Additionally, Newman says that synthetics have lower volatility and therefore do not boil off or vaporize as quickly as petroleum motor oils. Synthetics lose from four to 10 percent of their mass in the high heat conditions of internal combustion engines, whereas petroleum-based oils lose up to 20 percent, he says. Economically, however, synthetics are more than three times the cost of petroleum oils, and whether or not they are worth the difference is the subject of frequent, inconclusive debate among auto enthusiasts.
But before deciding for yourself, consult your car’s owner’s manual regarding what the manufacturer recommends for your model. You can void your car’s warranty if the manufacturer requires one type of oil and you put in another. For instance, some Chevrolet Corvettes require synthetic motor oil only.
While synthetics seem to be the lesser of two evils for now, some promising new alternatives derived from vegetable products are coming of age. A pilot project at Purdue University, for example, has produced motor oil from canola crops that outperforms both traditional and synthetic oils with regard to both performance and production price, not to mention greatly lessened environmental impact. Despite the benefits, though, mass production of such bio-based oils would probably not be feasible, as it would require setting aside large amounts of agricultural land that could otherwise be used for food crops. But such oils may have a place as niche players as the worldwide market for petroleum products diversifies due to dwindling reserves and related geo-political tensions.
CONTACTS: NJ AMSOIL Motor Oil Dealer
; Purdue Research on Canola-based Motor Oils,
Article republished with rights from http://www.emagazine.com
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