Should I Use Synthetic Oil in My High Mileage Car?

Naomi O'Colman

Should I Use Synthetic Oil in My High Mileage Car?

Should I Use Synthetic Oil in My High Mileage Car?

You’ll find a massive wall of lubricant if you walk down the oil section of a normal auto-parts store. Some claim to make engines run cleaner, while others boast about increased fuel efficiency and still others claim to improve performance. But, if you drive a well-used car, the question becomes, “Should I Use Synthetic Oil in My High Mileage Car?”

Simply said, synthetic oil is generally safe to use in older or high-mileage engines. It protects, performs, and lasts longer than conventional oil, and it is no longer created with a chemical ingredient that may harm older automobiles.

Synthetic Oil vs. Conventional Oil

Conventional oil is created from crude oil that has been processed to reduce the viscosity to the appropriate level. Manufacturers can bake extra compounds into the oil to help with lubrication, lowering the risk of metal-on-metal interaction inside the motor.

Synthetic oils, however, are developed in a lab and prepared under strict conditions. A manufacturer’s own witches’ brew of materials, additives, and chemicals are commonly added to a crude oil by-product as the base.

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This has a number of benefits, not the least of which is the capacity to cope better with temperature variations.  Synthetic qualities also provide additional stability in cold weather that is continuous.

Should I Use Synthetic Oil in My High Mileage Car?

The assumption that synthetic oil would react negatively with the rubber seals of a high-mileage engine, leading them to wear down and spring leaks where none existed earlier was once a prevalent justification against converting to synthetic oil in an older car. The synthetic oil’s viscosity features were blamed for this, since they were supposed to allow the lubricant to discover small gaps in the seals and gaskets of an aging engine, causing fresh leaks.

Synthetic oil was once thought to be unsuitable for older engines, owing to additives in synthetic lubricants that can harm seals and gaskets. While this is true for some vehicles, it primarily relates to what is now known as vintage cars, or vehicles built before the 1990s.

To clear this argument, new oil was introduced to the market: High-mileage oil.

The new oil is developed exclusively for high-mileage vehicles with engines that have more than 120,000 kilometers on them. It’s fully synthetic engine oil that’s been particularly developed to withstand oil degradation, prevent sludge, and eliminate leaks in high-mileage engines.  That final point used to be the sole justification for avoiding using synthetic oil in an older engine, but it seems to have been tossed aside like yesterday’s trash.

Synthetics are now designed to be interchangeable with their natural equivalents. If a motorist decides to use synthetic oil for six months to a year, it is now feasible to go back to conventional oil after using synthetic for a while.

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Companies often provide a synthetic blend oil, which is a combination of traditional and synthetic oils, to help offset the high cost of complete synthetic oil. This gives traditional oil some of the advantages of synthetics, but at a cheaper cost.

What Are the Benefits of High-mileage Oil?

In general, high-mileage oil will cost a little more than regular oil, but if your automobile has been around for a couple of decades, the benefits may be well worth the extra cost.

The above-mentioned seal conditioners, for example, can be quite effective. After two oil changes, the leaking is gone.  In addition, if an engine’s valve-guide seals have failed, the conditioners contained in high-mileage lubricants can assist in reducing seepage past these components.


“Should I use synthetic oil in my high mileage car?” Well, you can. Synthetic oil can be used in older vehicles but consider the extra cost. Even if you have to spend a few additional cash at each oil change, servicing an older vehicle and keeping it rolling down the road for years is money in the account compared to a monthly car payment.