AAA research shows benefits of synthetic oil over conventional oil

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Synthetic oil may cost more at your next oil change, but it could save you money in the long run according to new research from AAA.

In an independent evaluation, AAA found that synthetic oil outperformed conventional oil by an average of nearly 50 percent. AAA says the synthetic oil offers vehicles significantly better engine protection for only $5 per month more when following recommended oil change schedules.

“Oil protects critical engine components from damage and AAA found that synthetic engine oils performed an average of 47 percent better than conventional oils in a variety of industry-standard tests,” said Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “With its superior resistance to deterioration, AAA’s findings indicate that synthetic oil is particularly beneficial to newer vehicles with turbo-charged engines and for vehicles that frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic, tow heavy loads or operate in extreme hot or cold conditions.”

On average, switching to synthetic oil will cost $64 more per year, which equates to an extra $5.33 per month.

A survey of AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities, the average cost of a conventional oil change is $38, while a synthetic oil change runs $70.

AAA's survey found that 83% of service professionals select synthetic oil for their personal vehicles.

“It’s understandable that drivers may be skeptical of any service that is nearly twice the cost of the alternative,” continued Blumling. “While manufacturer-approved conventional oil will not harm a vehicle’s engine, the extra $30 per oil change could actually save money in the long run by protecting critical engine components over time.”

AAA’s engine oil research focused on eight industry-standard ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) tests to evaluate the quality of both synthetic and conventional engine oils.

Those oils were tested in terms of shear stability, deposit formation, volatility, cold-temperature pumpability, oxidation resistance, and oxidation-induced rheological changes.

AAA says when selecting an oil, it is critical to reference the vehicle’s owner’s manual to ensure that the oil meets the exact specifications for that particular engine.

You can read the full report from AAA here