Dispelling The Myths: Synthetic Oil In Classic Vehicles

Classic car blog image

In the Millers Oils Classic Vehicle range, there are a number of different types of engine oils, which include mineral, semi-synthetic, and fully synthetic blends.

In the past there was concern around the use of synthetic oil in classic vehicles, however, modern technology has shown that this worry is misplaced.

What’s the difference between mineral oil and synthetic oil?

Oils used to formulate lubricants are called base oils, and include both mineral and synthetic types:

Mineral oil is refined from a fraction of crude oil, using different techniques including solvent washing and chemical reactions to remove impurities and improve lubrication characteristics.

Synthetic oil, although still derived from crude oil, is made by chemical synthesis rather than the refining of crude oil. This is a much more controlled process, meaning that the molecules in the oil are more uniform and exhibit the following benefits:

  • Better lubricity for better protection reduced wear
  • Improved viscosity index, meaning better and more consistent performance across a wider temperature range
  • Higher thermal and oxidative resistance, so the oil is less likely to degrade due to high temperature or contamination, meaning fewer deposits and less sludge, as well as extended drain intervals.
  • Reduced volatility and evaporation losses, resulting in lower oil consumption

So why is there reluctance behind synthetic oil use in classic vehicles?

In the late 1990s synthetics were a new and increasingly popular technology and oil companies started to use synthetics in their classic oils.

However, classic car owners began experiencing oil leaks, and it was discovered that there were compatibility issues with rubber seals on older vehicles that caused the rubber to perish and weep, leading to the leaks.

Are synthetics safe to use in classic cars today?

After much research and testing, we now know lots more about synthetic oil technologies. Millers Oils has developed synthetic products for classic vehicles that not only eradicate the past issues with rubber seal compatibility but also allow classic car owners to reap the benefits of modern technology.

Browse the Millers Oils range of Classic products