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What Difference Between Full Synthetic, Semi-Synthetic, and Mineral Oil?

The main difference between full synthetic, semi-synthetic, and mineral oil lies in their composition and performance characteristics.

  1. Full Synthetic Oil: Derived from crude oil, full synthetic oil undergoes a refining process that removes impurities and tailors the oil molecules to meet the demands of modern car engines. It performs exceptionally well under extreme temperatures and degrades at a slower rate compared to mineral oil. Full synthetic oil is recommended for newer vehicles with turbocharged engines, those that frequently tow heavy loads, or operate in extreme hot or cold conditions. Some benefits of full synthetic oil include improved fuel economy, quicker engine protection, longer wear protection, and being more environmentally friendly.

  2. Semi-Synthetic Oil: Also known as a blend, semi-synthetic oil is a mixture of fully synthetic oil and conventional mineral oil. It offers some of the benefits of full synthetic oil at a lower cost. While it cannot achieve the same performance levels as full synthetic oil, semi-synthetic oil performs better than mineral oil. It is suitable for engines that require better protection and improved fuel economy compared to mineral oil.

  3. Mineral Oil: Mineral oil is the traditional and least expensive type of engine oil. It is derived from crude oil but does not undergo the same refining process as synthetic oil. Mineral oil is generally recommended for older vehicles or those with less demanding engine requirements. It may not perform as well under extreme temperatures or provide the same level of protection as synthetic oils.

It is important to follow the manufacturer's recommendation for oil type and viscosity when choosing between these options. Mixing different types of oils is not recommended, but if necessary, it is better than running out of oil. Consider factors such as vehicle age, engine type, driving conditions, and maintenance requirements when selecting the most suitable oil for your vehicle.

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