Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |   |  Synthetic or Conventional Motor Oil - Fact Or Fiction
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Synthetic or Conventional Motor Oil - Fact Or Fiction

Luke Munnell
Jul 1, 2008
Impp_0807_06_z+synthetic_or_conventional_motor_oil+mystery_oil Photo 1/3   |   Synthetic or Conventional Motor Oil - Fact Or Fiction

We've all heard the endless arguments in favor of synthetic motor oils over petroleum-based alternatives, and we're all too familiar with retorts made in defense of the conventional dinosaur juice. Debates rage on, new arguments are made-and countered-and both forms of the slippery stuff are still bought, used, and defended by gearheads everywhere. What we're concerned is very simple: Can popular synthetic oils that promise to improve power over similarly rated conventional oils really deliver?

Impp_0807_07_z+synthetic_or_conventional_motor_oil+eneos_synthetic Photo 2/3   |   Synthetic or Conventional Motor Oil - Fact Or Fiction

In theory, the molecules of synthetic oil bases can be manufactured to offer better lubrication without increasing viscosity-meaning a 30-weight synthetic oil will supposedly decrease friction better than a 30-weight conventional oil, reducing parasitic loss inherent in an engine's moving parts, improving overall efficiency, and transferring more power to a car's wheels. To test the claim, we headed to Westminster, Calif., and strapped our Project DC2 to the rollers of MD Automotive's Dynojet dynamometer four times over; each time we filled our car with a different 5W-30 conventional or synthetic motor oil.

Impp_0807_08_z+synthetic_or_conventional_motor_oil+coolant_additives Photo 3/3   |   Synthetic or Conventional Motor Oil - Fact Or Fiction

The Verdit: The synthetics made power-up to 2.2 hp in our tests-and they did it by improving overall efficiency, which means better fuel economy to boot. And if efficiency is improved by reducing friction, they'll likely increase engine longevity. Granted, the improvements made here aren't huge, but neither are the demands put forth by our DC2's low-revving, naturally aspirated 1.8L four-banger. Engines with more moving parts, or bigger displacements, will benefit proportionately from the decreased frictional resistance offered by these oils, and the powerbands of higher-revving engines approaching redline will likely benefit exponentially.

Next Month
Coolant additives-do they keep you cool, or make you a fool?

Got a debate for us? Throw an e-mail to: factorfiction@importtuner.com

Sources

MD Automotive
Westminster, CA 92683
714-891-1113
http://www.markdibella.com
By Luke Munnell
304 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE HOW TO

What begins as an itch to lower your car's ride height, turns into a full-blown coilover installation. We should all be familiar with the thought process—because let's face it, wheel gap is just unattractive.
Ceso BagayFeb 21, 2019
WillyWerx, aka William Galan, figures heavily in this last entry of Ryan Hoegner's 911SC, giving a master class in proper vintage Porsche restoration
Bob HernandezFeb 14, 2019
Outfitting a GR WRX with fresh pads and rotors
Bob HernandezFeb 5, 2019
AC Schnitzer used data from 2 record-setting successes to dial in parts developments for the BMW F90 M5
Bob HernandezJan 31, 2019
Shifting our focus to the chassis, in particular revamping this Porsche's suspension as well as its brakes and topping it all off with a one-off roll bar
Bob HernandezJan 29, 2019
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP