Synthetic Vs. Conventional Motor Oil: Which Is Better?

11 Sep

Synthetic Vs. Conventional Motor Oil: Which Is Better?

Is synthetic or conventional motor oil better for your vehicle? This is a question we hear a lot at DOC Auto and the answer depends on a few factors. Yes, most new automobiles already have synthetic motor oil in them when you drive them off the lot, but conventional motor oil isn’t dead just yet. In fact, in most cases, conventional works fine. Here are some things to consider before your next oil change.

Manufacturer’s Recommendations

The vehicle manufacturer is a good choice to determine which motor oil is best for your automobile’s engine. Yes, we can make recommendations, as well, but we always encourage our customers to check their owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer says. This is because the motor oil type is taken into account during the engine’s design phase. The engineers recommend the best oil type for the engine parts included in the vehicle’s design.

Driving and Maintenance Habits

Another consideration is your driving habits. If you’re hard on your car, truck or SUV, you should probably consider synthetic oil. This manmade oil better lubricates parts, which means it can stand up to stop-and-go traffic, long commutes, and your Friday night drag racing down abandoned streets (we won’t tell anyone). If you’re a safe and conscientious driver who doesn’t have a too bad of a daily commute, you’ll do fine with conventional oil.

Another thing to think about is how faithful you are to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. Do you scoff at the recommendations or do you calendar your service visits to coincide exactly with each mileage milestone? If you aren’t very good about bringing your vehicle in for oil changes, choose synthetic motor oil. Not only does it last longer between changes it also protects engine parts better. Those who head to the lube shop the minute 3,000 miles is upon them can opt for conventional oil.


To be honest, the weather isn’t much of a consideration here in Fredericksburg, VA. We get plenty of rain but rarely get snow. Our summers are hot and humid but not as hot as the southwest. As such, the weather benefits of synthetic motor oil don’t necessarily apply here. Yes, it holds up better in extreme temperatures, so if you feel more comfortable with that added protection, you should choose synthetic, but you’ll do okay with conventional oil if you’re looking to stay within a budget.

DOC Auto is located in Fredericksburg, VA, and we’d be happy to discuss synthetic versus conventional oil with you. Call our Chatham Heights shop or our Courthouse Road shop today.

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Chatham Heights
175 Chatham Heights Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
(540) 899-3732

Courthouse Road
10734 Courthouse Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22408
(540) 710-0173

Monday – Friday:
8am to 6pm

8am to 2pm

Closed on Sunday