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Breaking Down Standard vs Synthetic Oil

Recently in this space, we covered some of the basics of changing your Sprinter’s oil from home. While these are the kinds of services we can easily help you with at our Warner Vans of Utah fleet shop if you aren’t comfortable managing them from home, we’re also here to support you if you have the handy skills to do this task on your own.

One common question we get from our clients in both these situations: What is the right kind of oil to use for my custom Sprinter van? In fact, some people aren’t even aware there are distinctly different oil types. Generally, the types are split into two categories: Standard oil and synthetic oil. Let’s look at why your oil is important to begin with, plus whether you should consider standard or synthetic for your Sprinter.


Why Oil is Important

The primary purpose of motor oil in any vehicle is to lubricate the engine, which contains several components that create friction and may wear down as a result. Oil also helps to cool various parts of the engine, which can become quite hot during standard operation. Through this lubrication and cooling, oil keeps parts interacting smoothly while preventing the engine from overheating. Bad oil, though, can leave parts creating too much friction during their normal operation, which can both wear them down and cause overheating.


Standard vs. Synthetic Oil

Here’s a basic definition of each oil type:

  • Standard oil: Also called conventional oil, standard motor oil is made using a refinement process of crude oil. Several additives are used in standard oil to change its viscosity.
  • Synthetic oil: Synthetic oil is also refined from crude oil, but the cleaning process here is more detailed. As a result, synthetic oil flows better at a variety of temperatures, meaning it has a better viscosity. In addition, it contains fewer contaminants that contribute to engine sludge.

These facts are particularly relevant in places like Utah, where temperatures can get very high during the summer. Synthetic oil brings a lower overheating risk to engines that may already be on high alert here.


Long-Term Savings

So, you might be wondering after reading the above section, why does anyone still use standard oil if synthetic is more beneficial? Well, because standard oil is cheaper. But here’s the thing: If you take a long view on your vehicle expenses, this actually isn’t the case.

It’s true that standard oil will cost you a few dollars less for the same quantity, but standard oil also has to be changed much more often. When you combine this with the major engine benefits provided by synthetic oil, which increase efficiency and lifespan of numerous engine components, there’s actually no question that synthetic oil costs you less in the long run.

For more on oil choice, or to learn about any of our custom Sprinter vans, speak to the pros at Warner Vans of Utah today.

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