How Long Does Synthetic Oil Last?

Oil is an important element that keeps a car engine running through a process of internal combustion. That lubricant can be synthetic or conventional oil and the former has the edge over the latter. But how long does synthetic oil last? Is the oil change interval similar to its traditional counterpart, or has a longer lifespan?

The engines in some older vehicles may not be compatible with synthetic oil, but newer engines are engineered for it. In fact, many manufacturers recommend using this oil to keep the warranty coverage valid.

Synthetic Oil Basics

What is Synthetic Oil?

Many new drivers cannot tell the difference between synthetic oil and normal oil, so here is the definition: Synthetic oil is a lubricant which is created artificially from chemical combinations. Some people create this oil by combining raw materials, while others chemically change conventional oil to produce synthetic oil.

Synthetic oil is the most expensive of all types of lubricants used for running the engine. It has a longer lifespan and provides protection against heat, erosion, and sludge. There is also a synthetic blend that offers better performance than conventional oil and costs less than pure synthetic oil.


By combining a group of high quality base oils that are purity and viscosity, chemists also add many extra chemicals such as: Antioxidants, detergents, anti-foaming additives, viscosity index improvers,… 

By doing this, the synthetic oil has many outstanding features, along with oil characteristics from the quality base oils and various quantities from chemical components. This also provides cleanliness which is an enemy for contamination. 

How Long Does Synthetic Oil Last?

Synthetic oil is the most expensive of all types of lubricants used for running the engine. It has a longer lifespan and provides protection against heat, erosion, and sludge. There is also a synthetic blend that offers better performance than conventional oil and costs less than pure synthetic oil.

So, how long does synthetic oil last? Well, the additives and detergents in it make sure an extended life. It wears out at a slow rate because its chemical base makes it thick at low temperature and thin at high temperature.

synthetic oil vs conventional oil
Synthetic oil is better than conventional lubricant. (Photo Source: pixabay)

Depending on the brands, synthetic oil can last for 5,000 to 15,000 miles. Some companies like Mobil 1 and Royal Purple offer better products than other brands.

Remember that the life expectancy of synthetic oil depends not only on the additives present in it but also a few other factors like resistance to oxidation and viscosity tolerance at various temperatures.


What Is The Oil Change Interval For Synthetic Oil?

Most car servicing businesses recommend changing oil at every 3,000 miles. The truth is that the rule is nothing but a marketing gimmick. Older formulations of mineral-based oil may need to maintain that changing routine, but it does not apply to the engine lubricants these days. Even conventional oil offers a longer lifespan.

The oil changing schedule of synthetic oil is at least one year or 5,000 miles. However, it really depends on the car model, oil quality, and brand. For example, Kia and Hyundai models with a turbocharged engine need to change the oil at every 5,000 miles while the oil used for Toyota and Jaguar vehicles can last up to 10,000 and 15,000 miles, respectively.

Considering brands for automotive lubrication products, Mobil 1 is on top with a high-performance oil with an extended lifespan. It lasts up to 15,000 miles given you are using a premium oil filter, and the engine is compatible with this lubricant.

How long does synthetic oil last
Oil change interval is longer than regular oil. (Photo Source: shuttershock)

Factors That Shorten The Life Of Engine Oil

How long does synthetic oil last? You already know the answer. But there are several factors that can cut that lifespan short. Synthetic oil may not perform to your expectation for these following factors:

  • The engine in older vehicles. Engines in newer cars are more compatible with synthetic oil.
  • Performance vehicles. Performance-based engines require more oil changes they burn the fuel at a faster rate.
  • Driving style. Rough driving and aggressive acceleration shorten the life of engine oil.
  • Hauling heavy stuff. The engine works harder when you are towing cargo around.
  • Extreme climate conditions. Extreme cold and heat puts more strain on the oil.

FAQs about Synthetic Oil

How many miles can you go on full synthetic oil?

You can go full synthetic oil for around 7,500 miles. The automobile manufacturers recommend going around 6000 to 7500 miles with normal oil, yet synthetic oil lifespan can be extended to around 7,500 miles. So 7,500 miles is the close answer for the question of how long can you go on synthetic oil.

How many months does synthetic oil last?

How long does full synthetic oil last is one of the most common questions for drivers. The synthetic oil can last for six months or from 10,000 to 15,000 miles.

Is it bad to go 7000 miles without an oil change?

Even though synthetic oil can last longer than 7000 miles, normal oils need to be changed from 7000 to 8000 miles since oil will be dirty and sluggy over time. Worn out oil will drop the cooling function, as well as affect the engine’s internal. 

Will synthetic oil cause leaks?

If the seals and gaskets are perfect, the synthetic oil will never leak in your engine. Synthetic oil will not create the leaks or damage the engine’s seal. However, just like any type of oil, it can find an existing leak.  

Can you use regular oil after synthetic?

This depends on the condition of your current engine, along with the oil being used. However, changing between synthetic oil and conventional oil will not affect the automobile. By using synthetic oils, car owners can protect the engine much better than conventional oils.

Does synthetic oil add horsepower?

Yes. Synthetic oils not only provide engine wear protection, it also raises horsepower because of their abilities of decreasing friction. Compared with conventional oil, synthetic oil resists better to heat. 

Do you have to change synthetic oil every year?

It depends on the mile range in that year: Manufacturers recommend to change synthetic-oil after 7500 to 10,000 miles. So if you are not driving a lot, it is not necessary to change oil every year.  

Which is better synthetic or mineral oil?

Both synthetic and mineral oil are both superior types of oil that every car owner can trust. So it is recommended to understand their technical characteristics. Overall, mineral oil will shorten oil change intervals, as well as increase the oil consumption. On the other hand, synthetic oil meets all the requirements from new to older cars. For that reason, synthetic oil is better.