High-performance engine oil is almost always referred to as synthetic oil, especially when discussing modern automobiles. In fact, many sports cars and high-horsepower models are filled with synthetic oil right from the factory. For example, the new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is factory-filled with Pennzoil Ultra Platinum SRT Full Synthetic Motor Oil, which is made from natural gas instead of crude oil.
What is it about this type of lubricant that makes it a necessary part of the formula for modern performance? Read on to discover the many benefits of synthetic oil.
Most high-performance engine oils fare put in situations more stressful for a lubricant than almost any other automotive application. This is because powerful engines generally feature very specific clearances between their internal moving parts, combined with intense pressures and heat generated when operating at their full potential. High-performance engine designers are amazingly creative, with some even using engine oil to cool certain areas prone to heat build-up.
Synthetic oil differs from traditional oils in a number of ways. Most crucially, in order to be labeled as synthetic, it must meet much higher standards in a lab. They also better resist thickening or frothing when the engine is running at the redline — even for hours on end — maintaining even lubrication at all times, which is not always the case with conventional oil.
Dial Down Deposits
The hotter an engine gets, the greater chance for carbon deposits to form inside the engine. High-performance engine oil is designed specifically to reduce these deposits using a unique mixture of additives that keep the close tolerances inside a powerful motor from getting tripped up or clogged, allowing for smooth running no matter how hard the vehicle is driven.
Synthetic oil is also far less likely to leave deposits behind inside a motor, even with long intervals between oil changes, because it has better high temperature stability. This is important for motors with complex valve trains that can’t afford to get bogged down in tar like gunk. Once again, this is thanks to both the additives included with the lubricant and the high temperature properties of synthetic oil
Put It All Together
Consider a turbocharger, which is a common feature on most modern sports cars and sedans. This component spins at extremely high speeds — as much as 200,000 RPM — and experiences significant amounts of heat. The need for a high-performance engine oil to accommodate the extreme conditions and temperatures inside a turbo without risking deposit build-up is undeniable.
When failure is not an option, you can rely on high-performance synthetic oil to get you through to the end.
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Photo courtesy of Shell Oil Company.
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