Most people keep a close eye on the sticker on their windshield that tells them when their next oil change is due, and when their odometer hits that number or gets close to it, they drive on into a local auto body shop for service. It’s a routine process that takes very little time and drivers are in and out so fast they rarely tend to ask questions.
Sometimes, however, if you take your vehicle somewhere new, you might get asked a very simple question when it comes time for your oil change in Lansing, MI: “do you want synthetic or traditional oil?”
Right off the bat, many motorists think this is an attempt at an up-sell. They say “no” without even considering it and drive away with the same old oil option that they’ve always had in their vehicle. But this isn’t just an upsell and it definitely needs to be given more thought before you say yes or no!
Understanding your oil
To understand why a mechanic is asking you what type of oil you want, it’s best to understand the difference between them. Let’s start with traditional oil:
- Traditional oil is formulated to provide lubrication in a range of viscosities, to keep friction out of the moving parts of your engine environment.
- Traditional oil is generally cheaper than synthetic options because it’s easier to formulate.
- Traditional oil generally has a lifespan in your engine of about 3,000 miles or three months.
Now, let’s move on to synthetics and how they’re different from their traditional counterparts:
- Along with a range of viscosities, synthetic oils are also formulated to provide other benefits including anti-amalgamation, heat breakdown resistance and more.
- Synthetic oil is usually more expensive than traditional counterparts because it involves more refined formulation.
- Synthetic oils can last anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 miles and usually have a total lifespan of 5-6 months.
As you can see, there are some significant upgrades to choosing synthetic, including the price. While both types of oil might by applied for the same purpose, synthetic will do a better job over traditional oil, but at a higher cost.
Understanding the value
When most people are faced with the traditional vs. synthetic oil question, they look first at the price and stop there, resulting in a “no.” But, if you take a moment to look past the price, at the value you’re getting for that added cost, it becomes apparent that you’re actually getting more value from a synthetic option!
- Synthetics last longer, meaning fewer overall oil changes throughout the life of your vehicle. This means synthetic oil pays for itself over time!
- Better engine function and performance from synthetic oil will lead to better engine health over time, which means fewer repairs and less invasive repairs when needed.
- The additional benefits factored into synthetics will perform better over time, lending themselves to your engine’s performance.
The next time you’re in line waiting for an oil change in Lansing, MI and you’re asked what type of oil you’d like, consider the benefits synthetic has to offer. It’s not just an upsell—it’s an investment in your vehicle!