Synthetic Oil or Conventional Oil? Let the Environment Decide

We are all educated on the risk factors of oil on the environment. In the perfect world we would all have viable transportation without the adverse effects of it. Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in, at least not yet. Between synthetic oil and conventional oil, which product has less of an impact on our environment? 5 key items come into play when determining how our maintenance habits impact the environment.

1) How often do you dump and fill your oil? The average consumer changes their oil every 3-5000 miles with conventional or standard oil. Most car manufacturers recommend changing your oil every 5-7500 miles. Increasing that mileage increment from 5000 to 7500 will result in a 33% decrease in the quarts of oil dumped per year. Furthermore, this mileage can be increased significantly with the use of these new and improved synthetic oil products in the market today. Some claim to be able to go up to 35,000 between oil changes which would suggest potential savings in your pocket and a positive impact on the environment.

2) Do you keep your engine efficient and smooth? A more efficient, smooth running engine means less impact on Mother Nature. Think about it, less resistance due to proper lubrication, equals higher power output or better fuel mileage. When burning less gas you are also producing less smog. Synthetic oils have been proven to increase engine performance beyond that of standard oils due to their superior lubricating capacities.

3) How was the oil made? Conventional oil is made from crude which is drilled from the ground. Generally this process creates havoc in the general area of which the crude oil is obtained. Synthetic oil is created in clean laboratories. I think there's a clear winner here.

4) Does the oil break down and burn off? Oil breakdown and burn-off is another key item that most people overlook. Through years of significant testing it should now be known that synthetic oil handles better under high heat and pressure situations. This implies that less of the product is being burned up and escaping through your tailpipe.

5) Is the oil being reused? The bulk of conventional oils contain recycled oil in them. This means that a percentage of oil that is already disposed of is included in your new oil product. This makes a huge difference to the environment. Synthetic oils don't have this benefit which means that if we were only using synthetic, we would only be using "new" oil.

Ultimately the most environmentally sound choice would be to use a form of transportation that doesn't require usage of harmful chemicals or emit harmful bi-products. New developments of electric cars bring us closer to this dream but in the meantime we can still decrease our impact. Technologies in both conventional and synthetic oils are improving constantly as manufacturing companies are seeking out more environmentally safe products. This is only one of many ways to go greener; however, every little bit makes a huge impact in the long run.
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