If you’re in the market for a new car, the chances are very, very good that its manufacturer will recommend a synthetic (or at the very least a synthetic-blend) motor oil. The reason automakers are increasingly turning to synthetic motor oil in their cars are many, but for most vehicle manufacturers it comes down to one simple fact: fuel mileage.
You see, synthetic motor oil–especially very thin grades like 5w20 or the 0w20 now recommended in most new Honda and Toyota vehicles–not only protects better than conventional motor oil, it can also provide a small but significant boost in fuel economy.
So, imagine you’re a car manufacturer tasked to meet ever-tighter fuel economy regulations. Even a small 1-2 percent boost in fuel economy achieved via the use of synthetic motor oil is significant when multiplied by the millions of vehicles you sell.
True, synthetic motor oil costs a little more than the stuff you’ve been using during your time behind the wheel, but over the long haul its benefits greatly outweigh its increased cost.
The above was written by Garrett McKinnon and was published in the Spring 2012 edition of Vehicle MD