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Q: Synthetic oil

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Just bought this car from dealer. Is it safe to run synthetic oil in it. 9 years old with only 75000 on it when I bought it. Any risk of causing oil leaks?

My car has 80000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: At your next oil and filter change you shou...

At your next oil and filter change you should definitely use synthetic oil. Although existing leaks will leak at some greater rate when using synthetic oils versus purely mineral based (aka, "conventional" oil), the amount is meaningless in most seal locations and in most circumstances. The potential for a leak is due to the smaller size of the molecules in synthetic versus conventional oils. However, synthetic oil cannot possibly cause or otherwise mechanically enlarge a leak. In any event, any "distinction" is meaningless simply because if you put synthetic oil in a car and you can see a leak from a seal it was most decidedly leaking anyway with regular oil and so would have to be repaired regardless of the oil "type" you are using.

In your specific case, with a relatively newer car and low miles on the engine, this possibility of a leak is probably not at least for a while, although you are getting close to the time frame when just due to rubber aging (over time, not mileage related), leaks will start developing anyway. The bottom line is you can and should use synthetic oil in your circumstances due to its huge advantages in physical properties and potential to lengthen the service life of your engine and even seemingly unrelated parts like oxygen sensors and the catalytic converters (synthetics don’t have the sulfur and other elemental contaminants that mineral oil has).

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