Learn About Motor Oil

Thinking of trading up to a synthetic?

Why Is It Important to Use a Synthetic Oil That Cleans?

Simply put, a cleaner engine is better protected and more responsive. It’s a fact of life that all engines generate contaminants. Contaminants such as soot, carbon, and sulfuric and nitric acid are inevitable byproducts of the combustion process. And all of them end up in your motor oil to varying degrees. So the question isn’t whether you need an oil that cleans, but how well your oil cleans the dirt and deposits your engine generates.

Why Trade Up to a Full Synthetic Oil?

Part of the job of an engine oil is to suspend the contaminants within the oil until your next oil change. It’s a fairly daunting task for engine oil to suspend all the contaminants thrown at it; the truth is that full synthetic motor oils like Pennzoil Ultra and Pennzoil Platinum® do a better job of preventing deposits on engine surfaces than conventional oils and synthetic blends can do. In fact, both motor oils exceed certain cleanliness standards that conventional oils and synthetic blends just can’t meet.*

*Based on GM4718M and Honda HTO-06 tests using SAE 5W-30.

SYNTHETIC OIL MYTHS

Myth: Once you switch to synthetic oil you can never switch back. This is one of the most persistent myths about synthetic oil—and completely untrue. You can switch back and forth at any time. In fact, synthetic blends are simply a mixture of synthetic and conventional oils. It is advisable that you use the same oil for top-ups if needed, thereby giving you the best protection from the oil that you have chosen.

Myth: You shouldn’t use synthetic oil in an older vehicle. The myth is rooted in the idea that synthetic oil is “slipperier,” lower in viscosity, or not as compatible with seals and will therefore leak or leak more in places conventional oil might not. Again, completely untrue. Synthetic oils will enhance the engine protection in older vehicles just as they do for new engines.

Myth: You should break in your engine with conventional oil before you start using synthetic oil. Again, there’s no manufacturer we’re aware of that makes this recommendation. Mercedes, Porsche, Corvette, some Cadillacs, Volkswagen, Hyundai and many other manufacturers’ cars come from the factory with synthetic oil.

Myth: Using a synthetic oil voids a car’s warranty. Untrue. The only engines that specifically exclude the use of a synthetic motor oil are some Mazda rotary engines.

Myth: Synthetics made from Group III base oils are not true synthetics and are not as good as PAO-based synthetics in Group IV. Again, untrue. Synthetics made from Group III oil can, in some cases, outperform those made in Group IV oils in some areas of performance.