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What Is Synthetic Motor Oil?

Learn more about the benefits of synthetic motor oil and schedule a synthetic oil change at your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care today!

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Synthetic motor oil, also commonly referred to as full synthetic motor oil, is designed for vehicles that demand peak level performance and high levels of lubrication. It provides more consistent viscosity levels and resistance to oxidation and thermal breakdown than synthetic blend or conventional oil. Though synthetic oil is often considered "the best of the best" when it comes to motor oils, synthetics aren't right for every driver or car. For instance, only a very few car models do not recommend the use of synthetic motor oils (like some rotary engines). 

Synthetic Oil Types


Seen as the highest quality motor oil for your vehicle for superb mileage and protection.

  • High viscosity stability levels for maximum lubrication
  • Resistant to oxidation
  • Resistant to thermal breakdown
  • Helps prevent oil sludge buildup
  • Improves fuel efficiency



Similar performance to high quality full synthetic motor oil, at a much lower price.

  • Mix of synthetic and conventional motor oil
  • Some resistance to oxidation
  • Some resistance to thermal breakdown
  • Some prevention to oil sludge build-up
  • Lower price point than full synthetic motor oil


Synthetic Motor Oil Conventional Motor Oil

High viscosity performance

Moderate viscosity performance

Resists oil breakdown

Less control over oil breakdown

Withstands high and low temperatures better

Performance affected more by high and low temperatures

Strong resistance to oxidation

Lower resistance to oxidation

Higher priced motor oil

Lower priced motor oil 

Common Questions About Synthetic Motor Oil

"How long does synthetic oil last?"

Car manufacturers set the oil drain intervals and full synthetics tend to outperform blends and conventional oils.  For synthetic oil changes, keep in mind that the type and age of the car you drive, your driving habits, and the weather conditions in your area all influence how often your vehicle needs service.

“How much does synthetic oil cost?”

Synthetic oil will cost more than a conventional motor oil. Review the prices of full synthetic and synthetic blends from Pennzoil, which we are proud to carry at Firestone Complete Auto Care.

"Is synthetic oil bad for my engine's seals?"

Some drivers believe that synthetic oils cause seal failure. While this was certainly a possibility when synthetic oils were first being formulated, today's synthetic oils have come a long way and no longer cause harm to any component within your engine. Engine seals don't last forever (they're made out of rubber, after all), so keep in mind that seals naturally age with time. If you're worried about the condition of your seals or suspect that may be cracking or shrinking, talk to your technician about going with a high mileage oil instead.

"Does synthetic oil causes leaks?"

No. Synthetic oils do not cause or create leaks. Due to their viscosity (or thickness) a synthetic oil may highlight an existing leak before a conventional oil does, but it is not the culprit of the leak. Synthetic oils have smaller molecules than conventional oils so they're more likely to sneak through tiny crevices that may have gone otherwise undetected.


At Firestone Complete Auto Care, we know a convenient and reliable oil change service helps keep your vehicle healthy. We complete a 19-point inspection with each oil change—here’s what’s included in a full synthetic oil change:

  • Change out used oil with the best type of oil for your vehicle, climate, and driving style
  • Replace and recycle your car’s used oil and oil filter
  • Inspect your car’s cabin filter, air filter, and other filters as applicable
  • Perform a comprehensive courtesy inspection of the entire vehicle, like checking vehicle lights, car battery life, etc.
  • Top off windshield washer fluid and check the levels of other important fluids

The durability, mileage, and effectiveness of full synthetic oil make the initial investment in better quality worth it in the long run. But, if you’re not ready to commit to a full synthetic oil change, you can always start out with a synthetic blend oil.

Where Can I Get A Full Synthetic Motor Oil Change?

Visit Firestone Complete Auto Care to get a synthetic oil change near you. Conveniently schedule your appointment online at a time that's best for you. Our oil change locations are open late and on the weekends!

Synthetic Motor Oils At Firestone Complete Auto Care

Our technicians proudly use the following full synthetic motor oils at Firestone Complete Auto Care:

  • Pennzoil PlatinumⓇ Full Synthetic Motor Oil with PurePlus™ Technology
  • Pennzoil PlatinumⓇ Euro Full Synthetic Motor Oil with PurePlus™ Technology
  • Shell RotellaⓇ T6 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Diesel Motor Oil


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