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Oil is a key component of engine durability that ensures the lubrication of its internal parts, limiting corrosion and the accumulation of residues and deposits and contributing to heat evacuation.
Due to the current classification of engine oils in the form xWxx and their associated viscosities and other features, people often ask about the specific oil types their engine needs and whether they are fully synthetic or not.
One of the most frequently asked questions is whether Mobil 1 0w20 is fully synthetic.
Mobil 1 0w20, one of the best-selling and most popular motor oils, is a fully synthetic engine oil with low viscosity, ideal to be used in cold weather.
Here’s a detailed discussion on Mobil 1 0w20, what makes it fully synthetic and why it is better than other conventional motor oils!
Mobil 1 0w20 Oil
Mobil 1 0w20 is an Advanced Full Synthetic oil with a low viscosity. Being fully synthetic improves oil life even in extreme cold or hot temperatures. It is ideal to be used in vehicles that require AE 0W-20 or 5W-20 motor oil. But what makes it different from mixed or partial synthetic oils?
Fully synthetic engine oil has an increased capacity to improve the engine’s overall efficiency. It is designed to increase fuel economy by up to two percent, extending engine life in extreme weather conditions. It is an oil with few impurities and a high life that reduces engine wear and increases its life. The best part is that it is compatible with almost all new vehicle models and is among the best-rated engine oils.
Synthetic oil contains “dispersants” which extend the drain interval. It is, therefore, more durable. In addition to its better resistance to heat, its fluidity at a low temperature helps protect engine components during start-up by reducing friction.
Consumers’ only concern about Mobil 1 0w20 is its high price and availability. Since it has a high rank among users and more cars require it, its demand is increasing more and more, making it hard to find oil at affordable prices.
Let’s discuss more about what synthetic oils are and how do they differ from semi-synthetic oils!
What are Synthetic Oils?
Synthetic oil hydrocarbons are not of natural origin. This oil is made (or synthesized) from any source of carbon and hydrogen, such as vegetable oil or ethylene. By preparing it, the chemists obtain a pure product, free of contaminants and wax, rigorously uniform, and whose length of the chains of molecules corresponds perfectly to the desired viscosity. Results? An absolutely homogeneous product!
Thus, a full synthetic oil is a chemically compounded oil whose molecular structure has been modified to improve its performance. It can resist extreme temperatures more effectively than other engine oils. It is obtained in several ways:
- by chemical synthesis from vigorously selected molecules
- by hydrocracking, i.e., passing hydrogen through a mineral oil at high temperature
- by production from esthers (fatty substances) of vegetable or animal origin, and no longer from petroleum
Synthetic oil corresponds to the maximum quality for engine lubrication because its characteristics are always perfectly identical. Its viscosity varies little with temperature, and it oxidizes less. It retains its lubricating performance at very low temperatures (down to −50°C) or very high temperatures (useful for turbo engines).
Why Choose Synthetic Engine Oil?
Your engine is a complex assembly of around a hundred parts subjected to widely varying temperatures and stresses. The oil you choose should withstand these operating conditions to better protect your engine against wear, corrosion, and the buildup of residue and deposits.
It is important to know the specificities of each type of oil to choose the best one and avoid damaging your engine.
Types of Motor Oil
There are three main families of engine oil: mineral, synthetic or semi-synthetic.
Mineral oil comes from refining crude oil, which is itself a mixture of saturated hydrocarbons. The raw product is refined to remove the naturally present contaminants without eliminating them 100%. Then, additives are added (generally in a proportion of 10% to 15%) to reduce or eliminate the harmful effects of these contaminants.
It was the first to be used on old vehicles: it was originally called monograde, i.e., it had only one viscosity index. This posed a problem because a monograde oil has very large differences between cold viscosity and hot viscosity, and therefore, it is either too thick or too fluid. For this reason, mineral oil is not suitable for all-season driving.
Today, mineral oil is enriched with additives (polymers), making it possible to reduce this difference, but it remains of lower quality than synthetic oil. Its main advantage is its price since it is cheaper than synthetic or semi-synthetic oil.
The composition of semi-synthetic oil is close to that of mineral oil but contains a percentage of synthetic oil (which can range from 10% to 30%), which increases its quality. It does not resist heat as effectively as fully synthetic oil but costs less. It is a good compromise between quality and cost. It has the best value for money and is suitable for both older and more modern engines.
Now that you know what makes synthetic oils different from semi-synthetic and mineral oils, let’s have a look at its advantages over the other types!
Advantages of Synthetic Oil over Semi-Synthetic and Mineral Oils
The first advantage of synthetic oil is that it offers a much wider range of operating temperatures than mineral oil. Thus, in general, the latter can become solid from -30°C (-22°F), while the synthetic still sinks at -50°C (-58°F). However, if an oil solidifies at -30°C, it thickens well before this limit. Therefore, synthetic oil is well suited to winters: more fluid, and it allows almost instantaneous lubrication of the engine.
Heat is one of oil’s worst enemies. Thus, above 245°C (475°F), mineral oil quickly volatilizes, forming varnish, sludge and tar while losing its lubricating qualities, while synthetic retains its properties up to 370°C (700°F).
In addition, a test lasting six and a half hours at 205°C (400°F) showed that mineral oil loses more than 20% of its weight in this context by evaporation compared to 4% for synthetic. This is important when you know that the temperature can reach 315°C (600°F) in the upper parts of the engine and 205°C (400°F) at the piston rings.
Unlike mineral oil, which tends to bead on the metal at very high temperatures, synthetic oil has the characteristic of adhering to it better. In doing so, it dissipates the heat better. This superior adhesion, and therefore this better lubrication, is particularly advantageous for the motorist who only occasionally operate their car.
As far as semi-synthetic oil is concerned, it is less durable than synthetic oil. It deteriorates faster and therefore requires more regular oil changes.
In addition, synthetic reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions thanks to its increased efficiency during start-up, where the vehicle tends to consume more energy.
Mobil 1 0w20 is a fully synthetic oil that corresponds to the best quality. It is viewed as having superior properties that offer consumers a quality option for protecting their engine components. More and more manufacturers require synthetic oil for their engines since it is the most effective and longest-lasting type of oil and contains more highly refined base oils than semi-synthetic or conventional mineral oil.