Synthetic oil


Is synthetic oil greener than regular oil? What is it made of? How many miles before a change? Does my Civic Hybrid require a specific type of oil? Thanks.


You’ll get many different answers to each of those questions!

First, read the owners manual for your Civic, and only use the oil it recommends. Also follow the instructions as to periodic maintenance.

Some say you can change oil at less frequent intervals with synthetic. That may be true, but you do not want to risk voiding your warranty to save a few dollars.

Not knowing how synthetic oil is manufactured, I can’t comment on greeness. Poke around in the internet, you will find lots of stuff. Mobil-1 is one of the better regarded synthetics, and it is a full synthetic.


Oil? Green? Isn’t that sort of an oxymoron?


I would guess it is if you last longer (usually does) and you change it at the longer intervals your owner’s manual specifies. You need to check your owner’s manual. It will tell you want oil and when to change it. Follow those instructions for long engine life and as small an footprint as possible.


You’d have to be a chemical engineer to weigh the “greenness” of synthetic oil vs. crude oil products. In the end they are both treated the same and represent the same disposal problems. Call it a tie.

Your Civic Hybrid likely would be happy with either type of oil, but read your owner’s manual to satisfy your curiosity. The manual will also suggest a maintenance schedule, which you would be wise to follow.


Based on the Mobil 1 website, it appears that your car requires 0W20, which is only available as synthetic, check your owners manual to verify the requirement.


I believe that synthetic just means that the chemical content is determined not by just refining crude, but by separating out certain polymers that don’t break down easily. The initial properties stay longer; in other words, the oil takes a lot longer to thin out from abrasion and heat in the engine. This does not protect against the oil getting dirty from other stuff. In a newer car you should be able to safely increase the interval between oil changes and perhaps add a little protection against wear. I wouldn’t bother with this in an older car.