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Consumer Reports Asks: Conventional or Synthetic?

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July 3, 2019—The market share for synthetic engine oil is growing, particularly with new cars. Much of that preference is for synthetic's performance at low viscosity grades, according to an article at Consumer Reports.

A Consumer Reports analyst said that around 70 percent of new cars come from the factory with a recommendation for full synthetic or blend.

Sometimes it happens when the OEM requires a certain grade, which is offered in a synthetic. Low-viscosity 0W-16 is one example, which NOLN examined in 2017.

The Consumer Reports article also asked the Automotive Oil Change Association's Will Hixson, who cited NOLN's Operator Survey results to point out that more than half of oil changes are done with full synthetic or blend oils.

The bottom line is that synthetic oils can be good choices for drivers who want longer change intervals, drive under severe conditions or are seriously concerned about what's going into the engine. Conventionals or blends can be a better value for customers if the manufacturer's recommendation allows it. The change intervals will be shorter with a conventional.

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