I have a 2006 Pontiac Vibe with 15,000 miles on it. Would it be advisable or prudent to switch to synthetic oil instead of continuing to use the petrolium based oil? What would be the steps to accomplish this change?
You can simply change to it. And if you desire you can switch back at any time.
There are not any cons to synthetic motor oil except the cost.
You can add either type of oil at any time. Simply dump it in, no other steps are required.
Some people use synthetics regularly while others, such as myself, have no need for it. We prefer to save ourselves a few bucks.
It’s your money. Spend it on synthetic oil if you choose. Personally, I can’t justify it in a standard passenger vehicle.
If you choose to use synthetic, just pour it in the next time you change oil. There is no special procedure. You can switch back to regular oil in the future if you change your mind. The engine doesn’t care which type oil you use.
If your owner’s manual doesn’t call for synthetic oil, I think it is a waste of money. In my opinion, there are two advantages to synthetic oil, better protection against heat, and longer life. If your engine is liquid-cooled (I am sure it is) and you are going to change your oil as often as your owner’s manual recommends, use the type of oil that the owner’s manual recommends.
With the price of crude approaching $90, synthetic will soon become “The Cheap Stuff”.
A third major benefit is cold starts are much easier on your engine and in turn the battery. If you frequent below 0F the engine definitely cranks over easier with synthetic in there.
“A third major benefit is cold starts are much easier on your engine and in turn the battery. If you frequent below 0F the engine definitely cranks over easier with synthetic in there.”
IMHO, that is the major advantage of synthetic. You will get more lubrication sooner during cold starts, which is responsible for a good amount of your engine wear. I think the small difference in cost is justified if you plan on keeping the vehicle for the long term.
There have been a number of posts on this subject. Synthetics have their greates benefit under extreme conditions, very hot or very cold, due to their superior flow characteristics (High viscosity index). My Toyota has 5W30 Mobile 1 which has a pour point of -55F and has enough film thickness for driving in Death Valley to provide adequate lubrication; and all for an extra $15-20 per oil change. Since the oil stays stable, the change interval can be extended by about 30-40% so there are some savings here. Hoever , do not exceed the “normal driving” interval stated in your manual. The major savings come from easy winter starting saving starter and battery, less engine wear due to almost immediate flow to the valve gears, etc. If you live on the Oregon Coast, or Mid Atlantic Coast, their are fewer benefits, unless you tow a trailer or otherwise overload the engine.