Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Synthetic oil

asked by on

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).

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Bought new tire and value stem week later svc tire monitor light came on

The TPMS will need to be checked to see if the new sensor is not working or there is another sensor failure. you may have a low tire or failed sensor. Once the system is checked again the if the...

Q: Ignition column popped out

Hi. It will depend on the damage done. Most likely the steering column is ok, it is the ignition lock cylinder, the housing, and the switch that have probably sustained damage and these items will need to be replaced. My...

Q: What side of the car is the fuel door on?

Different cars have fuel doors on different sides, so it can be hard to remember which side of the vehicle your fuel door is on. The fuel gauge is designed to help you remember where your fuel door is. On...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...