What's the ideal synthetic oil change interval? You've probably heard that one of the benefits of using synthetics is that the synthetic oil change frequency is less than that of regular motor oil but how much exactly are we talking about?
As always, you really want to start by checking with your vehicle owner's manual to see what sort of oil your vehicle recommends and stick with that in most cases. In some cases vehicles might require synthetic oil so you may not really have a choice but if you're thinking about using a synthetic motor oil in place of regular dino oil, you'll tend to get the most benefits from synthetics if you:
1. Regularly drive at high speeds i.e. your high speed driving frequency is very high.
2. You live in an extreme climate where you regularly experience very cold and/or very hot temperatures.
If this is the case, a synthetic oil might be worth the extra cost over regular oil.
In the old days, car makers and pretty much anyone associated with the oil business told you that regular oil needed to be changed every 3,000 miles or 3 months whichever came first.
Then in the past few years, companies like GM and Ford have begun suggesting that changing regular oil every 7,500 miles was appropriate and that research had showed that the newer engines and advances in the oil itself had contributed to this increased oil change interval as far as regular oil was concerned.
Interestingly, the new Hyundai Santa Fe that I bought this year recommends oil changes every 6 months or around every 4,000 miles so significantly less than the GM and Ford figure.
Which brings us to the question of the recommended synthetic oil change interval since again, the increased lifespan of synthetic motor oil is one of the main benefits that the synthetics manufacturers use to sell their products.
Depending on the brand itself and based on what I'm reading, the ideal synthetic oil change interval is around 5,000-7,000 miles depending on depending on your driving conditions, weather conditions and other factors. If you're driving under extreme conditions like frequent high speed driving and/or very cold or hot conditions regularly, you might find that your oil synthetic change frequency is at the lower end of this scale but it's still better than what an average regular motor oil will get you these days.
But even because the possible synthetic oil change interval increase over regular oil might not seem worth the extra cost, remember that synthetic oil might offer other benefits too including:
1. Increased fuel efficiency
2. Less engine wear
3. Time savings to you i.e. fewer minutes/hours spent at your garage getting your oil changed.
Afterall, you can't buy time, right?