Which is better? Synthetic or conventional motor oil?

What makes a motor oil Synthetic motor oil? The word “synthetic” has a pretty loose definition, a lot of manufacturer prefer the word synthetic to only apply to oils chemically formulated without the use of petroleum as a base oil.

However it is not that simple. At first lets talk about petroleum based motor oils. Petroleum based or Conventional motor oil is a lubricant that is produced directly from crude oil.

Petroleum base motor oils are very “sensitive” to temperature changes. This means at extremely low temperatures, for example at winter  time, here in Canada it may be thick, and at high temperatures, it’s fairly thin. To change the oil properties, oil companies mix additives, chemicals into the petroleum base.

Those chemicals effects the oil  viscosity,  improve it at high and low  temperature too.  When a 5W-30 conventional motor oil is brand new, it  can acts exactly like a 5W-30 synthetic motor oil.

German Synthetic Motor OilGerman Synthetic Oil

The problem is comes with time, from the use, the chemical additives in the conventional oil begin to break-down and or vaporize. This means, the oil starts to get thick when cold and start to get thin when hot.

Synthetic oils work quite differently. From the start, the chemical structure is designed to match a specific multi-grade oil, plus certain additives like rust inhibitors or dispersants will be added to further improve the usefulness of the oil.

The end result is that over time the synthetic oil does not degrade as conventional oils do. From a viscosity standpoint, an old  synthetic oil act pretty similar to a new synthetic oil, however it might get slightly thicker as a result of contaminants.

Some people states it, from a viscosity standpoint alone, a conventional motor oil could match the protection of a synthetic motor oil simply by changing conventional oil  more often, and it is  true. However synthetic motor oils not just lubricate only, they come with superior quality additives, leading to a cleaner, smoother running engine as well.

Which one is right for your car? Which one is better? Synthetic or conventional motor oil?

Before any misunderstanding, probably hard to buy a bad lubricant these days. some of them good  and some others are better. Even the most basic conventional oils available on the market are far better than ones offered 10 years ago.

We believe, it’s ok to use a quality petroleum-based oil in an average car, but if you drive a luxury or a high performance vehicles, we recommend to follow the owner manual’s recommendations, which is synthetic oil.

For sure, the synthetic oil cost more, but the benefits of synthetic justify the expense, with longer oil changes intervals, reduced oil deposit formation, slightly better fuel economy and longer engine life.

Call us for more details. Telephone: 905.795.0419.


The Importance of Oil Changes

Oil Recommendations by BMW


Oil change on today’s high tech ultra efficient cars

The relatively simple oil change on today’s high tech ultra efficient cars are anything but simple. For instance BMW has a bunch of numbers on their oil requirements on vastly  different engines. The oldest one is LL98 then, the next is LL01 there after came LL04 and the next would be LL14.

German long life synthetic mootor oilFuchs Motor Oils

There is an even newer one which, is only for the very latest engines, from 2017 and up.

Furthermore older M engines require a specific grade like 10/60.

Mercedes is quiet the same MB 229, 31-229, 51-229.5 is the three most common designation for late model engines.

In most cases the diesel oriented BMW LL04 can be used in the gas engines for limited distance (no longer than 15 thousand kilometers between oil changes). The LL01 or the LL98 oil is prohibited in the diesel engines due to zinc in those  motor oils. Ditto for Mercedes Benz the 229.5 oil is strictly gas engines only.

The 229.31-229.51 oils are diesel oriented but can be used in most gas engine Mercedes Benz vehicles, except AMG which must have the 229.5 oil specifically.

There is one more additional spec for MB but that only applies to a single engine which is a rarity so we leave that one out for now. The implications are huge for using the wrong oil in the wrong application which at least will damage the diesel particulate filter (in short form DPF) or in the case of a gas engine possible engine damage may occur, especially if the extended service intervals are used.

Liqui Moly Synthetic motor oilsLiqui Moly Lubricants

To make it more confusing Mercedes specifies a felt oil filter for extended oil changes. The original manufacturer is in most cases Mann & Hummel of Germany.

There are two more original filter manufacturer Hengst of Germany and Knecht Mahle of Austria. There is currently a new French manufacturer which is also original equipment manufacturer called Pureflux. Read more about oil filters.

The question we often get;  Can I get my oil changes done elsewhere other than the dealer? The answer is yes, definitely, however you need to pay special attention to detail and must document the type and make of the oil and the filter on the invoice, so there are no issues if the question asked in the future while your car is under warranty.

The next question is; Are there better oils available than what has been sold by the dealer organization?  The answer is yes definitely there are better oils available. In most cases they are mainly imported from Germany.  Canadian dealers are providing North American sourced motor oils. Currently BMW uses Shell – Pennzoil.  Mercedes prefers Mobil1 from Exxon Mobil or sometime Shell – Pennzoil.

If you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our phone number is: 905.795.0419.


Engine Oil Essentials
TOTAL synthetics motor oils related F. A. Q.
Oil Recommendations by BMW
BMW Approval for TOTAL Motor Oil
European Cars Motor Oil Specifications
The Importance of Oil Changes

Why synthetic motor oil better for your vehicle?

If you are the one who take your car to oil-change, you’ve probably heard about synthetic motor oils. Than here comes the question: What is synthetic motor oil, and why synthetic motor oil better for your vehicle?

Synthetic motor oil is an engine lubricant created artificially from chemicals, consisting of chemical compounds that are artificially made – synthesized.

Synthetic motor oils and synthetic lubricants manufactured using chemically modified petroleum components rather than whole crude oil. Also they can also be synthesized from other raw materials. Synthetic oil is used as a substitute for lubricant refined from petroleum when operating in extremes of temperature.

In general, synthetic motor oils and synthetic lubricants provides superior mechanical and chemical properties than those found in traditional mineral oils. In one word they are better for your car.

Aircraft jet engines, for example, require the use of synthetic oils, whereas aircraft piston engines do not.



FUCHS Synthetic Motor Oil for BMW, Mercedes, Porsche & Other Luxury Cars
Elf Synthetic Motor Oil

Engine Oil Essentials
TOTAL synthetic motor oils related F. A. Q.
Oil Recommendations by BMW
BMW Approval for TOTAL Synthetic  Motor Oil
European Cars Motor Oil Specifications
The Importance of Oil Changes


The primary purposes of synthetic motor oils are to reduce engine wear during cold start-up and drive-away, and to avoid or reduce oil degradation.

Synthetic oils are thinner, resists temperature extremes better and they lasts longer. They boiling point are higher and they more heat resistant, so your engine will burn less oil. They not getting thick from extreme cold, so they pride better lubrications during cold start.. If you use synthetic motor oil, it ends up better and longer engine life.

The most important from a car owner’s perspective, using synthetic motor oils, mean better lubrication from normal to extreme condition with less frequent oil changes compared to conventional motor oil.

Late model European Import cars, such as BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Audi require the use of full synthetic motor oil. Lately high end Japanese import cars,  hybrids, and all of the high performance sport cars also require to use synthetic motor oil.