What are Synthetic Oils?

What is a synthetic lubricant?

A synthetic lubricant contains more highly refined base oils than those used in conventional mineral oils, offering you superior protection and performance. Synthetic engine oils provide a variety of benefits that keep your engine running at optimal performance for years.

To understand synthetic engine oils, let's look at the origins of engine oils.

There are two basic types of lubricants available:

  1. Conventional mineral oils are the traditional types and are still most widely used.
  2. Synthetic lubricants which are steadily growing in popularity.

Both types are made from crude oil that comes from the ground. The difference is that synthetic oils are made from more advanced refining processes and are of a higher purity and quality than conventional mineral oils. This not only removes more impurities from the crude oil, it enables individual molecules in the oil to be tailored to the demands of modern engines. These customized molecules provide higher levels of protection and performance.

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What's so good about synthetic lubricants?

The performance of synthetic oils, and in particular Mobil 1™, is more robust, especially in terms of low temperature pumpability and high temperature stability and protection against deposits. These attributes translate directly into less engine wear, increased fuel economy and longer engine life.

Synthetic oils have been developed specifically to cope with extreme conditions found within modern engines. They are much more free-flowing than traditional mineral oils. The biggest benefit is greatly increased engine protection. When an engine is first started, a mineral oil takes some time to circulate, allowing friction between un-lubricated parts to cause wear. In contrast, a synthetic lubricant starts circulating faster, protecting moving parts within the engine.

Synthetic oils can also significantly improve fuel economy. During the warm-up period of a typical car journey, mineral oils are thicker and move slower, making the engine thirstier and less efficient. Because synthetics get to work much quicker, the engine reaches peak operating efficiency that much sooner.

Another advantage of synthetics is that they're cleaner and environmentally-friendlier - helping to cut engine emissions when compared to conventional mineral oils. Conventional mineral oils also contain greater amounts of impurities, such as sulfur, reactive and unstable hydrocarbons and other undesirable contaminants that cannot be completely removed by conventional refining of crude oil.

In all these important respects, synthetic lubricants easily outperform mineral oils. As a 100% synthetic oil, Mobil 1 offers significant advantages over conventional engine oils, such as:

  • Outstanding protection
  • Minimizing oil degradation
  • Faster lubrication at start-up in low temperatures
  • Excellent protection at high temperatures
  • Exceptional resistance to thermal breakdown
  • Engine cleanliness
  • Outstanding protection against harmful deposits
  • Cleaner running engines
  • Engine efficiency
  • Greater resistance to oil oxidation (thickening), which reduces engine drag
  • Lower oil consumption under high-speed conditions
  • More efficient engine operation over a wider temperature range
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