The chemically engineered molecules in synthetic base oil have more uniform properties, while the molecules found in conventional base oil differ in shape and levels of impurity. Synthetic oil is not only refined but also distilled, purified and broken down into its basic molecules. This process not only removes more impurities from the crude oil, but also enables individual molecules in the oil to be tailored to the demands of today's modern high performance engines. In addition to more consistent lubrication, synthetics offer longer oil life with extended change intervals and improved performance at both low and high temperature extremes.
Mineral oils are produced through crude oil refining, a lower-grade refining process in which the different elements of crude are simply separated.
Synthetic oils are produced through a chemical synthesis process, a higher-grade refining process in which molecules are broken down and rebuilt into uniform structure. Synthetic base oils contain linear-size molecules, which allow a more even distribution of the lubricant on load-bearing surfaces. This allows contacting parts to slide more freely with less resistance when interfaced.