Understanding Engine Oils: Synthetic vs. Conventional

In the realm of engine oils, the distinctions between synthetic and conventional types are key to optimizing engine performance. Synthetic oils are crafted from more highly refined base oils, which results in fewer impurities and better performance across temperature extremes. They exhibit a higher Viscosity Index (VI), indicating more stable viscosity changes with temperature fluctuations. This stability translates to superior performance at both low and high temperatures, allowing oils like Shell Rotella T6 to maintain better low-temperature pumpability.

For specific operating conditions, synthetic oils are particularly beneficial due to their enhanced oxidation stability, which extends oil life, especially under severe high-temperature engine conditions. These oils are ideal for operating in extreme hot and cold temperatures, requiring extended oil drain intervals, or prioritizing fuel efficiency.

Synthetic blend oils, such as Shell Rotella T5, offer a middle ground between conventional and full synthetic oils. They provide enhanced protection and fuel economy, making them suitable for vehicle fleets operating over wide ambient temperature ranges and for those adhering to most OEM recommendations. These blends combine the best of both oil types to suit diverse operating environments.