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I have always used mobil 1 but never really understood the difference between regular oil and synthetic, so I looked it up...don't know, thought I'd post maybe other people will find it interesting:

Quoted from: http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/15378/
Synthetic Versus Conventional Oil Viscosity, Temperature, And Horsepower
By Marlan Davis, Photography: Marlan Davis

Synthetic oils, pioneered in the ’70s by Mobil and now available from most major oil companies, take the all-season, multiviscosity approach to the outer limits. Unlike traditional mineral oils that are produced by distillation and further refining of existing crude oil stock, synthetic lubricants are made through chemical reactions. These new oils aren’t synthetic or artificial in the sense that they’re manufactured out of whole cloth--they still have the same natural ingredients found in "real" oil. But in a synthetic lubricant, these ingredients are recombined like a Lego set to yield synthesized-hydrocarbon molecular chains with desirable characteristics and uniformity not found in even the highest-quality traditional motor oils. Typically, the best synthetic oils use a combination of up to three different synthetic base fluids--polyalphaolefin (PAO), synthetic esters, and alkylated aromatics.

Because a synthetic oil’s molecules are much more consistent in size and shape, they are better able to withstand extreme engine temperatures. By contrast, the unstable molecules in conventional oil can easily vaporize or oxidize in extreme heat. Mobil 1 synthetic is said to be capable of protecting engines "at well over 400 degrees F"; in the real world, most racers have no problem running synthetics up to 290 degrees F under prolonged use, but they get really jumpy when a conventional exceeds 270 degrees F.

Because a synthetic oil is chemically produced, there are no contaminants in the oil. By contrast, conventional oils contain small amounts of sulfur, wax, and asphaltic material that can promote detonation as well as varnish and sludge buildup. With no wax, synthetics will flow at much lower temperatures than conventional oils. In fact, synthetic oils are now available with viscosity ratings as low as 0W-30, as in Mobil 1’s new Tri-Synthetic blend or Castrol Formula SLX. These oils flow more than seven times faster than a conventional 5W-30 motor oil during initial start-up, yet at normal operating temperatures act like a regular Grade 30 oil.
 

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That's pretty interesting...I think most people fail to realize that synthetic oils are created from natural ingredients. Unfortunately, there was a lot of opposition in the 1970s (why?), which is when most of the myths and rumors regarding synthetic started. I just don't understand the suspicion around sythetic oil - there are still countless people who think you can't switch to synthetic oil if you started the car with mineral oil, or that you can't mix synthetic and non-synthetic - it's pretty sad that 30-some years after it was developed, people still rely on misconceptions and hearsay to form their own 'opinions'.


By contrast, conventional oils contain small amounts of...wax...
I'm not so sure about this statement, though. An ingredient called Paraffin was used in the refinement of oil by Pennzoil back in the day - and ignorant, misinformed people took this to mean that Pennzoil contains paraffin wax. To this day, people avoid Pennzoil because of the wax myth - so I'm not sure of the validity of that statement. Still, overall, I think the article explains synthetic oils pretty well - at least I found it interesting.
 
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