Semi-synthetic oils such as 10w40 have long been the standard. Their base is refined crude oil, which is then blended with additives. However the market is moving towards synthetic oils. How are they different and what are their benefits?
Just like a 10W40, synthetic oils also have crude oil as a base but go through more complex processing down to the molecular level. The result is a lubricant with benefits such as:
- Better wear control
- Better viscosity
- Better low temperature fluidity
- Better deposit control
In short: By using a synthetic oil rather than a semi-synthetic one, you are using a better, and a much more appropriate lubricant which reduces the risk of equipment failure and extends its service life.
Here are 5 tangible benefits of synthetic oil:
1. It’s better for the environment
Pressing environmental concerns are affecting of our daily lives in all sorts of ways. The global drive for lower emissions and the demand for fuel economy are shaping the automotive industry and the engine oil market.
The internal combustion engine will continue to be the foremost technology – although with an evolved design.
Lubricants play a crucial role in supporting fuel economy. Using modern, synthetic lubricants as prescribed by the vehicle manufacturer results in:
- Less and cleaner exhaust gases
- A longer drain interval, which means less waste oil
As a bonus, the production of synthetic oils (with a lower viscosity) is far less polluting than of semi-synthetic oils.
2. Less friction, so better fuel economy…
A lower fuel consumption is not only better for the environment — it also helps lower vehicle operating costs. This is especially valuable in the current international market of constant fuel price increases.
Vehicle manufacturers are looking at new technology and adapting both internal and external design in order to reduce fuel consumption. New engines, brake energy recovery, fuel effective tires, start-stop systems and many other innovations are already on the market, and others will certainly follow.
Lubricants also play an important role. Low viscosity (thus thinner) oils, such as 0W-30 and 5-W30 are gaining in popularity thanks to their improved fluidity and friction reduction potential. Less friction in the engine means better fuel economy.
These oils rapidly reach all engine parts, contributing to fuel economy and simultaneously reducing the risk of premature wear from friction.
3. Active components for more durability
Drivers expect uninterrupted, problem-free vehicle performance; many miles with less time spent on service and oil changes.
At the same time, vehicles are more powerful. They are often equipped with a turbocharger and direct fuel injection system, have a smaller engine, less cylinders, and usually run on a new type of fuel (biodiesel).
Plus, driving conditions have become more demanding: city traffic, start-stop systems, long journeys at high speed and so on.
All of these ‘stress factors’ increase the need for more advanced oil formulations than a classic 10W40.
Advanced lubricants such as our VITALTECH oils provide an answer. These advanced oils are ideal for modern vehicles delivering strong performance in difficult conditions.
Specially selected active components fight contamination and ensure excellent cleanliness. They efficiently maintain the vehicle systems and enhance the power of the engine, guaranteeing a long and hassle-free service.
What about older (5 years or more) vehicles? These are abundant on the roads and their needs must also be addressed. Our EXTENDTECH lubricants guarantee ultimate protection for vehicles with turbo charged gasoline and direct injection diesel engines.
Even older vehicles that would use lower performance tier oils, such as 15W-40 or 20W-50, will benefit greatly from our GUARDTECH lubricants.
4. Engine downsizing
In the automotive industry, there is a strong trend towards smaller engines that offer more fuel economy and lower emissions.
At the same time, these engines become more power efficient and are increasingly equipped with advanced after treatment systems.
“All these developments put more strain on the engine, and as a result, on the lubricants in these engines,” says Ines El Majid, Product & Technical Manager at Wolf. “Obviously, we address these trends with new innovative products that meet today’s requirements.”
The answer to this trend? Low viscosity lubricants. Small engines demand thinner oils that can reach every last part and that enable their efficiency and power potential.
Wolf is at the forefront of these developments and has launched a number of new low viscosity lubricants - 0W30 and 0W20 - that meet the needs of the automotive professionals and end consumers.
Finally, cost is a key factor.
Using the wrong oil can result in all kinds of mechanical failures, which need repairing.
The cost of replacing a turbocharger is around 2,300 euros, including service
Replacing a DPF (diesel particulate filter) usually costs 1,600 euros.
What about the higher price of synthetic oil? This can be perfectly justified. A synthetic oil might cost 2-3 more than a classic semi-synthetic one but it usually lasts 2-3x as long as well. Typically, it will last 30,000 km where a classic oil needs replacing after just 10,000 km.
Synthetic oils provide better fuel economy and are better for the environment.
They contain active components for more durability.
They are a better fit for modern, downsized engines.
Finally, they aren’t more expensive and could even save you money.