Synthetic Lubricants, on the other hand, are chemically engineered (synthesized) from pure chemicals rather than refined from crude oil.
Synthetic lubricants contain no contaminants or molecules that don't serve a designed purpose. Their components are chemically reacted to produce finished products with pre-designed performance characteristics. That gives them significant advantages over refined oils.
They are made from molecules that are saturated with a higher percentage of carbon-hydrogen bonds leaving fewer sites to which other harmful molecules can attach and attack the molecular composition of the oil. In addition, their smooth, uniform lubricating molecules slip easily across one another.
Because of their molecular uniformity, they excel in reducing friction, which improves fuel efficiency and economy, controls heat, and reduces wear. This molecular uniformity also helps synthetics resist thinning in hot temperatures and thickening in cold.
In regard to safety and insurance risks, the flash point for synthetics as a class is always higher, and reduced flammability is a key driver for synthetics' growing popularity in high-temperature applications.
In short, synthetics' versatility and pure, uniform molecular structure impart properties that provide better friction-reduction and wear protection, optimum fuel efficiency and superior film strength, a greater ability to resist shearing forces and viscosity breakdown, and extreme-temperature performance conventional lubricants just can't touch.
High Viscosity Index (VI)
Synthetic oils have higher native Viscosity Index (VI) than conventional oils. So, synthetic oils provide better engine protection across a wider range of temperatures. At more extreme temperatures (hot or cold) the benefits becomes even greater.
Low Temperature Properties
The ease of starting an engine depends not only on the condition of the battery, ignition and fuel quality, but also on the flow properties of the motor oil.
If the oil is too viscous (thick) at starting temperatures, it will impose enough drag on the moving parts that the engine cannot be cranked fast enough to start promptly and keep running.
Wax is a large hydrocarbon molecule that prevents oil from flowing at colder temperatures. Cold, thick oil is more difficult for the engine to pump, resulting in less protection at start-up. Because Synthetics do not contain wax, they remain more fluid at lower temperatures than conventional oils.
Since cold temperatures thicken all oils, an oil for winter use must be thin enough to permit adequate cranking speeds at the lowest anticipated temperature. It must also be fluid enough to quickly flow to the bearings to prevent wear. In addition, the oil must be thick enough, when the engine reaches normal operating temperatures, to provide adequate protection.
Oxidative stability is the ability of oil to resist breakdown caused by combining with oxygen.
Oxidation is a degradation process that occurs when atmospheric oxygen reacts with organic molecules. As oxidation increases, the oil thickens and loses its ability to control deposits and prevent the formation of sludge & varnish.
Synthetic oil has a much greater ability to resist oxidation then conventional oil.
Due to a more consistent molecular structure, synthetics have lower traction than mineral oils.
Lower traction means less internal friction within the fluid resulting in less heat, improved efficiency, increased horsepower and better fuel economy.
Synthetic lubricants reduce friction and allow engines to use energy more efficiently. The advanced lubricity (slipperiness) of AMSOIL synthetics has been proven to increase fuel economy by 2-5 %.
Each year nearly 600 million gallons of motor oil are burned and exit through the tailpipes of cars and trucks, creating emissions pollution.
Conventional oils volatilize (burn off/evaporate) more readily than synthetic oils, increasing oil consumption and creating more emissions pollution. Because of their lower volatility, synthetic oils are better for the environment than conventional oils.
Extended Oil Change Intervals
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pollution Prevention Requirements, the first step in revitalizing a cleaner nation is pollutant source reduction.
One of the ways synthetics accomplish this is by extending the interval between oil changes well beyond 5,000 km.
While conventional oil manufacturers recommend oil changes every 5,000 km or so, AMSOIL synthetic oils protect engines for up to 40,000 km under normal driving conditions (up to 80,000 km in diesel applications), dramatically extending oil change intervals by as much as eight times.
Benefits of Synthetics