How to Change From Regular to Synthetic Motor Oil

by Vanessa Padgalskas

Unlike regular oil, synthetic oil is man-made. Synthetic oil is more stable at extreme high and low temperatures and is a superior lubricant, which prevents cold starts. Vehicles using synthetic oil reportedly can go more than 5,000 miles before requiring a new oil change, compared to regular oil that should be changed every 3,000 miles. The change from regular to synthetic oil is a simple process, but one should evaluate whether or not the car it fit for synthetic oil.

Evaluate whether or not the car will adjust well to synthetic oil. Old cars with high mileage are not always good candidates and may burn synthetic oil quickly. If the car is driven in harsh weather conditions with extreme heat or cold, then it is a good candidate for synthetic oil. If not, then the engine might benefit from regular oil changes every 3,000 miles. Consult a mechanic for a second opinion on whether the car will adapt well to synthetic oil.

Purchase any brand of synthetic oil from an auto repair store as well as a new filter and change your oil the exact same way as you normally would. Valvoline, Castrol, and Mobil are all reliable synthetic oil brands. There is no difference is the oil changing process, other than pouring synthetic oil rather than regular oil.

Check the oil level at least once a week after switching to synthetic. Check the oil level by pulling out the dipstick located under the hood. Some cars might burn synthetic oil after switching from regular oil, so it is important to make sure the oil stays at the correct level.

Change the synthetic oil regularly. One of the easiest ways to maintain an engine is to regularly change the oil. One can wait longer between synthetic oil changes because it does not break down as easily, however, wait no more than 5,000 to 7,000 miles between oil changes.


  • close To help the engine adapt to synthetic oil, do not go on a long driving trip for the first 2,000 miles after switching to synthetic oil.

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About the Author

Vanessa Padgalskas was born and raised in Spokane, Wash., and currently resides in Portland, Ore. Padgalskas graduated from American University in 2007 with degrees in international studies and economics. She holds a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.