Car owners know the benefits of having a well-oiled engine. It can prolong your car’s engine longevity and add miles to your adventures. Using the best synthetic oil can save you a couple of hundreds of dollars you could have spent at an auto repair shop.
Thus, you are likely to get the best out of your car’s engine if you use the right synthetic oil. Synthetic oil is considered the most expensive and best oil you can use in your car. However, given the many brands making these oils, it can be difficult to find the best one. However, we are here to eliminate any doubt and guesswork. We have created a comprehensive guide to finding the best synthetic motor oil.
Read our top 10 reviews of top-rated synthetic oils and also our detailed buyer’s guide to help you make an informed purchase decision.
Let’s get started…
- Best Synthetic Oil: Editor’s Top Picks
- Different Types of Synthetic Oil
- Things to Consider When Buying Synthetic Oils
- Top 10 Best Synthetic Oil Consumer Reports Reviews:
- 1. Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil
- 2. Valvoline SynPower 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil
- 3. Mobil 1 120764 Synthetic Motor Oil
- 4. Rotella T6 Synthetic Diesel Motor Oil
- 5. Royal Purple 51520 Synthetic Motor Oil
- 6. Mobil 1 (120769) High Mileage Motor Oil
- 7. Liqui Moly 2041 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil
- 8. MAG1 61790-pk6 5W-30 SM Motor Oil
- 9. Valvoline Conventional 5W-30 Motor Oil
- 10. HONDA 08C35-A141L01 GN4 Motor Oil
- Benefits of Synthetic Oil
- FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Best Synthetic Oil: Editor’s Top Picks
Different Types of Synthetic Oil
There are two types of synthetic oil; full synthetic oil and synthetic blend. Since both products were introduced in the 1960s, there has been a debate between people who prefer full synthetic oils over synthetic oils and vice versa. We are here to shed more light on these two to help choose the best one for your motor engine.
Full Synthetic Oil
For many, this is considered the most superior of the two oils. They are made for high-tech car engines and tend to offer a long-lasting performance with regard to protection against deposits and viscosity index. These types of oil are more popular and newer car models are designed to accommodate them.
However, on the downside, they are very pricy and cannot be used on older car models since not all car engines can accommodate full synthetic oils. You can check your car’s owner manual to find out if it can accommodate this oil.
Synthetic Blend Oil
This is a mix of natural oil (standard motor oil) and synthetic oil. This type of oil is less volatile, reduces oil loss, and evaporates less. The blending with standard motor oil makes it a cheaper option and thus a popular choice for people with SUVs and pickups. However, they are not fully regulated since there are no set standards regarding the concentration of synthetic elements and minerals in synthetic blends. Therefore, you should be mindful when choosing synthetic blends to ensure you go for a brand that suits your vehicle’s performance.
Things to Consider When Buying Synthetic Oils
Type of Synthetic Oil
The first thing to consider before buying your engine oil is the type of synthetic oil that suits your car. Essentially, we have synthetic blend oil and fully synthetic oil. Fully synthetic oil is made entirely from synthetic material while a synthetic blend oil is a mixture of fully synthetic oil with motor oil.
Full synthetic oil is custom-made to offer specific abilities that a car needs for its engine to perform optimally. They were originally designed for use in high-performance cars. The only downside to this type of synthetic oil is that it is costlier.
On the other hand, synthetic blend oils combine the great features of full synthetic oils with those of standard motor oils, making it a cheaper alternative.
Oil viscosity indicates the measure of how thin or thick the oil is, and since higher temperatures tend to make oil thin out, heavier-duty engines need more viscous or thicker oils to keep them running smoothly. This prevents wear and tear when the engine is working.
Conversely, if the oil turns out to be too thick, the engine could have startup issues. Therefore, you need to have an oil with the right viscosity for your engine. The good thing is that this rating is usually indicated in the car’s manual.
If you drive a lot in a hot environment or you are used to hauling heavy loads, then you can choose a synthetic oil with higher viscosity. If you live in an area with cold weather, go for the best synthetic oil for cold weather. This oil normally has a lower viscosity rating and thus suits cars in cold regions.
Oil grades are either given as SAE 30 or 5W-30. If you see ‘W’, then know that the oil viscosity is suited for cold (winter) temperatures, which in this case is 5. The 30 indicates the oil’s viscosity at 100 Centigrade. This is considered a standard temperature for engine operation.
People upgrading from standard motor oil to synthetic motor oil may be tempted to mix the two oils. Of course, the engine will continue to perform well but may not reach optimal levels of performance.
Mixing the two oils is allowed but remember you are upgrading to synthetic oils because of the many benefits that it offers. Therefore, by mixing this oil with motor oil, you will be cutting down on these benefits.
For optimal performance, drain the standard oil from your car engine before introducing synthetic oil. Also, ensure your vehicle has a modern engine (from 2,000) model so that it can benefit from synthetic oil.
Additives and Brands
Additives are what make synthetic oils stand out. Different manufacturers add different types of additives to their synthetic oils to make them unique and better. This means two oils may seem similar and have similar compositions but perform differently in different engines. Therefore, if you find a brand that enables your engine to perform optimally, then it might be great to stick to it.
Here are some of the major additives you will find in synthetic oils, but keep in mind that you will hardly find them all put together in one oil;
- Anti-foaming agent. This helps to prevent synthetic oil from foaming
- Antioxidants prolong the oil’s life by slowing down oxidation
- Detergents to prevent gunk and debris build-up and clean up an engine
- Anti-wear agents prolong an engine’s lifespan
- Dispersants to prevent the buildup of sludge and clumping of particles
- Corrosion inhibitors to protect your car engine from corrosion
Keep these factors in mind when buying synthetic oil, and you will get the best oil for your car. Let’s now elaborate more on the two types of synthetic oil;
Top 10 Best Synthetic Oil Consumer Reports Reviews:
1. Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil
The general rule of thumb recommends that oil needs to be changed every 3000 miles. Why not 3500 miles? That’s precisely what Pennzoil synthetic oil brings to the table – extended oil change intervals. This premium synthetic oil is designed for severe conditions like dusty conditions. This motor oil focuses on superior wear protection and excellent oil flow both in high and low temperatures.
What makes it special is PurePlus technology which protects the engine during extreme conditions. This technology by Pennzoil ensures that the oil has far fewer impurities as compared to oil made from crude oil. Synthetic oil ensures better viscosity control when compared to normal oil thanks to this technology. In fact, SRT engines and Hennessey performance vehicles recommend using this oil which just gives you an idea about its quality.
Another impressive thing with this oil is it offers improved fuel economy offering an average of 550 miles extra per year. The extra mileage is brought about by the better viscosity and lower impurity levels in the oil. It also protects the engine from loss of power thanks to its viscosity which keeps the engine lubricated at all times.
- Full synthetic oil
- Excellent protection during severe conditions
- Increased fuel economy with up to an extra 550 miles
- Protects horsepower by preventing deposit formation
- Meets ACEA, A5/B5, A1, B1
2. Valvoline SynPower 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil
Valvoline OW-20 is one of the best synthetic motor oil you need to increase the overall performance of your vehicle. The make-up of this oil is what makes it more efficient at lubricating your engine. This not only prevents your car’s engine from tearing but also ensures better fuel efficiency. The oil can handle both high and low temperatures ensuring proper engine protection. In other words, this full synthetic out does not thin out during temperature extremes. It boasts an astounding operating range of -45 degrees to 236 degrees.
Another reason why you may want to try out this oil is its excellent mileage. You will drive much longer compared to other conventional oils thanks to its excellent formulation. It also packs anti-wear additives which prevent the formation of varnishes, sludge, and other deposits that conventional oils can leave behind. Besides, it has impressive compatibility with most engines from those of everyday vehicles to superchargers and turbochargers. It can be used for cars with petrol diesel, LGP, and Hybrid engines.
As a result, it is a popular choice among drivers, especially in North America. Having been made in the USA, it surpasses the latest industry standards making it an excellent choice for passenger vehicles. However, due to its ultra-low viscosity, it is not suited to high mileage engines and those operating in hot climates.
- Ultimate low-temperature protection
- Suited to all kinds of engines
- Contain special additives to keep your car’s engine clean
- Made in the USA and thus has met all the quality standards of a synthetic oil
3. Mobil 1 120764 Synthetic Motor Oil
Mobil 1 line of synthetic oils has been popular among car owners for many years. The Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil has passed through distillation to achieve synthetic status. With an extra cleaning additive, you can be sure that your engine will last longer. The oil is packed in a 5-quart plastic container with a design that allows you to add the oil without missing the engine hole.
It is sealed with a removable lead which not only prevents leakages but also prevents evaporation during storage. You will be impressed by how economical it is to have it as it can last for many months. In case you are on a tight budget but need quality engine oil, the Mobil Synthetic oil is fairly priced and affordable to most car owners.
To ensure longer engine life, this oil creates a thick layer between moving parts to reduce contact. It extends the engine lifespan by over 75,000 miles and is suitable for go city driving and high-speed highway. With OW spec, you can comfortably use it at lower temperatures offering ample lubrication to the engine. The product is manufactured in the USA and meets the latest industry standards.
- Comes in an easy to use a container
- This product is manufactured in the USA
- Fully synthetic to ensure no sludge build-up
- Excellent thermal and oxidation stability
- Aids fuel economy due to its low-temperature capabilities
4. Rotella T6 Synthetic Diesel Motor Oil
Shell Rotella T6 synthetic oil is among the best synthetic motor oil in the world. The main reason for its popularity is it can be used for nearly all kinds of modern diesel-type engines from cars and trucks to motorbikes and more. It is known for the Triple Protection Plus technology which offers protection against sludge formation and deposits. This fully synthetic oil also features a low ash additive to ensure smooth operation and reduce engine maintenance.
The oil is designed for use in both diesel and gas engines which makes it suitable for most heavy-duty equipment in a variety of projects. In fact, it can also be used in gasoline engines with API SM specifications. It ensures all-around protection for both turbo and non-turbo engines making it one of the best synthetic oil for turbo engines. The best part is you do not have to worry about changing it often provided the engine is dirt free.
Other than that, this is one of the important oil for cold weather as it comprises special components that keep the velocity higher. This ensures that there is no velocity loss and equips the engine with optimum oil pressure, particularly when starting the car. With this heavy-duty oil, you can be sure that your engine is in excellent condition. Shell is a renowned brand in the motor oil industry, and it’s no surprise that they offer one of the top synthetic oil in the market today.
- Has low ash additive to reduce maintenance and offer smooth operation
- Ensures 1.5% improved fuel economy performance compared to conventional oils
- Suitable for diesel and gas engines
- Fully synthetic oil to boost economic performance and efficiency
- Has improved viscosity and can flow in cold temperatures
- Has Triple Protection Plus formula to ensure long engine life
5. Royal Purple 51520 Synthetic Motor Oil
Royal Purple offers this high-quality synthetic oil for a high-performance vehicle. It is made by combining standard mineral oils with additives to ensure enhanced performance. It contains Synerlec, an additive that is known to create strength at an ionic level hence preventing overheating.
The oil reacts with high levels of viscosity and lubricity, thereby keeping your car’s engine performing at its best even when the conditions are extreme. If you have a high-performance vehicle or drive in harsh conditions, then this could be the ideal choice for you. Another key feature of this oil is that a professional mechanic is not needed to drain and clean the car when converting as it is compatible with most blended or synthetic oils.
You get a massive pack of 12 which means you’ll be sorted for a couple of months. Though it might be a little pricey when buying, you’ll be pleased with the value you get. The oil meets the ILSAC GF-5 and Dexos1 performance standards.
- Offers improved wear protection compared to mineral oils
- Ensures longer engine life
- Compatible with most oils that contain ethanol
- Offers fuel efficiency from less friction
- Meets Dexos1 and ILSAC GF-5 standards
6. Mobil 1 (120769) High Mileage Motor Oil
Mobil 1 promised you not less than 75,000 miles of extended engine performance. This is a fully synthetic motor oil with the most efficient additives to enhance your engine performance. It has been made by a reputable brand for their great attention to offering quality oils. This is a great option for owners seeking to extend the life span of their car’s engine. Are you tired of having sludge buildup with your engine? Mobil 1 can help you clean this unwanted sludge to ensure smooth operation.
In addition, it ensures the lubrication of engine parts and reduces friction, thereby reducing wear and tear. This oil also contains seal conditioners that prevent existing and future leaks. It is compatible with almost every vehicle including SUVs, vans, and trucks. Mobil is a trusted motor oil brand hence you can expect superb quality from this product. This oil comes with API and ACEA A1/B1, A5/B5 specifications.
- Offers superb lubrication and protects wear
- Helps prevent existing and future leaks
- Protects critical parts even in higher mileage engines
- Outperforms conventional mileage oils
- Helps reduce sludge and deposits from your engine
7. Liqui Moly 2041 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil
This synthetic motor oil offers a rapid oil delivery at cold (winter) temperatures. It also guarantees high lubrication reliability in low temperatures.
Due to its ability to ensure great engine cleanliness, you will not only reduce pollutant emission but also save on petrol. You can rest assured that this oil will ensure the prolonged longevity of your engine thanks to the high level of protection this oil offers.
It is great for the latest engine models such as those with turbocharging, supercharging, inter-cooling, multi-valve arrangements, etc.
It can be used for both diesel and gas engines with variable cam and timing, multi-valve arrangements, intercooler, and turbocharging abilities. It provides instant lubrication after a cold start which helps to save fuel energy.
This synthetic oil has received the best synthetic oil consumer reports since it satisfies the highest demands of any engine.
- The Liqui Moly 2014 is made for both gas and diesel engines of different types such as supercharged and turbocharged variants
- With a 5W-40 rating, this engine delivers oil quickly to all parts of an engine even at low temperatures. therefore, you can depend on its lubrication capacity in high and low temperatures
- It is designed for engines with very high-performance thanks to its extreme reliability
- It is fully synthetic oil and thus delivers great protection for your engine
- Produces fewer pollution thanks to its unique blend.
8. MAG1 61790-pk6 5W-30 SM Motor Oil
MAG1 61790-pk6 is a fully synthetic motor oil that provides great protection to your engine even under severe driving conditions. The technology used in the production of this oil is advanced which makes it rank high on the list of best full synthetic oil brands.
The synthetic base oil in MAG1 61790-pk6 provides great resistance to oxidation thickening caused by high temperatures. With exceptionally high viscosity, this oil doesn’t thicken in cold weather, and this reduces wear and tear as well as battery drain.
It also contains a significant amount of FMX friction modifiers to help your engine last longer. With its SAE 5W-30 rating, it means that this motor oil has a rating of 30 in normal temperatures and 5 in cold weather. This underscores its versatility. The bottle design simplifies pouring, which is another plus.
- MAGI 5W-30 contains High Phosphate Retention 2DP to protect your car engine against wear and tear and ensure great engine performance
- It keeps pistons cleaner thereby minimizing oil consumption; this maintains compression and power performance
- It reduces wear by up to 50% as compared to regular synthetic oil
- Gives your car engine more resistance to cold starts
- Has a high viscosity rating and is thus suited for both cold and warm regions
9. Valvoline Conventional 5W-30 Motor Oil
The Valvoline 5W-30 is one of the best synthetic oil for cold weather because of its ultra-low viscosity that guarantees seamless oil flow under low-temperature conditions.
It is designed for any car engine including LGP, diesel, petrol, and heavy engines. It can withstand extremely low temperatures condition and thus doesn’t suit vehicles operating in very hot areas or high-mileage engines.
Very few synthetic oils can provide the ultimate level of performance and protection offered by Valvoline Conventional 5W-30 under low temperatures. It is formulated with a special blend of additives that prevents harmful deposits and vanishing. Some of the additives added to this oil include anti-oxidants to prolong its lifespan, extra detergents to keep your engine clean, seal conditions to seal areas that are worn out, and extra wear protection to prevent wear and tear.
In other words, these additives target the four major causes of engine breakdown including deposits, leaks, sludge, and friction.
This oil has received great customer reviews, and thus we can recommend it to people with older engines that need a boost.
- This oil protects your engine from all types of deposits and dirt at all temperatures to keep it functioning optimally
- It has durable anti-wear additives that provide oxidation control to prevent oil thickening. This improves protection and ensures your oil lasts longer
- It is suited for all types of engines making it a versatile oil engine
- It has a special blend of special additives that keep your engine clean
- It has superior cleaning abilities than any standard motor oil and offers great protection to your engine in both cold and hot temperatures
10. HONDA 08C35-A141L01 GN4 Motor Oil
This model comes in a 1-gallon bottle and is one of the best synthetic motor oil brands on the market. With a viscosity grade of 10W-40, it can perform greatly even in the cold. However, motor oils made by these reputable brands tend to maintain their viscosity across different temperature levels and thus can be used in a hot environment as well.
The 1-gallon bottle has 4 quarts of engine oil which is enough to last you for days and months. This motor oil is formulated for motorbikes, but it can be used for any car with a modern engine. The best part about this motor oil is that it is cheap and thus affordable. Also, having been formulated by a reputable brand, you can be assured that it has met all the quality standards required of a quality motor oil.
Honda GN4 Motor Oil is packed with tackiness stability, shear resistance, and cleanliness to meet the high standards of modern engines.
- It is great for bikes that do not require fully synthetic oils
- It is a genuine product made by Honda and thus can be trusted
- Comes in a 1-gallon bottle that will last you for a couple of months before it runs out
- It is graded at 10W-40 meaning that it can perform greatly even in a cold environment
- Doesn’t freeze or congeal during winters
- It protects engines from wear and tear and also from overheating thanks to the special additives blended into this oil
Benefits of Synthetic Oil
- It is a cheaper option in the long run
When using standard motor oil, you need to change it after 3000 miles, while with synthetic oil, it could last up to 7,000 miles. The initial purchase cost might be high, but you will notice that it is cheaper in the long term since you will not have to change it now and then.
- It is better for your vehicle’s engine
Besides its economic advantage, synthetic oil is better for your engine compared to standard oil. For instance, it can give your car better lubrication, and this can maximize the performance of your engine, extend its lifespan and improve gas mileage. Synthetic oil also ensures the reliable functioning of your engine during cold weather.
- Resistance to external elements
Another great benefit of synthetic oil is its resistance to different external elements such as thermal breakdown, oxidation, and oil sludge. It also reduces evaporation loss, which is one of the main reasons it lasts for a long time.
We hope that these benefits will help convince you more to upgrade from using standard motor oil to synthetic motor oil.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q-1: Why is synthetic oil important?
The best engine oil in the world helps to keep engine components clean, which is essential to keep it performing optimally. If your engine components get gunk accumulation, it may get suffer damages prematurely. Synthetic oils are designed to keep your engine clean and protect it from wear and tear and also improve performance.
Q-2: Why should you choose the right engine oil for your car engine?
Oil is the lifeblood of your car engine. If you use the wrong one, your car engine is at risk of wearing out. The formation of blockages caused by dirt build-up can lead to engine seizures. By using synthetic oils in the engine, you can drive peacefully knowing that your car is well serviced.
Q-3: How does synthetic oil protect my engine?
It protects in many ways including;
- By cleaning your engine and eliminating debris, dirt, and deposits from engine components. This prevents blockages and thus keep your engine performing optimally. The oil helps to lock dirt out of your engine for ease of cleaning
- By minimizing wear and reducing friction. They form a protective film over your car engine components and also have additives that work between engine components to prevent wear and tear. This also helps your engine to operate quietly and effectively
- By reducing heat. Synthetic oils reduce heat by carrying it away from sensitive areas and redistributing it around the engine. This prolongs your engine life and prevents seizures.
- It also prevents rust and corrosion. Synthetic oils provide top-notch protection and help extend your engine’s lifespan. This helps you to avoid expensive repairs.
Q-4: What are synthetic engines made from?
Synthetic oils are made from three major ingredients- viscosity modifiers, performance additives, and base oils. These ingredients are skillfully and carefully selected to enable your car engine to perform optimally and provide optimum engine protection.
Q-5: Is it important to change engine oil and how often should one change it?
You should change your car engine oil and filter it before the indicated oil-change intervals time your vehicle manufacturer has stipulated. The duration is based on time or distance traveled. Regular oil changing keeps your engine in tiptop condition and provides protection to your engine components.
Without a doubt, looking for the best synthetic oil for your engine is not an easy task. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you can choose any brand or go with the cheapest option. Make sure that the oil you choose is made by a trusted brand, has positive reviews, suits your car, and has the right viscosity that suits your engine and weather.
We hope that the above in-depth reviews and buyer’s guide will help you choose the best synthetic oil for your car.
Keep an eye on the 10 options in this review, and we guarantee that you will not get disappointed.