Synthetic Oil vs "regular" oil

I have a '01 Dodge Durango that I have consistently done the 3K oil changes with synthetic oil. Now that the vehicle is 7 yrs old can I change to “regular” oil without problems?

Yup. There’s a good primer on oils at I suggest a visit.

Yes without any issues.

Yes you can. You can even go back to synthetic oil at any time.

Wow; that was really a 5 star treatment for your truck! Even regular oil and filter changes at 3000 miles would have been good.

Yes, you can change to regular oil and back whenever you want. The performance specifications laid out by the SAE, API, and ASTM are the same for both oils; the synthetic just has a better Base Oil that makes it more resistant to breakdown.

Enjoy your Durango for many more years!

You could just keep using synthetic, and extend the oil changes to every 5000 miles.

I don’t know why you want to change now. You can.

Synthetic is nothing more that recycled conventional oil and the only advantage you gain with synthetic is better stability in harsh climates(like extreme heat).But yeah,you can switch between the two at your discretion

I don’t know if you are a chemist or are going by hearsay, but synthetic oil is manufactured to have uniform shape and size molecules so it is a much better lubricant. That process is much more than recycling; it takes a hydrocarbon feedstock and makes a completely new product (polyalphaolefins,or POA)in case you are interested.

It is very misleading on this website to call it recycled oil; just as saying your new stainless steel bathroom fixtures are “recycled metal”. The steel in that may have started out as tin cans, but the process of creating stainless steel is demanding and complex.

Recycled mineral oil can be purchased in retail outlets and it is cheap and reasonably good for light duty use. If you own a beater that uses oil, it is a good choice at 99 cents a quart.

Due to the high cost, I only use synthetic oil in the winter during temps generally below 40 degrees, and change it 4-5k mi back to regular oil. I do this mainly because I find synthetic more protective for COLD-STARTS where I would be concerned the most about potential engine wear.

Where did you hear that???

I don’t know where you heard that but it’s completely wrong !

I was under the impression that synthetic oil is refined from natural gas. I never heard until now that it was refined from recycled oil (and I doubt it).

Does someone know for sure??

Synthetic oil, such as Mobil 1 is usually made from high quality virgin feedstock. It goes through various chemical processes and ends up as a very stable base stock with uniform size molecules. The original feedstock can be various parts of the crude “barrel”, wich ranges from light to heavy fractions.

If we started with used oil, considerable expense would be incurred in getting it pure enought to start with, but the compositon would be unknown, and making uniform molecules would be near impossible.

In oil refining, we can make light oil out of heavy oil, and we can make liquid fuels out of gaseous feedstock. The most economical processes start with liquid to make a different liquid.

You are right in using synthetics for difficult (hot or cold) conditions. In normal operation, synthetics do not have enough advamtage to justify the extra cost.

“regular” oil will probably do just fine, but remember, oil is cheap, cars are not, i still use synthetic oil on my -98mod an think it doesent hurt at least…

Synthetic oil was developed to allow the driver to delay oil changes and thus save money. This works for fleet owners who have many cars or trucks. It can save thousands of dollars if they change oil less often. That won’t work for you and me with a car or two in the driveway. If you change oil at 3000 miles, you can use any oil sold in stores. It all has to meet the standards that Docnick mentioned. Have a nice night out with the money you save every 3000 miles with the money you save.

True enough, if you are going to dump the car after a few 100K miles and if the manufacture does not specifically require synthetic. If the manufacturer requires synthetic, use it. If you are going to keep the car for the long term (such that engine life is important to you), your economics may be different. Personally I only use synthetic and follow the manufacturer’s 5000 mile change requirements. Oil is very cheap compared to your engine.

Synthetic was developed by Germans originally to prevent gelling/gumming. It took off during World War II when they had limited access to crude oil supplies.

“Have a nice night out with the money you save every 3000 miles”

Well my total oil change expense is only about $400/year (based on about 8 oil changes per year, 8 quarts of synthetic per change). That’s not much of a night out. The cost difference is negligible.