Synthetic vs Conventional Oil - There's A Good Reason To Switch
Synthetic vs Conventional Motor Oil - Why Is Synthetic Better For Your Car?
Sponsored by Mobil 1 motor oil. Learn more about Mobil 1 full synthetic motor oil:

What’s the difference between synthetic and conventional motor oil? There are many advantages of synthetic motor oils, and in this video we’ll be focusing on four key areas. First, we’ll talk about viscosity index, and why synthetics tend to have less change in viscosity with temperature change. Second, we’ll examine volatility, and how synthetic’s more uniform molecular structure helps prevent burning off oil in your engine. Third, we’ll look at how a motor oil made with synthetic base oils impacts the use of viscosity modifiers, which can cause deposit formation within your engine. Finally, we’ll discuss oxidation, which ultimately is a cause of sludge and leading factor necessitating oil changes, as oxygen reacts with motor oil and causes it to thicken with time. I spent time discussing all of these topics and more with Mobil 1 engineers. Watch for all the details!

Related Videos:
Base Oil Groups I-V Defined:
Will Thin Oils Damage Your Engine?
Is Synthetic Oil Bad For Old Cars?

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  • Drew Torre
    Drew Torre

    I disagree I’ve had nothing but problems with synthetic over the years my dads truck still going strong the old fashioned way 300,000 miles later so ...

  • WhalerGA

    Would love to see a video on hydrocracked synthetic vs "true" synthetics.

  • Ray Medrano
    Ray Medrano

    why is synthetic oil so thin the?

  • Alex Skirvin
    Alex Skirvin

    2003 Camry 2.4. Went from conventional, to a synthetic blend with plans on full synthetic next change. The Blend lasted about 6 months before it broke down and the engine got hot, and smoked inside the oil system. Changed it today, completely burnt and black. Couldn't have been more than 2,000 miles. Yes, 2,000 miles and I'm lucky to still have an engine. More info on full synthetic change later.

  • erik woodward
    erik woodward

    Why does Honda recommend using conventional oil in the CBR1000RR-RSP‽

  • Rhian Taylor
    Rhian Taylor

    Helpful video - I would be interested in your comments on the impact of the Mobil-Castrol court case which I understand has blurred the definition of "full-synthetic" to the point that we no longer have confidence that we are really buying the premium product we wanted unless buying in Germany. I understand that uniquely, in Germany, you are legally required to label hydrocracked (Group III) oils as "Synthetic Technology" whereas you're only allowed to label a product "Full Synthetic" or "Vollsynthetisches" if it's PAO (Group IV) based, or ester (Group V) based.

  • Gerry Lundergaard
    Gerry Lundergaard

    We all know that guy who used nothing but pure Mobile Marble Slick Syn Purple foam Fifty with a copper funnel, every 3k in his Detroit vehicle. Only to be in my dealership customer lounge waiting to hear the bad news at 79K & out of warranty. We’ve all seen Japanese vehicles with 300K running strong on 7 Eleven oil & cheap Fram filters every 5k or so. Why? Materials & tolerances. That’s what the great Dr. Deming taught Japan when Detroit foolishly slammed the door in his face. Pay attention or pay cash!

  • Terrance Grant
    Terrance Grant

    I wonder if you could do a video on explaining the primary tests? I look at the product sheets and am confused by the tests and their respective results, which makes selecting an oil challenging. This video started to do that with the Novac Vol test explanation. Thank you.

  • Voice of Reason
    Voice of Reason

    I love these explanations, but gawd what I would pay if you could do a really technical one like the difference between fission and Boomhauer's voice!

  • OlguinInHD

    I would love to see a video about liqui moly's engine oil. Is it actually better, as they claim? And what about their Ceratec? You're the only one I trust to answer these EE

  • linandy1

    Terrific ! Thanks for making this video.

  • Arne Polli
    Arne Polli

    I have a question that came up my mind. Are synthetic oils better for the environment?

  • KawaDude SS
    KawaDude SS

    Mobil 1 great for motorcycle too 🤘 Much better results with the clutch and engine performance.

  • Fearmylogic

    Wish you would have checked if there was a difference in the acidification of the oils. By the oils absorbing any of the volatiles in the gas after its burned, can slowly turn the oil acidic. Do synthetics help against that? Or is that totally dependent on the additives?

  • fehlrock

    It's Made from Natural Gas !

  • Quentin Hathcock
    Quentin Hathcock

    Please just get to the point

  • ghost- “Destinygamer3268” carnage
    ghost- “Destinygamer3268” carnage

    This explains the videos you see of people with slime jelly oil..

  • Tec SS
    Tec SS

    I hope the comment finds you well and challenging ! Hey @engineeringexplained however I understand this is not a real synthetic oil meaning it’s not 100% synthetic and is still petroleum based. Could you please do an explanation on 100% synthetic oil vs mobile 1 “fully synthetic” oil. I understand it’s not a real synthetic rather a synthetic blend w more additives. Thank you !

  • Orion Smith
    Orion Smith

    This convinced me. I have a 2005 Jeep Wrangler. Those guys on the forums are dead set on using old oil. Would there really be any reason not to use this on the old straight 6 design the Jeep TJ had?

  • Adrian Firth
    Adrian Firth

    I'd be interested in a video on ester based 2 stroke oils vs normal 2 stroke synthetic oils

  • Lex Dunmon
    Lex Dunmon

    way too many doritos in the conventional oil for my liking.

  • Mario Madrigal
    Mario Madrigal

    If a car has been running on conventional for most if not all its life should it continue to do so? The concern being that the smaller and more uniform molecules might get into gaps of moving parts and speed up the rate at which they break down. Or is that concern unwarranted?

  • Claudio Nieto
    Claudio Nieto

    Congratulations for your explanation. In 1982 I bought a Speede oil change franchisee in México City and our oil provider was Mobil 1. They explain to us all this information with the advantages of using synthetic oil vs mineral oils and always is better use the synthetic one, no matter the climate you have, always follow the viscosity your factory manual say and believe me that you will have easy going a 350 thousand miles engine with no problem at all. The oil in your engine it´s all. It is like the blood in your body.

  • Jason So
    Jason So

    Having learned all this, can an oil analysis tell you if your oil needs to be changed? I.e. can I test all 4 parts? Is TBN and Flashpoint your only variable?

  • Richard Gallardo (MixFilipino)
    Richard Gallardo (MixFilipino)

    great visuals!

  • Keith A.
    Keith A.

    Use to own a couple small airplanes. When an engine is rebuilt (typically around 2,000 hours use), conventional oil is used initially to ensure that rings seat properly, after about 50 hours use, oil is switched to semi-synthetic.......

  • Michael M
    Michael M

    Mobil also sells a line of conventional oil products. In what applications would these conventional products be better than synthetic? Great video thank you, just curious about the flipside of when conventional is a better choice.

  • Ibrahim Qari
    Ibrahim Qari

    But if u change to Synthetic, you can not just extend the interval you must follow the Owners Manual.

  • Simon Moreno
    Simon Moreno

    Interesting oil to try the New Molygen Liqui Moly

  • kb25j

    Very interesting - thanks. I suppose this is why they say to change every 3k miles or 3 months, then. So, if a car sits around a lot w/out being driven much, does oxidation have much of a chance to occur (beyond the top layer of oil that's always exposed to air, I suppose), or does it still really have a chance to ruin the oil, requiring an oil change even w/low driven miles?

  • Good_day!

    That oil has ball's...

  • frank davis
    frank davis

    They could sell synthetic for a few dollars a quart . It's a lie people brainwashed to think it's better and also expensive Where's the government facts. I'm serious

  • frank davis
    frank davis

    Conventional is better or they wouldn't be trying to replace it . They want to save the better conventional oil and conserve it for better things. And it's made cheaper but they lie about that

  • Mind Synthetic
    Mind Synthetic

    got a rotary ill stay with conventional


    With out Crude Oil ' NO make Lubricants for every day motoring. The base oil is a petroleum product. PAO begin the procces from oil.

  • Bülent Alkın Türkoğlu
    Bülent Alkın Türkoğlu

    Conventional oil is good when you have a oil burning engine. They are cheaper. Hell if you dont care for possiblity of chaching fire you can put olive oil in your engine. It wont last long but you can

  • Tracy Stamatakis
    Tracy Stamatakis

    Within a full synthetic oil, what percentage of the oil is synthetic?

  • Zul Amy
    Zul Amy

    Today I just found out that synthetic oil does not always mean that your oil is a synthetic oil, but it is made from better stock oil. In Europe, they made it illegal to market these oil as fully synthetic, but instead they use the term HC synthetic or hydrocracked synthetic oil.

    • Human SVD (HumanSVD)
      Human SVD (HumanSVD)

      Not really deceiving per se, they perform like synthetics and really are a much better product. I couldn't care less really, I'll take them over conventional anyday.

  • V dagli
    V dagli

    such brilliant guy you are. Now iam sure iam going to 10w60 :D no more 10w40.

  • Brian Green
    Brian Green

    How do you get Mobil 1 in the Tesla?

  • Jade bylund
    Jade bylund

    Long live dinosaur grease

  • Brian Pshyk
    Brian Pshyk

    Great video!

  • Fabian F-L
    Fabian F-L

    Turbochargers aren’t just for performance or for better fuel economy. They are also for longer oil durability as he said.

  • jasmwhite1

    I have a GDI engine and am looking for the lowset NOACK Volatility Test oil I can find. Do you have any data on this? Thank you.

  • Steve Avant
    Steve Avant

    This guy knows his stuff and is able to explain it so that we mere mortals can understand it. Thank you.

  • freewheel cog
    freewheel cog

    In regards to synthetic oils, I read an article from a machine shop specialist that stated that if one tends to do short distance driving synthetic oils do not get a chance to reach optimum temperature and its residue over the valve train will crystalize leading to some sludge build-up reason while a good multi-grade, non-synthetic will keep that from happening while providing optimum lubrication following periodic 5 to 7 k oil and filter change.

  • Leslie Kilgore
    Leslie Kilgore

    excellent informational video without going too geeky or techie or needing Chemistry 300 and 400 college courses to understand. THANKS! :D i've been using 100% full synthetics since my first car, an '89 Plymouth Acclaim 4cyl and i've never had a problem ever since. :) if you go synth, don't ever top off with standard, don't switch back and forth between synth or conventional, and remember just because the oil bottle says 10K 20K 30K whatever miles between changes... if your oil FILTER can't handle that many miles of removing deposits, filth, contaminants, metal particles etc. just go ahead and change your oil at OEM recommended intervals. if you burn a little oil, don't forget to check it periodically to keep the level right, and if it burns too much too often, find a mechanic! :D

  • The1320pass

    Cheap clean oil is better than expensive dirty oil any way you slice it. So change your oil at frequent early intervals and ignore the hype on oil.

    • Michael Gia Huy Nguyen
      Michael Gia Huy Nguyen

      This, just renew your oil (better quality preferred) at the intervals given!

  • Valik Toma
    Valik Toma

    How about group 4 real synthetics vs group 3 fake synthetics? I think a good video on oil groups will be quite eye opening for most people.

  • Ahmad Qureshi
    Ahmad Qureshi

    this boi is too smart fah me

  • Vincent Sluga
    Vincent Sluga

    I prefer a quality conventional oil for my old motorcycle and tractors. For my truck, an 04 Colorado, I use a semi synthetic blend of 5w-30 for it. Changing your oil every 3-6k on a vehicle consistently also improves it's life.

  • totljag1

    What oil do u use ?

  • Aussie Taipan
    Aussie Taipan

    For my WRX I use Full Synthetic 10w30 and my 4.7L Jeep GC semi synthetic 10W40 oil. Both cars have their oil changed every 5000km.

  • Rogy Doj
    Rogy Doj

    A lot of good info. Special thanks to Mobil for helping without it becoming a shameless plug for Mobil 1. Of course the real magic is the chemistry in those additives on top of the chemistry in the base oil. Bet we cannot find out as much about how they work. I use a semi synthetic in my 1996 vintage Ecotec and the killer advantage is that it is a 15W 50 oil so the engine is a lot quieter on a cold start while not giving anything away on a 45 degC day. For more demanding jobs the full synthetic is absolutely the right oil. Turbocharging or high revving multivalve thrive on it. It certainly explains why synthetic oil makes engines last longer if it keeps the ring lands clean and lubricated. Apparently synthetics are not recommended for LPG. Don't know if that is still true but back in the 90s I ran a 250 CI falcon on LPG and even then some oils were duds with it while others would run over 8000k and the oil would be like dark honey. I think it was the early synthetics that broke down in the acidic byproducts of LPG combustion. Not sure if the newer ones are ok with it now or not.

  • Aldo Del
    Aldo Del

    mobil1 vs Valvoline synthetic for gdi engines?

  • Mike Mardis (Mike da McChanic)
    Mike Mardis (Mike da McChanic)

    You need to push the misnomer of high mileage oil and when it is useful. Too many “professionals” push it based on mileage. Whether it be out of ignorance or to charge more, it’s bad for the customer.


    Suddenly I have the urge to change the oil in my car....

  • Stern_Show_Bobo

    Earl is square and often obtuse... thanks!

  • Joe L.
    Joe L.

    Nicely explained !

  • R

    I don't get it you drive a Model 3 and you still rooting For Ice,wazzup with that?

    • R

      @Michael Gia Huy Nguyen Because Ice Engines are on the way Out,the Following country's are getting ready to Ban them Norway,Uk,Germany,China,Netherlands,California to name a few

    • Michael Gia Huy Nguyen
      Michael Gia Huy Nguyen

      One does not exclude the other, why must you jam a hard line between them?

  • Charkatak

    Any info about synthetic blend oil from the Honda/Acura dealer? Is it good enough for a Honda engine without the need to switch to full synth?

  • shazk21

    Something people who wish to understand the science there are actually 3 types of oil not including mixed synthetic non synthetic often sold as semi synthetic. The first and simplest are non synthetic oils. Second is modified non synthetic often sold as synthetic in these oils the base is chemically or thermally modified, most oils sold in shops claiming to be fully synthetic are acutely modified. Lastly is a true synthetic these use a synthetic base such as poly-ok-alpha there are few commercially available oils which are true synthetic and require research to properly identify.

  • josiah culley
    josiah culley

    USE ROYAL PURPLE HPS AND THERE FILTER!!!!!!!!!! THAT IS THE KING OIL. royle purple cleans the engine!!Duhhh

  • jay barraza
    jay barraza

    have u ever done a video on snowchains on tyres?

  • AdonisGaming93

    now, if instead of using longer oil change intervals with synthetic you still keep it the same. Does that reduce wear that the engine gets? I know that you don't want to change oil TOO often, but also if you decide to not wait longer to change synthetic vs conventional would it help? I do mine roughly every 5k miles, I know in new cars with synthetics sometimes they don't even recommend changing it before 10k miles. I know the whole 3k mile interval is over, but just curious if 5k miles would help keep engine healthier vs say 7,500 miles interval or more.

  • Jivitesh Pandab
    Jivitesh Pandab

    I think i learn more here than at school

  • Steve Sloan
    Steve Sloan

    That has to be a top video! Great work... I bet this video could inspire kids to take up chemistry. Love your work!🤜🏼🤛🏼🍀🇦🇺🤓

  • Mike Chiodetti
    Mike Chiodetti

    I'm glad you explained this. I didn't know the difference between synthetic and conventional, now I know! THANK YOU!

  • GivingItLoads TV
    GivingItLoads TV

    I guess my confusion is about why everyone is not using Synthetic oil if its a superior product? I bought a diesel water pump that specifies a mineral oil at 20W-40... It made me ponder why they would exclude synthetic oil with a similar SAE?

  • David Sherman
    David Sherman

    If I change from conventional oil to synthetic oil should I use the same viscosity weight? My boat requires 14-40 weight oil.

  • Mel Wig
    Mel Wig

    Inciteful is probably the wrong word to use at this particular time.

  • Beatrice Raymundo
    Beatrice Raymundo

    so what I'm hearing in a dumbified explanation, is that synthetic oil is better than conventional oil because it has fewer impurities, lasts longer, and provides better protection on the engine

  • StevenSVT

    Is using Ceretec by liqui moly safe in the long run? What are the cons using these friction modifiers? Thank you in advance!

  • elysian fields
    elysian fields

    How does this apply to transmission oil?

  • B Y
    B Y

    I went EV in 2014 and haven't bought any motor oil since. I am convince that synthetic oil is better, but it is unlikely that a car buyer will ever see the different or benefit from synthetic oils. in 94 I bought a new car and started with full synthetic. At 50k mi it got t-boned and maybe should have been totaled. No one care what oil you use in an insurance claim. I then started using the cheapest oil I could find that met the manufacturer's requirements. I picked up a shitton of oil for just $.40/qt. I had been changing the oil at 5k mi intervals since new, but at 180k mi I switched to 10k mi change intervals. At 260k mi and 12 years the engine was still running great and was the most solid part of the entire car. Someone rear-ended it making it impossible to open the back. It was totaled this time, but still running fine. It is rare to find any car lasting longer than 1/4 million miles, but it can be done without paying for synthetics. BTW the car was a cheap Ford 4cyl, less than $10k new and never needed any engine work. Even at the end, the old consumption never exceeded a qt in 10k mi, and I'm sure there were some leaks by then.

  • Arne Kvinge
    Arne Kvinge

    Refilling Mobile 1 almost stopp the oil consumption on my service van cars.

  • echavez63

    what do u thing happens if you mix two different weight oils , as in a 5w-20 and a 5w-30 ?

  • Bruce Doxey
    Bruce Doxey

    I have always used "conventional" oils in my cars and trucks. I have never had an engine failure, with the exception of my wife overheating a Jeep. The water pump had failed and she kept driving. This makes me wonder, if I change my oil at reasonable intervals and never let the oil run low, how important is synthetic oil for me?

  • Ben Haynes
    Ben Haynes

    So don't run a turbo (heat) and keep your drain intervals short (10,000km) and Dino oil should suffice.

    • Human SVD (HumanSVD)
      Human SVD (HumanSVD)

      If you have a turbo, you should use a syn blend at a minimum.

  • Peter Burrows
    Peter Burrows

    I have a 2019 ranger in Canada. Manual calls for Ford's regular oil. Strangely, US manual calls for semi synthetic. I'm thinking I should switch to synthetic? 2.3 litre turbo. Dealer asked what oil I wanted. Opinions please?

  • Juraj Zamek
    Juraj Zamek

    Dobra práce !

  • El Sherta - Guía Mecánico
    El Sherta - Guía Mecánico

    Perfect! great Video!

  • Joshua Prince
    Joshua Prince

    Hey man can you do a video on ABS vs no ABS? Like stopping ability/distance etc...

  • Sgt. Kaito
    Sgt. Kaito

    Well I just put synthetic oil in my car today so I guess I made the right choice!

  • Men Guarding Their Own Wallets
    Men Guarding Their Own Wallets

    If you don't live in an area where the temperatures hit sub-zero in the winter months, then you probably don't actually 'NEED' synthetic oils (but synthetics do help prevent 'sludging' in Toyota V6 engines). If you live in a place where it does get really cold in the winter, then you probably should switch to a full-synthetic engine oil as it won't thicken up to a hard paste at -40 degrees.

  • John Doe
    John Doe

    Mobile 1 is not a synthetic. Amsoil or Redline are true synthetics. A simple google search and anyone can find out what is considered real and what is not. Mobile 1 is still based on a traditional oil.

    • Olasek

      The important thing is that Mobil 1 is far superior to regular oils and Porsche recommends it for their cars. Even Bugatti doesn’t recommend “true” synthetics for their super cars.

  • J J
    J J

    Welcome to FIbills.. *RetroPost* for views.

  • Brian Boudreau
    Brian Boudreau

    How old is this guy jw ??

  • The DescendantIII
    The DescendantIII

    5W20 full synthetic is the best gun oil ever.

  • fowvee

    I can't help but think of the interview with the laboratory technician (possibly lab owner) who has been interviewed several times and asked his opinion based on the results of thousands of oil analysis reports whether he thinks synthetic is worth the cost. His answer is no. He states that the benefits of synthetic oils is mainly displayed in extreme cold temperatures where synthetic flows better than mineral oils but for everyday "lower 48" locations it simply doesn't show a wear benefit. The lab tests don't care what brand or composition the lubricant is. The equipment simply returns a test result.

  • James Medina
    James Medina


  • Oscar Sarzoza
    Oscar Sarzoza

    Been watching your channel since you started! Love your stuff!!

  • vishnu sai
    vishnu sai

    Hello can u suggest good engine oils with grades explained b4 , c2,c3 etc for my Hyundai elite i20,1.4l crdi . Owners manual suggests c2/c3 or b4 , or below if not available in the country . Which grades should I check for in the oil bottles and what does they mean for my diesel engine

  • triarii

    this was really good

  • David Bentley
    David Bentley

    "Hopefully this has been insightful...." I don't think you have released a video that has not been insightful!!

  • davaughn wiles
    davaughn wiles

    How does a synthetic blend engine oil compare and how good is it?? @Engineering Explained

  • Landwy

    Jason how about a video on the base stock that is used in synthetic oils. For instance, the oil I use on my wife's Prius is Pennzoil synthetic which comes from distiiling natural gas. Other synthetic oils use petroleum oils and are refined. Amzoil use a base stock that is supposed to be very stable. Please explain.

    • Olasek

      Amsoil may be a very good oil but Porsche recommends Mobil 1, even Bugatti doesn’t recommend Amsoil for their super cars. Go with car manufacturer.

  • Rogue Art
    Rogue Art

    What if I'm putting a fresh quart in every week?...synthetic gets spendy and it cuts into my beer money.

  • Richard Raucina
    Richard Raucina

    So now tell us about motor oil in the yellow jug that says '"Made from natural gas". How, why and features if any.

  • Richard Raucina
    Richard Raucina

    Great content and information, even though you are so annoying. Thanks!

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