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I would like to know the exact difference between mineral engine oil and synthetic engine oil.

Why is it advised to use mineral oil for the engine when the bike is new and later switch to synthetic oil when the bike has done considerable number of Kms.

marked as duplicate by Bob Cross Sep 8 '15 at 10:06

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Mineral Oil is naturally occuring oil.

  • They provide the least protection to engine components.
  • They are cheap.
  • They need to be changed often.
  • Cant withstand high temperature

Point number 1 is the reason why mineral oil is recommended for break in periods since it allows the engine components to wear and set in more comfortably in other words , due to its poor protection the engine components wear perfectly like the cylinder bore for optimum engine break in procedure.

Synthetic oils can be a amalgamation of man made oil + mineral oil or fully man made oil.

  • They are the best, they provide highest level of protection for engine components.
  • Much more smoother engine compared to mineral oil.
  • Lasts much longer than mineral oil.
  • Little bit expensive compared to mineral oil.
  • Can withstand high temperatures.

Synthetic oil has two further classifications:

  1. Semi synthetic
  2. Fully synthetic

Semi synthetic oils are usually blended from Group 3 base oils (group 3 is a lower spec base oil which is made by using a process called ‘hydro-cracking’ to convert natural oil into suitable base oils). Some better quality semi synth oils can contain some Group 4 base oils (group 4 base oils are completely man made, synthetic base oils made from various blends of chemicals).

Fully synthetic oils are blended using Group 4 base oils (which are man made, synthetic bases blended from various chemicals). Fully synthetic oils are blended with various different additive packs to obtain the required viscosity (e.g. 10w40) and characteristics.

Synthetic/fully synthetic oils do not allow engine components to wear as much as mineral oil thus they are not suitable during break in periods.

  • Group 1 is solvent refined mineral oil. This is low quality old tech that is cheap to make. Group 3 are better oils made by hydrocracking procdesses that yeild a better performeig base oil. – Fred Wilson Sep 21 '15 at 4:33

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