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Q: I was told that Nissan Altima requires synthetic oil and If I use any other it might damage system. Is that true? 2013 Nissan Altima

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Just want an oil change and mechanic says my Nissan Altima 2013 requires synthetic oil. Any other might damage system. Is that true?

My car has 90000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there - synthetic oil is NOT required for this engine (VQ35DE). As long as the oil is 5W-30 weight oil, with an API designation of "SN" (this will be on each quart/gallon container), the oil meets Nissan requirements (Owners Manual, Pg. 9-5, 9-6). For assistance with oil & filter changes, I recommend an engine oil & filter service performed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, and give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

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There are several schools of thought on this topic. While many can attest that synthetic oils can reduce friction and extend oil life, others prefer not to use synthetics in engines that have run on conventional oils for most of their lives, and then moving to synthetic. It is always best, in my opinion, to continue to use the factory recommended oil. If the factory calls for conventional, use conventional, and if it calls for synthetic, stick with synthetic. There can be problems caused by switching from one to the other, such as causing the oil to foam/aerate, and keeping the oil from being able to supply lubrication. Also, when switching oils, the particular additives in one oil may not necessarily be compatible with the additives in the other oil, and can cause a myriad of problems. If you feel that you still want to try changing from one to the other, I would suggest contacting customer service for the manufacturer of the oil you would like to switch to and ask them about any possible problems that can occur, and if they have any recommendations.

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