Mineral Engine Oil Vs. Synthetic: Which Is Better For Engine?

Currently, there are various types of engine oils in the automotive or industrial market. They vary in price, composition, quality, viscosity, and durability. But in the lubrication industry, two types of oils are used.

The two types of oils are mineral oil and synthetic oil, though synthetic oils have particular demand. But many people want to know mineral engine oil vs. synthetic: which is better?

Below we will discuss what they are and their advantages and compare them. Besides this, we will help you choose the most suitable oil for your vehicle.

Mineral Engine Oil Vs. Synthetic

What is Mineral Engine Oil?

From refining crude petroleum, mineral oils are derived. During the refining process, the manufacturer removes natural pollutants and undesirable hydrocarbons. Mineral oil is ideal for older car models. They offer low-cost benefits.

However, these oils flow more slowly through the engine circuit. As a result, it increases fuel consumption and affects engine performance.

Additionally, you should change mineral oil more frequently than synthetic oils. Nevertheless, mineral oil is the quality oil recommended by your automotive manufacturer to a large extent.

Advantages Of Mineral Engine Oils

Almost entirely natural, mineral oil is a crude oil refining process derivative. The coarse by-products obtained after the refining process are used as tar, The carbon-rich materials refined to make petrol and diesel.

Even the residual crude oil contaminated with sulfur and other impurities is used as a base for making mineral oil. The mineral oils advantages are:

  • Mineral oil helps lubricate the engine’s moving parts according to the level of refinement. Moreover, they can work well in different conditions.
  • In fact, they are cheaper than semi-synthetic or synthetic oils.

What Is Synthetic Engine Oil?

Synthetic engine oil is a product of complex chemical transformations performed directly on crude petroleum extracted by drilling. Synthetic oils are manufactured in a laboratory from organic and inorganic base oils.

Yet, it contains a uniform molecular structure and is free of the non-beneficial properties of traditional petroleum oils. Before using vehicles and industry, synthetic oils were first used in fighter jets as aviation oil.

Basically, synthetic oils are mainly suitable for high-performance engines. Additionally, they protect your engine from wear, oxidation, and corrosion and have dispersive properties.

Read: Is Synthetic Oil Flammable?

Advantages Of Synthetic Engine Oils:

When you start the engine, synthetic oils start working immediately. At the same time, a mineral oil engine takes some time to run.

Synthetic oil also has a reputation for keeping engine parts in good condition and stopping engine knocking. Below are some more advantages of synthetic engine oil:

  • Very effective in low or high temperatures.
  • Works better even at high temperatures
  • It prevents the accumulation of engine dirt and keeps engine dust clean.
  • Reduces friction and shock, thereby increasing engine durability.
  • Since it does not dilute quickly, it is less likely to evaporate and works much longer.
  • There are no harmful chemicals because the maximum amount is purified.

Comparison Of Mineral Engine Oil Vs. Synthetic:

Below is a comparison table showing synthetic oil VS mineral engine oil vs. synthetic oil.

Mineral Engine OilSynthetic Engine Oil
Low resistance powerHigh resistance power
Limited high temperatureHave excellent thermal stability
Short re-lubrication periodLong re-lubrication period
Limited low temperatureLow pour point – extremely low temperature
 Moderate performanceHigh performance
Limited biodegradabilityExhibits good biodegradability
Low viscosity indexHigh viscosity index

Check: What Is Viscosity Index Improvers?

Mineral Engine Oil Vs. Synthetic Engine Oil: Which One Is Better?

Both mineral and synthetic oils are excellent in their respective fields. Which one is right for you depends on your car and how you drive it.

For cheap cars, mineral oil will be the best choice. In contrast, you will use synthetic lubricants if you live in cold environments. Though mineral oil is cheap, you need to change this oil more frequently. But if you prefer to keep your oil the same regularly, using synthetic oil is best.

High-mileage cars also perform better if you use synthetic oil. Even with old car models, it is probably not worth investing in high-quality oil. It’s a pivotal point to consider.

Difference Between Mineral vs. Synthetic Oil Motorcycle:

Synthetic oils are suitable for motorcycles, especially high-powered engines that run at high temperatures. Usually, it can last 2 to 3 times longer than mineral oil. In general, mineral oil will be the best choice for your scooters or low-powered bikes because engines don’t get hot.

During winter temperatures, it takes time to lubricate and start the engine. Synthetic oil flows easily at low temperatures to protect your engine from start-up.

It’s important to note that many manufacturers send new bikes with mineral oil for motorcycle owners. This is because the pistons, cylinders, and piston rings are well set with mineral oil while the engine runs. In run-in periods, synthetic oil doesn’t provide the same benefits.

Mineral Oil Vs. Semi-Synthetic Oil Vs. Synthetic Oil:

Most automobiles use this engine oil, which is the most basic. Mineral oil is petroleum oil and performs well over a wide temperature range. Although mineral oil is generally more inexpensive than the other two types of oil, they come in different qualities.

When driving in moderately corrosive conditions, these engine oils work effectively. Mineral engine oil mileage is 3000 to 5000 miles.

Alternatively, most automobile providers insist on using synthetic oils. This type of oil facilitates continuous peak performance regardless of external temperature. Other advantages include long drain intervals and optimal safety of your vehicle’s engine.

The semi-synthetic oils allow you to enjoy the cost-efficiency of mineral oils and the guaranteed performance of using fully synthetic.

Semi-synthetic provides ultimate protection against sludge build-up. Likewise, this oil type promises tip-top performance for cars with more than 75,00 miles.

READ: 5W30 Semi Synthetic Vs 5W30 Synthetic

What Is The Best Mineral Engine Oil?

Do you have an old car, and your owner’s manual tells you to use mineral oil? But you need to know what the best mineral engine oil is. Well, for you, we will give some best mineral engine oils below.

  • Castrol GTX Motor Oil
  • Valvoline Daily Protection Motor Oil
  • Quaker State Advanced Durability Motor Oil
  • Havoline Motor Oil

In particular, it is a heavily refined version of the oil extracted from the ground. There are also synthetic oils, which are artificial. Semi-synthetic oils mix the two. The most important thing is don’t change your oil – change your premium car insurance policy too!

Changing From Synthetic To Mineral Oil?

If you have used Synthetic before, it’s best to stay with synthetic. It’s because it’s an outstanding oil that’s worth the cost difference. Unfortunately, if you want to change to synthetic, it will be best to change your following oil/filter change.

In the meantime, don’t mix the two. Historically, mineral oils have lacked the performance of synthetic oils in terms of low-temperature performance.

READ ALSO Can You Mix 5W20 with 5W30

Synthetic Or Mineral Oil For Older Cars:

Synthetic oils offer higher performance and better protection for your engine than mineral oils. Synthetic oils provide better performance at extremely high or very low temperatures. Furthermore, they retain their lubricating properties compared to mineral oils.

Synthetic oils harm older cars; this idea may come from some facts. The first one is, early synthetic oils have a chemical compound that can damage engine seals. The second is that it can cause leaks.

These days, all engine oils are tested to ensure engine oils won’t damage your car. Notably, synthetics don’t use chemical compounds that cause these problems. If you feel hesitant about this information, look at your car manufacturer. Here you will find the best-recommended oil for your old or classic car.

Final Word

On the other hand, Synthetic oil is the most refined oil; even in urgent cases, you can mix synthetic oil and mineral oil. But we recommend a complete system flush to remove all polluted and used oil. Don’t mix synthetic oils with polyethylene glycol (PAG) lubricants.

The shelf life is the same between synthetic and mineral oil; both products have a shelf life of 5 years. Overall, we are trying to cover the proper information about mineral engine oil vs. synthetic. From here,  we hope you will get the helpful information that you need.


I am Engr. Z Eusuf Lubricant Specialist, Mechanical Engineer & has been working with engine lubricants for a long time and knows what makes them work best. I can help you find the right oil for your needs, and I have tips on how to keep your engine running at its best.