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AAA: Synthetic Oil Performs Nearly 50% Better Than Conventional Oil
Synthetic oil outperforms conventional oil by an average of nearly 50 percent, offering vehicles better engine protection for only $5 more per month when following a factory-recommended oil change schedule, according to new research from AAA.
The association reports that switching from a conventional oil to a synthetic oil will cost the average driver $64 more per year, or an extra $5.33 per month. A survey of AAA’s Approved Auto Repair facilities shows that the average cost of a conventional oil change is $38, while a synthetic oil change costs $70. And, for those who change their vehicles’ oil themselves, the average cost of 5 quarts of conventional oil is roughly $28, while synthetic oil is $45.
AAA’s research also shows that 83 percent of service professionals select synthetic oil for their personal vehicles. “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,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of automotive engineering and repair.
“It’s understandable that drivers may be skeptical of any service that is nearly twice the cost of the alternative,” Nielsen added. “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 reports that its engine oil research focused on eight industry-standard American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) tests to evaluate the quality of both synthetic and conventional engine oil in terms of shear stability, deposit formation, volatility, cold-temperature “pumpability,” oxidation resistance and oxidation-induced rheological changes. At the time of testing, all tested oils were licensed by the American Petroleum Institute and advertised to meet the International Lubricants Standardization & Approval Committee’s GF-5 specifications, according to AAA.