Synthetic or conventional? You probably get the question every time you bring your car in for an oil change.

We all know that synthetic oil is more expensive, but is it really worth it? New testing from AAA found that on average, synthetic oil outperformed conventional oil by nearly 50 percent, offering vehicles significantly better engine protection.

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Synthetic oil vs. conventional oil: What you need to know

According to AAA, only a limited number of vehicles require synthetic oil, but all cars can benefit from it.

“Oil protects critical engine components from damage, and AAA found that synthetic engine oils performed an average of 47 percent better than conventional oils in a variety of industry-standard tests,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “With its superior resistance to deterioration, AAA’s findings indicate that synthetic oil is particularly beneficial to newer vehicles with turbo-charged engines and for vehicles that frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic, tow heavy loads or operate in extreme hot or cold conditions.”

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AAA is now urging Americans to consider switching to synthetic oil, but according to AAA ‘s survey of its Approved Auto Repair facilities, that will cost the average driver an additional $64 a year, which is just over $5 a month.

  • Average cost of a conventional oil change: $38
  • Average cost of a synthetic oil change: $70

“It’s understandable that drivers may be skeptical of any service that is nearly twice the cost of the alternative,” said Nielsen. “While a manufacturer-approved conventional oil will not harm a vehicle’s engine, the extra $30 per oil change could actually save money in the long run by protecting critical engine components over time.”

AAA found that 44 percent of U.S. drivers are either unsure or don’t believe that synthetic oil is better for a vehicle’s engine, but this new study indicates that it really does make a difference.

What do you think? Share your thoughts with Team Clark on Facebook and Twitter.


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