Will Switching to Synthetic Oil Give You Better Gas Mileage?

Today’s tip is a very subtle way for you to help increase your car’s gas mileage and fuel efficiency, will more than likely help increase the life of your vehicle, and, over time, will help you save some money.

Switch from conventional motor oil to synthetic oil.

The reason synthetic oil will probably help you achieve greater gas mileage is due to the fact it tends to lubricate your car’s engine better than conventional motor oil.  Because of the better lubrication, there tends to be less friction within the engine, which causes the engine to run more efficiently, helping you achieve greater gas mileage.

The only real down side is you probably won’t see an imediate “return on investment” after switching from conventional motor oil to synthetic, mostly because of the increased cost of synthetic oil.  However, over the life of your car, you should expect to see a savings thanks to the reduced wear and tear on your car’s engine. 

Also, you tend to be able to get more miles between oil changes when you use synthetic oil.  Most manufacturers recommend oil changes every three or four thousand miles when using conventional motor oil, while recommending changes every five to six thousand miles when using synthetic oil.

So, if you’re looking to get a slight boost in gas mileage, you might want to take a look at switching from conventional motor oil to either a synthetic blend or straight synthetic oil.

Comments

  1. I have a Scion xB which has a 5k interval for regular oil changes, but as I use synthetic and change my own oil and filter it’s every 10-12k, as the oil is rated for 15k. It’s more expensive yes, but done half the time so not quite so bad.

  2. I have a question,is Synthetic Oil made with out any real oil being used??
    Thanks

  3. Synthetic oil is still made with the same organic chemicals (hydrocarbons) as conventional oil. The main difference is that each of the particles of the conventional petroleum are broken down and then reassembled so that every single particle is the same size. This makes the oil much more stable in the long term even with the accumulation of soot (what makes the oil dark).

  4. With oil at the high prices today. Would it make sense to have all autos run on Synthetic oil? Would this save oil? Also, why don’t we have all cars run on one type of gas? If the gas formula is change for air quality issues, why don’t we just use this formula all the time and save money at the front end of the chain?
    Big C thanks for the response to the 1st question.

    Earl

  5. Michael Montemayor says:

    I drive a 2003 Ford F150 with a 5.4 Triton V8 with 97,xxx miles on it. My father started using synthetic oil months ago. I drive at a constant 50 miles per hour, and only use premium gasoline. and i always get 19.5 miles to the gallon or better. when i drive on the highway I can get at the most 26 and thats doing 80.

    • your wasting money on premium gas . high octane does not increase gas mileage.

      • Yes, it will increase because less expensives gas has between 10% to 30% of ethanol( ethanol “ethyl alcohol”, the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and It is most often used as a motor fuel, mainly as a biofuel additive for gasoline.) So, the ethanol burns quickly mixed with gas and if you go to some web pages like: “http://www.fueleconomy.gov” you can proof what i say…

        • Directly from the “www.fueleconomy.gov” website, “Top Ten Misconceptions About Fuel Economy”

          8. Using premium fuel improves fuel economy.
          Unless your vehicle was specifically designed for premium fuel or knocks severly with regular fuel, you will probably experience no benefit from using premium fuel over regular. Consult your owner’s manual to see whether premium is recommended and under what conditions (e.g., towing).

          view the entire top ten list here
          http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/topten.jsp

      • If your vehicle is pinging. (Rattling from the engine under acceleration or under load) going with higher octane will save fuel mileage. The octane rating deals with the fuels resistance to combustion. a low octane fuel can ignite just from the heat of a heavy load. if that happens the fuel will start to burn before the piston is finished with the compression stroke. that will cause the energy of the fuel to fight the rotation of the engine. best case diminishes mileage worst case causes the engine to beat itself to death. my taurus wagon gets about 21-23 mpg on 87 octane and pings significantly under load. with 92 octane, I experiance no pinging and on a recent open highway trip got 28.8 mpg. so 23mpg to 29 thats 6 mpg that is over 25% better mileage. if 87 octane costs 3.50 per gallon and 97 octane cost 4.00 per gallon thats only a 14% premium in fuel cost. so theoretical 1,000 mile trip 87 octane appx 44 gallons at 3.5 = 156.00 dollars plus wear and tear on engine. 92 octane appx 35 gallons at 4.00 = 140.00 dollars. (If the engine pings under load, high octane can improve mileage, if not it is a waste of money)

  6. Mentallect says:

    Using Royal Purple or Redline (GroupIV) true synthetic oils with syntheic base stock gets you at least 3 mpg over Mobile I, Pennzoil, and other (Group III) “American Synthetics” because true synthetics like those in Europe are created in a lab, nad are not expensive dino oil with a few addictives like American Synthetics. Additionally, true synthetics last at least 10,000 miles and some last over 20,000. My Camry is changes once a year, and now with over 200,000 miles, it does not burn a 1/4 a quart every 3,000 miles. I’ve only used Royal Purple when I found out Mobil 1 started using dino oil instead of lab synthetic. My car had about 30,000 miles then. If you use Royal Purple or Redline, your engine will be quieter, and your mpg will increase. My cousin says he gets around 5 mpg more now on the highway than he got using non-synthetic Pennzoil.

  7. David Horsley says:

    Don’t buy the Royal Purple hype. I’ve been a Mobil 1 user on several different vehicles for many years now. An ’01 Suburban, ’05 Grand Caravan, ’06 Silverado 5.3, ’07 Silverado 5.3, and fairly soon, a ’11 Toyota Tundra 5.7. On the two Silverado’s I decided to trust the engine oil monitoring system and only change the oil when it got close to the 0% mark, anywhere from around 9000 miles to 12000 miles. On the ’07, I got talked into trying the Royal Purple, so I bought a case (two oil changes worth) and a couple Royal Purple oil filters. Liked the literature on the filters, and they weren’t any higher than other premium filters, but the oil offered me 0% difference in fuel economy. My ’07 had the high end electronics where you could see instant mileage readings, as well as mileage per tank, every tank. I’ve always watched those numbers, on a quest for better mileage in my trucks, and the Royal Purple offered no better mileage, and I even felt that my mileage might have slightly dropped. And I don’t even buy the fancy Mobil 1, just the regular full sythetic that you get at Wal-Mart in the 5 quart jugs, plus an extra quart for the Silverado. I’m not saying Royal Purple is a “bad” oil, just not any better than Mobil 1 in my opinion, and definately not worth the higher price.

  8. I was getting 12 mpg in my ram with the hemi and after changing to synthetic oil I’m now getting 14.8 over ten fillups same driving. I’m sold. gonna change to synthetic gear oil next.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I have recently surfed the Internet trying to find out if using synthetic oil will increase gas mileage. After reading more material than I thought would be available about this subject, it is difficult to find any absolutes, since everyone has a difference of opinion. The reason synthetic oil will probably help you achieve greater gas mileage is due to the fact it tends to lubricate your car’s engine better than conventional motor oil.  Because of the better lubrication, there tends to be less friction within the engine, which causes the engine to run more efficiently, helping you achieve greater gas mileage.  Source. [...]

  2. [...] is synthetic engine oil as long as it fits with your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations. Synthetic oils will lower your engines turning resistance, helping it to handle higher temperatures without breaking down and increase your mileage by up to [...]

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