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GTO 8th October 2006 22:03

ARTICLE: Synthetic oil vs Mineral oil
Synthetic engine oil offers far superior lubrication as compared to conventional mineral-based oil. Mineral engine oil is almost entirely natural while synthetic oil is the product of chemical preparation with carefully perfected formulae. Most brands of synthetic oil include performance-enhancing additives like polyalphaolefin (PAO), synthetic esters and alkylated aromatics. The molecules of synthetic oil are also more consistent in size and shape than those of natural oil. The master of automotive engineering - Porsche - was the first car manufacturer to factory-fill its engines with synthetic oil before delivery.

Team-BHP highly recommends synthetic oil as your engine lubricant. The most popular brand of this oil is Mobil1, which is known to offer outstanding protection under all operating conditions. Synthetic oil maintains consistent viscosity even in very high heat and, since most engine wear occurs at start-up, works to offer more lubrication at this crucial stage. The bottom line is that synthetic oil use leads to longer life, more efficiency and enhanced performance for your engine. Some tests have also indicated a marginal increase in power. My Honda City Vtec has covered 75,000 kms on Mobil 1, and the engine still feels like new. Despite frequent doses of enjoyable high-revving to the red line.

Here is the Team-BHP guide to using synthetic engine oil:

No synthetics during the running-in period: Wear and tear is actually good for a new engine. Synthetic oil, with its superior lubricating properties, hinders the running-in process and is best used only after 10,000 – 15,000 km.

The right grade: It is vital that you choose your engine oil based on the grade your manufacturer recommends. If your owner’s manual suggests a 10W–40 grade oil, make certain that you use that only.

Engine flush before change: We suggest using an engine flush before switching from conventional to synthetic oil. Please be advised that some older / high-mileage engines do not take well to engine flushing, so it is best to check with a competent mechanic before proceeding.

Extended oil change intervals?: Even though most synthetic oil brands boast of extended oil change intervals, Team-BHP recommends that you still change your engine oil every 7,500 – 10,000 km. Indian driving conditions put a lot of stress on your engine with low average speeds, bumper-to-bumper traffic and harsh environmental conditions.

The right filter: It is surprising how many counterfeit auto parts are on the market. Use only high-quality OEM oil filters, preferably bought from authorized service stations. You must change your oil filter with every oil change.

Diesel engines: Diesel engines benefit as much from synthetic oil as petrol engines. However, and especially for diesel engines, it is very important for you to match the synthetic oil grade with the one recommended by your manufacturer. Some synthetic lubes may have very high petrol engine standards, but not necessarily so for the diesels.

Semi-synthetic oil: This oil is a blend of synthetic and mineral oil and is targeted at the value-conscious market. Though it offers some of the benefits of fully synthetic oil at a lower price, fully-synthetics offer far superior performance and protection.

Cost: The only real disadvantage to synthetic oil is that it is more expensive than mineral oil. We feel that the protective advantage of synthetic oil makes it well worth the price.

Additional recommended read :

jkdas 8th October 2006 22:23

Recommended grade for each car and the brand available along with this would be great.
Local shops maybe technically ignorant and hence details about it would be helpful when one goes for it.

black12rr 8th October 2006 22:50

Sorry if i am interrupting ,a mineral oil cost (afaik in motorcycles ) costs 1/5 th price the synthetic oils , i feel its better to change the oil for example 5 or 3 times for the price of the synthetic oil(for the same interval) , your engine gets fresh oil every time .I feel ,the amount of carbon increases with time and a fresh oil is good than superior oil for long time .
Can sometime prove( with respect to indian cars/bikes senarios/environment/driving conditions/fuel/parts..etc) that synthetic are better than mineral and is the cost factor worth its usage.over.


goldsun 9th October 2006 06:38

What other brands of synthetic oils are available in the market? I am not sure if I am using synthetic oil. How about the manufacturers, are they recommend synthetic oils / mineral oils?

More information on various brands and manufacturer recommendations will be useful here.

nitrous 9th October 2006 11:27


What other brands of synthetic oils are available in the market? I am not sure if I am using synthetic oil.
Almost every major oil brand has synthetic oil in their product list.
The ones i've come across in India are Mobil1,OWS,Shell helix ultra,...

yogi1771 9th October 2006 18:50

the point raised by black12rr is a good one whats the take on this by the experts

1self 9th October 2006 19:35


great article man!! all vehicle enthusiasts should read this & the online notes. new vehicles will specially benifit from synthetic oils after the run-in. but, does free service involve the use of this oil (i don't think so)? do we have to specifically ask for this? how can one be sure?

heelntoe 9th October 2006 19:55

judt buy a bottle of synthetic oil and give it the the service center and tell them to flush the engine before they put the synthetic oil in(if you are using mineral oil)

nitrous 9th October 2006 22:29


the point raised by black12rr is a good one whats the take on this by the experts
We feel that the protective advantage of synthetic oil makes it well worth the price.

WasavaTyres 9th October 2006 22:32

If I want to do it myself how do i flush the engine ?? i.e any known brands or products for the same ?? Also How's Shell semi-synthetic vis-a-vis Mobil 1 ??

nitrous 9th October 2006 22:48


Originally Posted by WasavaTyres
If I want to do it myself how do i flush the engine ?? i.e any known brands or products for the same ?? Also How's Shell semi-synthetic vis-a-vis Mobil 1 ??

Engine oil flush is available in many brands like STP,OWS,etc...
To flush the engine, add the engine flush in the current engine oil and run the engine for 20 minutes. Then, drain the old engine oil and fill the engine with the synthetic oil. Simple :)

sharathjeppu 10th October 2006 04:38

Couple of Quick questions.

1. Do car companies reccommend synthetic oil. Which ones?
2. Does changing the oil from mineral to synthetic affect the manufacturers warranty.
3. Where is it reccommended to get the oil change done? Authorized Service Centers only? or are there specialists who do this job?

Floyd de Souza 10th October 2006 10:09

Car companies insist that you use the right grade of oil i.e. oil with the minimum API rating and correct viscosity. Whether you use synthetic or mineral, the choice is completely yours. There should not be any warranty issues. In my opinion, we tend to be over passionate and over zealous when it comes to us enthusiasts taking care of our cars. The synthetic vs. mineral debate has been going on ever since the first synthetic oil was formulated but no one has been able to give concrete proof of synthetic being better than mineral under normal driving conditions.

Synthetic has been proven to be better than mineral when you do high mileage (30 k kms+/yr) or you drive in extreme conditions. If you drive around 15 k kms/yr and keep your car for max 4-5 yrs then you will get almost the same results by changing the mineral oil more often. Even the FE benefit by using synthetic is too marginal to justify the price. The synthetic oil propaganda by oil companies is meant to increase their margins rather than provide any real benefit to car owners.

prabuddhadg 10th October 2006 10:26

This is a helpful thread and the inuts from Nitrous and Floyd de Souza also help. Thanks GTO and the rest of the guys. In fact before I read this, I had been thinking of getting Synthetic in my new car right from the start. An eye opener.

aZa 10th October 2006 20:31

Guys i'm using Castrol magnatec the engine feels smoother and car doesn't rev for all that long during cold starts. Now since the oil change interval is coming i wanted to know the prices for a fully synthetic oil like mobile1 or helix ?

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