Switching to Synthetic Oil in Higher Mileage Vehicles

by Synthetic Oil | Last Updated: October 25, 2021

More people are keeping their vehicles for long periods of time; finally, manufacturers have caught onto this fact. Now, they are producing synthetic oils that are designed to lubricate engines better. It’s called synthetic oil, and it’s a popular alternative to conventional mineral oil. But should you switch to synthetic oil in a higher mileage vehicle? Or should you use high mileage oil?

Let’s find out.

What is Synthetic Oil?

Is synthetic oil any different from conventional engine oil? Yes. Synthetic oil is a special kind of lubricant for engines that have been artificially derived from petroleum molecules. Under a microscope, the molecules in synthetic oil are all the same size, while conventional oil is composed of molecules of various shapes and sizes.

If you get a fully synthetic oil, it is uniquely designed without petroleum and will have additives that prevent the breakdown of the oil. Meanwhile, synthetic blends contain both synthetic bases and conventional oil.

Benefits of Synthetic Oil

New and older cars can benefit from synthetic oil because it:

The Myth of Synthetics

One argument that continues to circulate around the internet and beyond is that synthetics could damage an older vehicle. People thought that the rubber seals in an engine would break down when synthetic oil was used, causing issues that didn’t exist before. While this was blamed on the viscosity of synthetic oils, there was only a grain of truth in that.

The issue was that synthetic blends were not being formulated to prevent oil breakdown, sludge, and leaks. Now, fully synthetic oils have been created that completely turn the myth about on its head, like Mobil 1 Extended Performance High Mileage full synthetic.

If you are worried about leaks forming, aim for a full synthetic oil. Dealing with a lot of sludge? Shorter intervals between oil changes (about 3,000-5,000 miles) are better than waiting longer.

Synthetic Oil vs High Mileage Oil

So how do you choose between one synthetic oil and the next? The first method is looking at the make, model, and year of your car. If you own a newer car, the synthetic oil is perfectly fine. In fact, newer cars are designed to run on synthetic blends and benefit from them.

Older cars, or those with high mileage, should use high mileage oil. You can use synthetic oil on vehicles from 1990 to early 2000, but the vehicle needs to be in good running condition and will need the oil filter changed every time the oil is changed. Consider switching to high mileage synthetic oil as soon as your vehicle reaches 75,000 miles.

Wrapping Up

Is switching to synthetic oil for a higher mileage vehicle a good idea? Your mileage may vary. Usually, when a vehicle engine is maintained and kept in good running condition, you won’t have much to worry about. Synthetic oil could even sustain the engine for longer than average. If you are planning on switching to synthetic oil, it is best to discuss it with a professional mechanic who can inspect your car. They can let you know if it is right to switch or not.