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Motor Oil Comparison – Conventional vs Synthetic Blend vs Full Synthetic

If you’ve ever wondered about the best motor oil for your beloved vehicle, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re diving deep into the world of motor oils, comparing three popular choices: conventional, synthetic blend, and full synthetic. We’ll break down the differences, pros, and cons of each type, helping you make an informed decision when it’s time for your next oil change. Whether you’re a DIY auto enthusiast or just want to know what’s best for your ride, we’ve got you covered. So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfy, and let’s unravel the mysteries of motor oil together!

Types of Motor Oil

a. Conventional Oil

Conventional motor oil, also known as mineral oil, is derived from crude oil and contains natural impurities. It provides basic lubrication for engines and is cost-effective. However, it typically requires more frequent oil changes compared to synthetic options due to its shorter lifespan and limited resistance to extreme temperatures.

b. Synthetic Blend Oil

Synthetic blend motor oil is a mixture of conventional and synthetic oils. It offers a balance between the affordability of conventional oil and the enhanced performance and protection of full synthetic oil. This type of oil provides improved engine protection under various driving conditions and extended oil change intervals compared to conventional oil.

c. Full Synthetic Oil

Full synthetic motor oil is a highly refined, lab-engineered lubricant designed to offer superior performance and protection. It boasts excellent resistance to extreme temperatures, reduced friction, and improved fuel efficiency. Full synthetic oil provides optimal engine protection and is recommended for modern engines, high-performance vehicles, and those operating in challenging conditions, although it tends to be more expensive than conventional or synthetic blend oils.

1. Conventional Motor Oil


  • Derived from crude oil and contains natural impurities.
  • Provides basic engine lubrication.
  • Typically requires more frequent oil changes.
  • Limited resistance to extreme temperatures.
  • Generally cost-effective compared to synthetic options.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Cost-effective
  • Widely available
  • Suitable for older engines
  • Simplicity in formulation
  • Easy disposal and recycling
  • Requires more frequent oil changes
  • Limited resistance to extreme temperatures
  • Contains natural impurities
  • May not offer the same level of protection as synthetic or synthetic blend oils

Average Cost

The average cost of conventional motor oil can vary depending on factors such as the brand, viscosity grade, and packaging size. Generally, a standard 5-quart jug of conventional motor oil can cost anywhere from $15 to $30 at most retail outlets. However, prices may fluctuate based on regional differences, promotional offers, and specific automotive store pricing. It’s important for vehicle owners to consider both the upfront cost of the oil and the frequency of oil changes required when evaluating the overall expense of using conventional motor oil in their vehicles.

2. Synthetic Blend Motor Oil


  • Mixture of conventional and synthetic oils.
  • Offers improved engine protection compared to conventional oil.
  • Enhanced resistance to extreme temperatures.
  • Provides better fuel efficiency and engine cleanliness.
  • Typically more affordable than full synthetic oil.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Improved engine protection
  • Enhanced resistance to extremes
  • Better fuel efficiency
  • Engine cleanliness
  • Extended oil change intervals
  • Not as robust as full synthetic oil
  • More expensive than conventional oil
  • May not offer the same benefits as full synthetic oil
  • Limited performance in high-stress conditions

Average Cost

The average cost of synthetic blend motor oil can vary depending on factors such as the brand, viscosity grade, and the size of the container. Generally, a standard 5-quart jug of synthetic blend motor oil falls in the price range of $20 to $40, making it a middle-ground option between conventional and full synthetic oils. While it offers some of the benefits of full synthetic oil at a more affordable price point, it’s important for vehicle owners to consider both the initial cost and the longer oil change intervals that synthetic blend oil allows, as this can impact the overall cost of maintenance for their vehicles.

3. Full Synthetic Motor Oil


  • Lab-engineered from pure chemicals.
  • Superior protection against extreme temperatures.
  • Reduced friction for improved engine efficiency.
  • Enhanced resistance to wear and deposits.
  • Extended oil change intervals.
  • Ideal for modern engines and high-performance vehicles.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Superior engine protection
  • Excellent resistance to extremes
  • Reduced friction for better efficiency
  • Extended oil change intervals
  • Enhanced engine cleanliness
  • Ideal for modern and high-performance engines
  • Higher upfront cost
  • Potentially unnecessary for some vehicles
  • Less environmentally friendly to produce

Average Cost

The average cost of full synthetic motor oil can vary based on several factors, including the brand, viscosity grade, and packaging size. Generally, a standard 5-quart jug of full synthetic motor oil ranges from $25 to $45 at most retail outlets. Some premium or specialized synthetic oils may be priced higher. While full synthetic oil tends to have a higher upfront cost compared to conventional or synthetic blend oils, it often offers longer oil change intervals and superior engine protection, potentially leading to cost savings in the long run and improved engine performance, making it a preferred choice for many modern and high-performance vehicles.

How To Pick The Right Oil For You?

Choosing the right motor oil for your vehicle is crucial for maintaining its performance and longevity. To pick the right oil for your specific needs, follow these steps:

  • Check Your Vehicle’s Owner’s Manual: Start by consulting your vehicle’s owner’s manual. It will specify the recommended oil viscosity grade and oil type for your engine. This information is essential for ensuring compatibility and optimal performance.
  • Consider Your Driving Conditions: Assess your typical driving conditions. If you regularly drive in extreme temperatures, such as very cold winters or scorching summers, you may need oil with specific viscosity and performance properties.
  • Understand Oil Types: Familiarize yourself with the different types of motor oil, including conventional, synthetic blend, and full synthetic. Each type has its own advantages and price points. Choose the one that aligns with your budget and performance expectations.
  • Determine Viscosity Grade: Select the appropriate viscosity grade (e.g., 5W-30, 10W-40) based on your vehicle’s requirements and the prevailing climate. Lower numbers indicate better flow in cold temperatures, while higher numbers provide better protection in high-temperature conditions.
  • Consider High-Mileage Oil: If your vehicle has a high mileage (typically over 75,000 miles or 120,000 kilometers), consider using high-mileage motor oil, which contains additives to address the wear and tear associated with older engines.
  • Follow Manufacturer Recommendations: If your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends a specific brand or oil formulation, it’s advisable to follow those guidelines to ensure warranty compliance and optimal engine performance.
  • Consult with a Mechanic: If you’re uncertain about which oil to choose or if your vehicle has unique requirements, consult with a trusted mechanic or automotive professional for personalized recommendations.
  • Be Mindful of Your Budget: While high-quality oils can offer superior performance, they may come at a higher cost. Consider your budget when selecting the right oil and weigh the benefits of longer oil change intervals against the initial expense.
  • Regularly Monitor Oil Levels: Once you’ve selected the appropriate oil, make sure to regularly check your oil levels and adhere to the recommended oil change intervals to maintain engine health.

By following these steps and staying informed about your vehicle’s needs, you can choose the right motor oil that will help keep your engine running smoothly and efficiently.


In conclusion, when it comes to choosing the right motor oil, it’s all about finding the perfect balance between your vehicle’s needs and your budget. Conventional oil is the economical choice that gets the job done, while synthetic blend oil offers a bit more protection without breaking the bank. And if you’re looking for top-notch performance and extended oil change intervals, full synthetic is the way to go. Each type has its merits, but what’s most important is staying consistent with oil changes and following your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. Remember, a well-maintained engine is a happy one, ensuring you enjoy many more miles of smooth, trouble-free driving. So, keep your engines running and your wheels turning!

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