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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Steeering wheel is hard to turn like theres no power steering.

Hello. The symptoms you are describing can be caused by a few different things. If your vehicle was recently stuck in the mud then it may be possible that one of the suspension or steering linkage components was damaged and...

Q: Will not attempt to start. Engine has spark. Also noticed oil was in the intake tube.

Hi there. Check to see if the fuel injectors are working. You can back probe them with a digital meter and see if the voltage is being metered. If the injectors are working, then check the crankshaft position sensor and...

Q: valves rattling bad

This could be caused by a variety of things such as excessive valve clearance or a push rod lifter that is not working correctly. This can require an extensive amount of time and diagnostic work. I would recommend having an...

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...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...