When you think about overall performance, synthetic oils are way better than conventional oils. After all, it’s man-made oil created to cater to your vehicle’s specific needs.
The basic properties like the base material distilled crude oil hardly ever changes. The real scoop is about how they make it and what they add to make it even better.
But no wonder manufacturers were clever enough to keep those as trade secrets. Although if you learn the ropes for a while you’ll know which one’s the best synthetic oil consumer reports.
Lucky for you, we got the homework done in advance. In this guide, we’ve got a fine collection of synthetic oils listed here. We’ll go deep explaining why they deserve a spot here. Apart from that, you’ll know pretty much everything there is about choosing a synthetic oil.
So, let’s get our foot off the brake and dive in-
Our 5 Favorite Synthetic Oil For Cars
- 1 Best Synthetic Oil Consumer Reports
- 1.1 1. Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30 Full Synthetic Motor Oil
- 1.2 2. Royal Purple 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil
- 1.3 3. Mobil 1 Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil
- 1.4 4. Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 Full Synthetic Diesel Oil
- 1.5 5. Castrol EDGE 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil
- 1.6 6. Castrol 03057 – Full Synthetic Motor Oil
- 1.7 7. Valvoline – Advanced Synthetic Motor Oil
- 1.8 8. AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-20
- 1.9 9. Shell Rotella – Full Synthetic Diesel Engine Oil
- 1.10 10. Pennzoil 550046127 Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil
- 2 Synthetic Oil Consumer Reports Buying Guide
- 3 Types of Motor Oil
- 4 What are Motor Oil Ratings?
- 5 Using and Safety Tips
- 6 The Advantages of Synthetic Oil
- 7 Best Synthetic Oil Brands
Best Synthetic Oil Consumer Reports
1. Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30 Full Synthetic Motor Oil
The Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30 is a full synthetic oil with PurePlus® Technology, a patented trailblazing gas-to-liquid process, converting natural gas into a fully synthetic base oil, producing a very high-quality product that is a first of its kind.
Using natural gas as a base oil, which is free from impurities found in crude oil bases, Pennzoil enjoys a head start among many lines of conventional and other synthetic engine oils.
Clear, pure base oil mixed with high-performance additives makes the Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus® Technology a top synthetic oil designed to achieve a complete and uncompromising protection of your engine.
Pennzoil guarantees 30% cleaner pistons which are required by the highest and most meticulous industry standard, keeping engines cleaner than leading top synthetic oil brands in the market today.
The ingenuity of Pennzoil engineers in creating this outstanding lubricant from a natural gas base is laudable. While other chemical engineers are pre-occupied with advance research to distil crude oil (i.e., transform a liquid to a gas form and back) just to remove impurities, Pennzoil took seriously a clue from nature. Why do you need to distil a liquid crude oil when there is a natural gas? It makes a perfect sense, right?
Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30 full synthetic oil, which comes in a quart jug, has superior cleansing active agents to clean sludge better. It passes the highest stringent requirements of carmakers which it comes to engine protection and cleanliness. You can’t go wrong with Penzoil, one of the leading manufacturers of oil and lubricants today.
2. Royal Purple 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil
The Royal Purple synthetic motor oil under the HPS Series is highly recommended for vehicles whose manufacturer’s warranty already expired and owners seeking improved levels of engine performance and protection.
It is fortified with a high level of zinc and phosphorus additive to combat wear with an expertly formulated additive called the Royal Purple’s trademarked Synerlec® technology.
The Royal Purple’s top synthetic oil blend known as the HPS series outperforms other leading synthetic oils and traditional lubricants, be it for gasoline or diesel engines.
The HPS series is available in viscosities including 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40 and 20W-50. It could respond to higher pressure by increasing its viscosity.
With its exceptional high film strength, engine wear is dramatically reduced while dissipating engine heat, effectively extending your engine life. This formulation of best synthetic oil improves the sealing system in the piston ring and the cylinder wall.
Royal Purple synthetic oil guarantees you optimized horsepower and maximum torque, thereby achieving better fuel economy.
Formulated with oxidation stability in mind, this synthetic oil gives you more mileage before changing oil, allowing you to save more time and money, and reducing the demand for used oil disposal that impacts on the environment.
The Royal Purple also cleans your engine with the advanced solvency of this synthetic oil. It considered the protection of valve trains that use rollers or flat tappet lifter against high lift and high ramp rate camshafts. For vehicles that are still under warranty, Royal Purple endorses the use of API-licensed oils available at retailers in the country.
3. Mobil 1 Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil
This product from Mobil is manufactured in the USA. It takes pride of its easy-to-use tag. It is advanced full synthetic oil formulated to prevent sludge and deposits build-up in your engine, effectively prolonging its life. Mobil 1 provides excellent lubrication of your entire engine, preventing wear caused by many challenging driving styles.
The Mobil 1 synthetic oil boasts of its ‘Outstanding Thermal and Oxidation Stability’ which allows optimum change oil intervals recommended in the vehicle owner’s manual. Mobil 1 synthetic oil has enhanced its friction-reduction properties, thus, aiding in fuel economy and excellent reduction of temperature. It allows your engine to quickly start even in the cold weather with snow on the ground.
This best synthetic motor oil flows better in low temperatures, even as when the car sits overnight and the oil settles on the bottom level of the crankcase. When the ignition is fired up, Mobil 1 begins flowing through the critical parts of the engine that needs protection from friction.
In cold winter periods, or in an extremely cold area, the flow of oil may take a longer process. Mobil 1 engineered its motor oils to quickly flow even when the temperature is critically low, therefore, it starts protecting the engine as the car starts. When engines are really running hot, conventional motor oils break down and could evaporate, exposing the engine to wear and tear.
Mobil 1 motor oils, even as they work excellently in very cold conditions, are also formulated to withstand high temperatures which you will commonly experience when driving in arid places with hot climates.
4. Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 Full Synthetic Diesel Oil
With the new ROTELLA®, Shell proudly announced a dramatic change in their portfolio of hardworking heavy duty diesel engine oils. Aiming to create the most ‘technically advanced’ formulation, Shell ROTELLA® has clearly organized its portfolio for you to easily identify which oil is best for your engine.
Shell Rotella T6 is a heavy duty full synthetic oil featuring Shell’s advanced technology multi-functional, a low-ash additive formula designed to protect the engine in various driving conditions. The formula aimed at reducing ash, phosphorous and sulfur emissions that are sometimes very hard to pass as clean air regulators became stricter over the years.
Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 allows excellent oil flow even at -30 degrees Fahrenheit low-temperature. Compared to leading brands among the competitive API CJ-45W-40 products, the Rotella T6 guarantees the best protection against shear-stability degradation.
Shell packaged the Rotella T6 in a new, harder working bottle and label that comes in 1-Gallon jug pack, 6 x 1-Quart jug pack, 3 x 1-Gallon jug pack, featuring the following highlights:
- Simpler graphics to spot, grab and go
- Improved cap design for easier opening
- Thinner bottle for easier shelf storage
- Two handle design for easier carrying
- Improved pouring capability through synthetic oil comparison
- Easier to read label
- best brand of synthetic oil
The Rotella’s new package design that aims to help make your hard work easier:
- Easier to spot on shelf
- Easier to store
- Easier to carry
- Easier to pour
- Easier to open
Shell holds on its reputation as top synthetic oil brands supplier of the world, delivering high-quality lubricants to motor vehicle users in over 100 countries.
5. Castrol EDGE 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil
This 5-quart Gold-bottled pack of top synthetic oil gives your engine extended performance and strength to run 15,000 miles before change-oil. The EDGE gives you muscle power to maintain stable viscosity while your engine battles extreme friction force. Your engine stays protected with its trademarked ‘Titanium additive’ for unsurpassed protection.
Castrol Edge 5W-30 meets performance standards of General Motors Dexos1, Chrysler MS 6395, For WSS-M2C929, For WSS-M2C946-A, and Honda HTO-06. The EDGE exceeds ILSAC GF-5, API SN, ACEA A1/A5, and ACEA B1/B5 requirements.
Today’s modern designs backed by technology advancement made engines smaller but packed with more power and efficiency. Demand for improved fuel economy, reduced carbon dioxide and harmful gas emissions and better performance made engine designers look for more reliable oils.
Modern engines produce 10 tons/cm2 pressures, just like the weight of 5 cars resting on a small space comparable to the space occupied by a high-heeled shoe. Higher pressure equals more stress in your engine oil.
Friction from metal-to-metal interaction in smaller engines reduce its performance, and that is best addressed by top rated synthetic oil like the Castrol Edge 5W-30.
A proud Toyota owner, Herbert Thompson, who owns a 2002 pick-up truck and 1998 Camry, said he used Castrol’s best synthetic oil only.
The British brand Castrol is associated with ‘castor oil’ which is derived from a plant producing the oil, scientifically known as the Ricinuscommunis. It is known for its wide use as an anti-constipation agent across the world. If it even works as a lubricant in the human body, it must be perfect for engines too!
6. Castrol 03057 – Full Synthetic Motor Oil
The Castrol is a very trusted brand in the engine oil industry. Castrol 03057 GTX Magnatec 5W-30 engine oil gives your vehicle’s engine ultimate stability much more than regular oil. It also increases the life of your engine. Also most suitable for use in the winter season.
Castrol engine oils are built to maintain all kinds of quality, which makes them suitable for use in most vehicles. Castrol GTX MAGNATEC is also an advanced level engine oil, which gives your vehicle advanced level protection.
You will find many synthetic oils on the market, which are not suitable for use in old vehicles. But in this case, Castrol is completely different; Castrol is one of the largest automotive industry brands in the whole world, which has a large customer base, that’s why they did not make synthetic oil in a specific way. They have made it suitable for old and new vehicles. So you can use it in new and old cars.
It is often seen that when you use regular engine oil, the engine of your vehicle gets overheated, which is not a good thing at all for the machine. Castrol oil plays a very useful role in getting rid of this kind of problem; it has 6X better wear protection than conventional oil and also keeps the engine cool. There are also many more features that attract anyone.
7. Valvoline – Advanced Synthetic Motor Oil
The Valvoline has exceptionally high standards for maintaining its flagship synthetic 5W30 oil; it also has superior security to the engine like our previous Castrol pick. When the vehicle engine becomes very hot, the valves and pistons provide complete protection and keep the engine as cold as possible.
Valvoline is also upgrading their synthetic motor oil to meet the needs of the engine so that it can meet more advanced requirements.
Valvoline synthetic oil is also the best choice for a new vehicle, but it is less than 125000 miles on the odometer, but you can use the Valvoline synthetic motor oil to improve the performance, milage of the old vehicle and engine.
Some of the best features of Valvoline advanced synthetic motor oil are that you can use it with most regular oil, you will not face any problems. It will work very well without any problem.
Valvoline synthetic oil is 50% more protected than industry standards, which is an excellent feature for your vehicle; also, it is compatible with all conventional oils.
8. AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-20
At present, amazon basics is the most popular brand in the online industry; you will find every essential product on AmazonBasics. One of the best features is that they offer the best products at reasonable prices, that is why its popularity increases day by day.
The AmazonBasics 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil is one of the best synthetic motor oil on budget. It is the perfect choice for those who are looking for the best synthetic oil 0w20 on budget. It also has a lot of configuration so that you can pick according to your vehicle.
It helps a lot to reduce exhaust emission, and it also reduces friction for less engine wear. It also increases the engine performance of your vehicle, like many expensive synthetic oils.
But try to keep one thing in mind, this machine oil from AmazonBasics may not be perfect for many engines; if your car is the current new model, then there is no fear; you can easily use it. It is very suitable for use in a new engine.
In this case, if you use it in a very old engine, you may not get the result. In other words, if your vehicle is older than 1993, then you can not get great performance. So before buying try to keep this thing in mind.
Some experts have compared AmazonBasics vs. Mobil in terms of performance and all features and think it’s the best engine oil considering all the features, and it is the perfect synthetic motor oil in anyone’s budget.
9. Shell Rotella – Full Synthetic Diesel Engine Oil
The Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic 5W-40 Diesel Engine Oil is another heavy duty great formula, which boosts your vehicle engine’s performance. It is also high-quality lubricants for motor vehicles, which is currently used more like other best synthetic oils.
Shell Rotella Synthetic Diesel Oil has many great features that help you improve your engine’s performance and other features. One of the best features that attract us the most is its versatility, which means it works with almost any four-stroke engine.
It also protects your engine from high temperatures, and Shell Rotella’s synthetic diesel engine oil is very useful for use in cold seasons. It is especially great for heavy-duty vehicles.
In general, diesel engine oils are heavy-duty works, due to which you will get the best results when using a synthetic oil diesel engine, and keep your engine clean in a proper way. It also features lower pollution, extended drain capabilities, and working under extreme weather conditions.
However, you will try to keep in mind that you will get the best performance if you try to use Shell Rotella Synthetic Oil in a diesel engine. Also, try to keep one more thing in mind; it is not perfect for gasoline engines, so avoid using the gasoline engine.
This oil is also formulated with additive technology, which protects your engine from any harmful stool, dirt, especially the best performance, and your engine will remain long life usable.
10. Pennzoil 550046127 Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil
The Pennzoil 550046127 is full synthetic 0W-20 is another great oil for your engine, which is made from natural gas; also, Pennzoil synthetic oil is manufactured using patented PurePlus Technology. That’s why it is clean oil and safe for your engine.
The Pennzoil Platinum synthetic gives long-lasting stability to your vehicle engine and meets the needs of your engine completely without damage. It also cleans your engine 40% according to current industry standards.
It also has a unique formula of superior active cleaning detergents, which are able to keep the essential parts of your engine perfectly clean and provide better wear protection and better mileage. Your car’s engine has complete protection.
The Pennzoil synthetic engine oil helps your vehicle engine start faster, even in colder temperatures. There is no chance of damage, and you can use it tension-free. It is also perfectly suitable for varied driving styles and conditions.
It is also perfect for old and new vehicle engines, but if your car is too old, you must monitor it all the time after using the synthetic oil because the seals and other components of the too old vehicle engine are not tight. That’s why there is a chance of synthetic oil leaking out. Overall, this could be another perfect choice for your vehicle engine.
Synthetic Oil Consumer Reports Buying Guide
What is the best synthetic oil consumer reports?
Synthetic motor oils are developed in a laboratory environment by researchers and engineers using blends of processed base oils and chemical additives designed to improve engine performance. These formulations sought to address technical issues involved in engine lubrication, from start-up to full running status.
More advanced synthetic oils provide engines with [a] anti-heat build-up protection, [b] optimum friction reduction inside the crankcase to prolong engine life, and [c] cleaning ability to neutralize dirt and deposit build-up.
When buying synthetic oil brands, you must be familiar with some of the technical features of your car’s engine. If you are using an old car, there is an appropriate type and brand for you, so you will not spend for products that are over-rated when matched to your needs.
Also read more about oil filter for synthetic oil
What is Conventional Oil and its Limitations?
Older models of vehicles that are used in routine low-mileage travel activities such as commuting, messenger errands, vacation trips and other common trips often use conventional motor oil.
Later models of vehicles, which are designed for more tedious high-mileage travels and sports races, used highly specialized synthetic motor oils.
Conventional or regular oils showed problematic properties in many aspects because of its molecular composition vary in size and shape, making it prone to oxidation that wears out the oil, reducing its potency in preventing friction in moving engine parts. The formation of sludge reduces engine efficiency and longevity of its life.
Types of Motor Oil
- Synthetic blend motor oil – This is made for engines carrying heavy loads regularly, engines operating at high RPMs every day and trailers used in towing. Synthetic blends possess the best oil property to cope with low temperature and to combat oxidation common in older conventional engine oils.
- High mileage motor oil – According to synthetic motor oil reviews, this motor oil is specially formulated for vehicles with 75,000 or more miles used up in travels. The best kinds of high-mileage engine oils use advanced additives that help stop oil leaks in aging seals, helps reduce burn-off, and helps restore engine compression.
Consult a mechanic before filling-up with high-mileage engine oil. Some older vehicle engines models work best with common synthetic oil.
What are Motor Oil Ratings?
Synthetic oil ratings determine the kind of oil fitted for the requirements of your vehicle’s engine. When you want to know “Who makes the best synthetic oil?” this is the answer you are looking for.
The multiviscosity types of engine oil today are labeled with a designation of the oil’s performance at certain levels of temperature. A 5W-30 label means that it flows better at colder temperature compared to a 10W-30 labeled oil rating.
The number before the ‘W’ denotes the viscosity rating when the oil functions at cold temperature or at engine start-up. The letter ‘W’ stands for winter. The number after the ‘W’ shows the oil’s performance level at high temperatures.
Using and Safety Tips
Ask a certified mechanic what is the best synthetic motor oil when it comes to the oil viscosity level fitted for your car and your climate. Using the wrong oil rating may damage your engine, or shorten its life without you noticing it.
Usually, the properties of the engine oil have something to do with the price. The lower temperature or the higher the temperature that the motor oil can withstand, the more expensive it becomes, in most cases.
The Advantages of Synthetic Oil
Minus the impurities, the best synthetic oil should keep your engine clean and keep it cleaner with the aid of formulated additives. When top rated synthetic oil circulates inside the engine, the special additives picks up dirt and impurity deposits.
The best brands of synthetic oil contain only a minimal amount of impurities from its original crude oil form. It could resist better sludge formation preventing unwanted deposits accumulating in the engine.
The early formulation of synthetics had a bad reputation for leaking. The swelling of seals in crankshafts and rocker cover has been noted. Things get worse when owners change back to mineral oil, or when it adds some oil to the engine when no synthetic is available.
The seal of valve covers compress when swelled, and when different oil is added, leaks take place.
The best fully synthetic oil sold today now allows shifting of use between mineral and synthetic oils in the same engine. Adding a quart of conventional oil to an engine crankcase filled with synthetic oil is just fine. In fact, some synthetic oil brands in the market are formulated blends with a substantial mix of refined conventional mineral oil.
A partnership between MIT and Infinium have examined specific areas related to a future synthetic oil magic formula which is hinged on a major strategic advance in lubricant-rheology. They looked at several factors to reduce mechanical losses, such as:
- The benefits of using low viscosity oils
- Testing of advanced synthetic engine lubricant and engine lubrication system concepts
- Theoretically building a model of the friction of lubricated components in the power cylinder, valve train, and crankcase
- On-site control of lubricant properties
Reduction of Engine Friction
Tremendous research and development efforts were exerted in many years to reduce engine friction. Design factors looked upon by engineers include engine component, component materials, and surface characteristics of moving parts. Most importantly, all further improvements inside the engine will eventually shape the formula of future synthetic engine oils, says Victor Wong of MIT.
Actively Reducing Mechanical Losses
Wong said the centrepiece of their pioneering research at MIT from 2002-2007 is focused on measures to reduce mechanical losses. Some of these measures are shown by the advancements in lubricants, surface characteristics of engine components, and component designs.
The Department of Energy of the United States is funding a lubricant formulation program along these lines of research.
Best Synthetic Oil Brands
4. Shell Rotella T
5. Mobil 1
6. Royal Purple
7. Briggs & Stratton
8. Liqui Moly
The best synthetic oil remains tied to improving engine efficiency. Unlike in the past decades, wherein the automotive industry aimed to build bigger, faster and more powerful engines for our vehicles, today’s consumers, governments, and industries shifted their attention to increased engine efficiency and reduced emissions.
But generally, the future of synthetic motor oil remains to be focused on reducing friction inside the engine’s crankcase.
Until now, only a few lubricant properties were examined. In moving forward, more design variables will be evaluated by scientist all over the world in relevant test engines.
These might include different viscosity modifier polymers and oil base stocks. In the quest for the best synthetic oil, Dr. Wong believes there must be a balance between fuel economy development and improvements in wear protection.