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Honda vehicles are exceptional models that are built for longevity and performance. However, to ensure they do operate at their best and do so for the longest time possible, there are some key maintenance tasks the owner has to be prepared to do. Regularly changing the oil and oil filter or having your local Honda dealership change the oil and oil filter is oe such task. If you just bought a new (or new-to-you) vehicle and are looking to do an oil change for the first time, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of oil selection available in the parts department. Vehicle oil is generally separated into two categories: conventional and synthetic motor oil. Synthetic motor oil first appeared on the market about fifty years ago and has been causing quite the debate ever since. The following is a look at what to know about synthetic oils and when to use them for your Honda vehicles:

The Basics of How Motor Oils Work

All vehicles, Honda vehicles included, need oil for their engines to operate fully. When you turn on your Honda, the motor oil gets pumped into and throughout the engine's various compartments, thereby lubricating vital components that move and rub against each other. Without motor oil, the delicate components within your engine cannot be lubricated and you risk them either destructively grinding against each other or seizing up, causing irrevocable damage to your engine. You cannot run your Honda without oil even for a day without risking very expensive damages to the engine. 

Understanding Synthetic and Conventional Motor Oil

Conventional motor oils are produced from derivatives of petroleum and non-petroleum based chemical compounds and are blended together with specialty compounds to create an oil with molecules of varying sizes. In contrast, synthetic oils combine as much as three different synthetic base fluids and feature a molecular structure that is consistent in shape and mass. For those non-scientists among us, the important thing to note is that both operate similarly and synthetic motor oils can be used in any engine in which motor oils can normally be used.

So, you may be asking, if they are so similar, what's the point of going synthetic? The answer is longevity. Synthetic motor oils are more durable in general and more specifically resistant to the high temperatures inherent in engine operations, thus their compounds break down much more slowly than conventional oil compounds. This makes it so that Honda vehicles that use synthetic oils can go as much as six months or 5,000 miles before needing another oil change whereas those vehicles using conventional oils generally need a changing every three months or 3,000 miles. 

Because you can go so much longer between oil changes, most people consider synthetic oil to be the best option for both the environment (as you use less oil overall) and for your pocketbook. In fact, most experts, including our own service team, recommend the use of synthetic motor oils for all newer Honda vehicles and performance-oriented vehicles. However, if you have an older or high-mileage vehicle (such as one nearing or surpassing the 100,000-mile mark) then a conventional motor oil may be a better choice for being cheaper and because, as older and more highly worked engines burn oil faster, you'll want to commit to more frequent oil changes anyway. 

Need to Schedule Your Next Oil Change? Contact McGrath City Honda

Is it time for your first or fiftieth oil change? Contact our team today at McGrath City Honda about scheduling your Honda vehicles' next oil changes or to learn about the many other services we offer. 


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