does stand in grade better and resists shear better and this is something pretty much all motor oil companies will tell you. So yes, I do think synthetic oils lubricate better but the benefit may only be realized in some engines. A low stress engine may not require a synthetic oil because the engine design won't stress the motor oil and will get the same wear protection regardless if conventional or synthetic oil is used. I think it really boils down to engine design and what the manufacturer recommends.
I would venture a guess that most new vehicles come with synthetic oil off the assembly line.
 
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no, just can go for longer change intervals being it's synthetic. and since synthetic can made to a 0w it has a better cold flow rate, but you'll never be starting your car at -40 f.
 
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I remember having 3 consecutive nights of -38â„ near Ticonderoga, NY. Dipstick heater. How 'bout resistance to searing heat? An oil from which more sludge ingredients have been removed and to which a more detailed adpack has been included is actually better. Even shy of super hot threshold extremes, there's "assurance benefit" to having "better stuff" in the crankcase.
 

Paul_Siu

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Originally Posted by mrsilv04
Define "better"... drive
The article implied that synthetic oil reduces friction better than conventional oil and will make your engine last longer. I am asking if there is some actual scientific backing to the statement. I was under the impression that there isn't any advantage to synthetic oil friction-wise. Paul
 

MolaKule

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Originally Posted by Paul Siu
I was under the impression that there isn't any advantage to synthetic oil friction-wise.
You might want to read this article as some of your questions might be answered there: https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/
 
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Originally Posted by Paul_Siu
I was reading an article where someone suggest switching to synthetic even if your car takes conventional. The author suggested that it was because synthetic lubricate better and have reduce friction. Is there any evidence to that? I thought synthetics last longer but I haven't heard that they lubricate better. Paul
Lubricate better as in friction or wear? Not necessarily. However, synthetic oil allows a longer OCI and leaves less engine deposits behind. If you have oil-oxidation-related wear -- from the acid buildup toward the end of the OCI -- a synthetic oil will help by reducing the oil oxidation and acid.
 
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The major difference between a car with 300,000 miles on it using conventional oil, and one that used synthetic oil, will be found in the glove compartments holding the receipts. Totaling up those numbers will give the OP the answer. Chances are the rest of the car will begin it slow degradation, before the motor gives up. Does it matter if the transmission fails before the motor does?. On a high mileage car, the cost to repair of replace the trans will probably outweigh the value of the car. Electrical problems that cost a fortune to trouble shoot, or rust on the frame and body will make most want to get rid of the money pit. If today's oils are better then what was available 10 years ago, and if you can get synthetic oil on sale, go for it. But if you can find conventional oil that meets your cars spec for less, don't loose any sleep about using it.,,
 

Paul_Siu

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Originally Posted by MolaKule
Originally Posted by Paul Siu
I was under the impression that there isn't any advantage to synthetic oil friction-wise.
You might want to read this article as some of your questions might be answered there: https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/
I read the article, but it's too packed with info. It did however indicate synthetic has lower friction coefficient, which may imply reduce wear. However, also in some of the post, there are comments that low friction coefficient does not equal reduced wear which would be what I am shooting for. I looked and there are a lot of statements from mechanics, but no actual studies. The closest study is this: http://www.xs11.com/xs11-info/xs11-info/articles/51-consumer-reportstruth-motor-oils-july-1996.html The study probably mentioned before on this forum studied taxi cab at 60K and found no noticeable difference in wear. However, 60K isn't all that conclusive. May be a longer interval would be better. Anyone know of a similar study for a longer interval? Paul
 

Paul_Siu

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Originally Posted by Gokhan
Originally Posted by Paul_Siu
I was reading an article where someone suggest switching to synthetic even if your car takes conventional. The author suggested that it was because synthetic lubricate better and have reduce friction. Is there any evidence to that? I thought synthetics last longer but I haven't heard that they lubricate better. Paul
Lubricate better as in friction or wear? Not necessarily. However, synthetic oil allows a longer OCI and leaves less engine deposits behind. If you have oil-oxidation-related wear -- from the acid buildup toward the end of the OCI -- a synthetic oil will help by reducing the oil oxidation and acid.
I would say wear. I would think lower friction = lower wear, but may be that isn't the case. Paul
 

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BigC … good summary … I bought a 2005 GMC 4WD years back when I had other choices. But it still had a glovebox full of 3k oil change receipts … the guy worked 40 miles from home … and had 59k on original 265 Goodyear Wranglers … Drove it another 4 years problem free (on my BFG 285 tires) …
 
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