How Is Synthetic Motor Oil Made?

by Ezmeralda Lee

Introduction: What is Synthetic Motor Oil?

Lubricant, synthetic motor oils are blended to prevent the build up of sludge, even under the worst engine conditions. The difference between synthetic motor oils and conventional or regular motor oils is that the synthetic oils are injected and blended with artificial chemical compounds that were not present in the natural crude oil; this synthesizing creates a uniform weight and size of the molecules in the oil. Conventional motor oils consist of molecules that vary in size and weight and several impurities that are not removed during a synthesizing process; therefore, regular motor oils are not as pure and do not assist the viscosity level of the oil.

Getting Synthesized: How It's Made

Engine sludge can be created by impure fuels and oils, water, acid, metals, wear on the engine and deposits of dirt, so the chemicals added to synthetic motor oils must be designed to deteriorate or collect these agents of sludge to protect the engine. The crude oil that synthetic oils are derived from consists of hydrogen and carbon atoms, or hydrocarbons and other organic compounds. More organic compounds are added in the creation of synthetic oil; these compounds are manipulated to produce the appropriate proportions and molecule size for better engine performance and preservation.

Motor Oil Comparisons

The purpose of any motor oil is to reduce the friction created as engine parts move against each other, wearing down the parts. This friction also creates additional heat that wastes power. Conventional motor oil is designed to clean the engine, lubricate and prevent friction, slow the rate of corrosion, carry heat away from the engine to keep it cool and improve the seals in the engine. Synthetic motor oil is designed create better fuel efficiency for your vehicle. As a lower viscosity oil than conventional motor oil, synthetic oil reduces the friction in an engine even further because the molecules are uniform. The synthetic motor oil is also designed to resist high temperatures, keeping the engine cooler, and to resist oxidation, keeping the level of oxygen out of the oil, so that less sludge can form.

Pros And Cons of Synthetic Motor Oil

Synthetic motor oils sound as though they are better quality than conventional motor oils, and they may well be, but they are not perfect. Synthetics will not last forever, and they will still need to be changed once the oil has become diluted with the products it has worked to remove from the engine. Although bottles of synthetic motor oil cost more than bottles of the conventional counter part, synthetic oils require less frequent changes and save the consumer money in the long run.

Changing Motor Oil

Synthetic oils are not recommended for all vehicle types, makes or models. Older model vehicles actually perform better using conventional oils because that's what they were designed to use. You can consult your owner's manual to find the oil that will help you utilize engine performance, or you can ask your local auto parts store or oil change garage.