Conventional oil is popular engine oil that’s highly affordable.
But is it right for your car?
And what is conventional oil in the first place?
This Article Contains:
- What Is Conventional Oil?
- What Are The Benefits Of Conventional Oil?
- Is Conventional Oil Right For My Car?
- 4 FAQs About Conventional Oil
What Is Conventional Oil?
Conventional oil, also called mineral oil or regular oil, is an engine oil used for lubrication and greater engine protection. It’s a type of engine oil that is manufactured from refined crude oil.
How is this done?
When heated to extreme temperatures, crude oil leaves behind a heavier oil that becomes the base oil for conventional motor oil. Certain additives are then added to the less refined base oil for additional performance benefits and greater engine protection.
Conventional oil isn’t as refined as synthetic engine oil and synthetic blend oil), but it still serves various purposes well.
- Reducing friction between the engine parts and preventing engine wear
- Maintaining the temperature of the engine
- Keeping the engine free of dirt
- Keeping the engine parts free of rust and corrosion, thereby prolonging the engine life
Tip: Using engine oils that carry the American Petroleum Institute stamp of approval is advisable to prolong engine life and improve engine performance.
The American Petroleum Institute certifies that the engine oil meets the quality and performance standards of the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer.)
So what’s so special about conventional oil?
What Are The Benefits Of Conventional Oil?
Although most car manufacturers recommend using synthetic or synthetic blend oil, mineral oil has many advantages.
1. It Is Highly Cost-Effective And Economical
Synthetic motor oil may cost twice as much as regular oil. In contrast, conventional motor oil is very cheap and easily available. And as a car owner, if you follow a regular oil change schedule and don’t practice extreme driving habits, you won’t need to invest in expensive synthetic motor oil.
2. Conventional Oil Is Better Suited For Older Engines
Older engines (more than 75,000 miles on them) will experience more engine wear on their inner gears and moving engine parts. Conventional oil is better suited for older cars since it has a higher viscosity than synthetic oil. It results in better lubrication and a reduced chance of grinding gears and engine wear due to a slower flow.
Conventional oil also performs moderately well under low temperatures. It’s also likely that your vehicle engine used conventional oil when you first bought it.
Note: You may also want to switch to high gas mileage oil for older engines. High mileage oil is specially formulated for cars with more than 75,000 miles.
Clearly, conventional oil comes with a host of benefits.
But are conventional oils the right choice for your car?
Is Conventional Oil Right For My Car?
In reality, there is no ‘bad’ motor oil.
And you can always use mineral oil if you’re not a high-performance car owner.
Many conventional oils contain important additives that help with better engine performance and provide engine protection against friction and sludge formation. As long as these oils comply with industry standards, they’re safe to use, providing good protection for your car.
It would help if you also refer to your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations and manual to determine whether conventional engine oil will suit your vehicle.
However, if you drive long distances often, you may want to consider synthetic oil to improve fuel economy and fuel efficiency.
Now, let’s look at other related queries about traditional motor oil.
4 FAQs About Conventional Oil
Let’s look at some commonly asked questions about conventional engine oil.
1. How Long Is Conventional Oil Good For?
Conventional motor oil can stay good for up to five years.
However, it’s difficult to determine the exact shelf life of motor oil.
To get the most out of your oil, you should ensure that you store it right — in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight.
When in your engine, conventional oil can last for up to 7000 miles if you practice normal driving habits.
The interval is lower for a car owner who falls under a strict maintenance schedule, especially when it involves the following:
- Heavy towing
- Stop-and-go driving in extreme temperatures (high temperatures or low temperatures)
This is because the conventional motor oil in your engine will go bad faster than usual.
2. How Often Should I Change My Oil?
The most recommended oil change interval is between 3000-5000 miles. However, in some cases, your vehicle can go up to 7000 miles with conventional oil.
As always, it depends on your driving habits and car type.
Pre owned vehicles, older engines, and extreme driving conditions may require a more regular oil change.
Note that conventional oil change and synthetic oil change intervals differ. The former can usually go up to 5000-7000 miles, while you may require a synthetic oil change every 7500-10,000 miles (or more.)
3. What Happens If I Wait Too Long For An Oil Change?
If your car is long overdue for a conventional oil change, it will start exhibiting symptoms like greater engine noise, sludge, and inefficiency in performance.
You can use the car’s dipstick to check your conventional oil.
Here’s how to spot when your conventional oil needs changing:
- The oil has changed color and appears dark and dirty
- There’s the visible formation of sludge and suspended particles
- Your engine oil has changed its consistency and appears slimy or thicker than usual
In addition to these signs, conventional oils will deteriorate the longer you wait to change them. Ultimately, you’ll need an auto repair solution to prevent complete engine failure or other severe issues.
4. Conventional Oil Vs. Synthetic Oil: What’s The Difference?
While conventional and synthetic oil contains base oil and additives, synthetic oil is more refined than the former and thus has fewer impurities.
Synthetic motor oil is manufactured and refined in the factory. It consists of various chemical compounds and synthetic additives.
Compared to conventional oil, synthetic engine oil has a better viscosity, is more resistant to higher temperatures, and may provide better gas mileage. It doesn’t break down easily and has a longer oil change interval. It also contains a higher-quality base oil with fewer impurities.
On the downside, synthetic engine oil is far more expensive than conventional oil.
Most new car engines use synthetic blend oil. That’s because synthetic blend oil is cheaper than synthetic oil and contains a higher quality base oil with fewer impurities than mineral oil.
Conventional motor oil has many benefits, but the best part is that it is substantially cheaper than any other oil.
Just remember to maintain a routine oil change interval, and you’ll have a better engine performance with adequate lubrication.
And if you need help with an oil change, contact RepairSmith or fill out this form to get a cost estimate for an oil change service.