43699515 - motor oil symbolWhen you get your oil changed, it’s likely that you’re presented with a menu of options. Most often there’s conventional and synthetic. So what’s the difference — and does it matter?

The answer largely depends on your driving habits and geographic location. Synthetic oil protects better for long commutes as well as colder climates. (Think the Midwest and East Coast.) Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. That’s because it lubricates better — there’s less friction. The end result is improved wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. Not a bad deal, right?

Still not sold on the merits of synthetic? Synthetic oil can cover you for longer intervals, in effect saving you time and money. Talk with your service advisor to see what type of oil will serve your vehicle the best. Also ask about the appropriate oil change schedule for synthetic so you can plan accordingly.

One caveat: synthetic oil costs more. But don’t discount the other benefits, as it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. Look at the big picture. If you’re serious about extending the life of your vehicle, synthetic motor oil might be just the ticket. Regardless of type of oil, know that a consistent maintenance schedule is critical to your vehicle’s lifespan.