Last Updated on August 25, 2022 by John Robinson
Recent research shows that synthetic engine oils perform an average of 47 percent better than conventional oils in a variety of industry-standard tests. In 2017, the American Automobile Association conducted a study to uncover the truth behind claims made by synthetic oil manufacturers.
Unsurprisingly, the results showed that synthetic oil is better for the most modern vehicles with turbo-charged engines, heavy load-bearing vehicles, and those driving in adverse weather conditions. This post is intended to help you find the best synthetic oil 0W20 for your vehicle.
Best 0W-20 Synthetic Oils
1. AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil
AmazonBasics is Amazon’s private label brand. By researching the data and information collected from their customers, Amazon creates products to cater to the customers who are looking for high-quality, excellent customer service, and most importantly, affordability. The company is also well-known for its world-class automotive lubricants. The AmazonBasics full-synthetic 0W-20 motor oil is formulated for longer drain intervals.
An engine with a longer drain interval can go without engine oil supplementation for a longer duration. To maintain the fuel economy of an engine, you must pick the right full synthetic motor oil. This is where AmazonBasics comes into the picture. This product provided excellent lubrication to the moving parts of an engine– making them work way longer without needing a new dose of motor oil sooner.
Furthermore, this full synthetic oil also comes with essential oil certifications such as dexos1 Gen 2, API SN, and ILSAC GF-5. AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil comes with varying degrees of viscosities, although this particular product has 0W-20. The viscosity characteristic of this product is set in accordance with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). No matter the thickness, this product does an excellent job of safeguarding your engine against rust and corrosion.
AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil is Suitable For –
AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil is 30-40 percent cheaper than a major brand name oil. Instead of going for an unreliable no-name brand, I would recommend you to pick this product as it comes with all the essential oil certifications. There is no reason to question its efficacy.
Beyond that, AmazonBasics is known for its fast delivery and prompt customer service. You don’t have to drive to Walmart or any other mega store to purchase motor oil. Amazon will deliver this product at your doorstep.
- It helps the engine attain better fuel efficiency.
- High performance and trusted by experts.
- Formulated for longer drain intervals.
- Prevents the build-up of contaminants. Safeguards against corrosion
- This oil is made by the same company that makes Wally World Syntec full synthetic motor oil. AmazonBasics is a bit expensive as they offer faster delivery and better service.
- The packaging could be improved. The container material is too soft.
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2. Castrol 03124 Edge
People at Castrol believe that “oils are not just oils.” The ground-breaking EDGE technology developed by Castrol makes your engine do what it’s designed to do. The whole point of adding expensive full synthetic motor oil to the engine is to enhance the performance of the vehicle while keeping it running on the road for a more extended period. Irrespective of hurdles like adverse weather or road traffic, the Castrol 03124 Edge keeps the engine running great.
Furthermore, this particular product from Castrol is certified by the American Petroleum Institute. Modern engines are under huge pressure. Over the years, engines have evolved to withstand high pressures, but without proper oil, they will give up sooner or later. The Fluid TITANIUM Technology used in this oil makes your vehicle run at its peak performance. It does not let impediments like friction come in the way.
This liquid-engineered oil is also capable of transforming its form and structure under pressure to keep metals apart. The engine oil must keep engine parts apart for the engine to attain a 100 percent fuel efficiency. Titanium plays a massive role in preventing metal-to-metal contact. By adding Titanium to the engine oil, engineers at Castrol were able to double the film-strength of the oil– improving the lubrication between the metal parts.
Castrol 03124 Edge is Suitable For –
This full synthetic motor oil works best for vehicles made by Honda, Mazda, Toyota, and General Motors. Vehicle owners prefer to go 7000-10,000 miles without an oil change. But due to lack of support from the motor oil, they have to change the oil after 4000-5000 miles. Such will not be the case after adding Castrol 03124 Edge.
It also makes the vehicle run smoothly. You will feel the difference on your first ride after the oil change.
- Equipped with patented Fluid TITANIUM Technology.
- Achieve a better fuel economy.
- Works great even under tremendous engine pressure– and at high temperatures.
- Improves oil film strength by 30 percent.
- ILSAC GF-5, API SN, ACEA A1, and ACEA B1 approved.
- There is no built-in extending spout in the container. The user needs to draw oil with the help of a funnel.
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3. Liqui Moly 2208
Liqui Moly is Germany’s most popular brand of motor oil. It has been around for the last six decades. Readers of German auto magazines such as “Auto Motor und Sport“, “Auto Bild“, “Auto Zeitung” and “Motorsport Aktuell” have all agreed that there is no better motor oil than Liqui Moly. The full synthetic Liqui Moly 2208 0W-20 Special Tec AA Motor Oil comes in a five-quart container.
When buying an imported oil like Liquimoly 2208 0W-20 Special Tec, you should also take into account the fact that every country has its own quality standards. I am glad to let you know that Germany holds a much higher standard for engine oil than the United States or any other country on Earth. Experiments–performed by auto mechanics or auto enthusiasts– conclude that Liquimoly 2208 0W-20 Special Tec is even better than Royal Purple, America’s best 0W-20 oil.
What makes Liquimoly 2208 0W-20 Special Tec the best synthetic oil remains unaffected even in the presence of contaminated or dirt-filled fuel. Unlike Royal Purple, this 0w-20 oil comes in “natural oil color.” It is easier to judge the current condition of the oil, by merely peeping in the engine tank. This helps new vehicles perform timely oil changes as it is difficult to tell– the health of the engine –just by listening to the engine noise.
Liqui Moly 2208 is Suitable For –
Is your vehicle desperate for an oil change? Are you suspecting major sludge build-up and a result of not taking proper care of the engine?
It is not uncommon for vehicle owners to find themselves in a situation where they have no other choice than switch to an expensive full synthetic motor oil. Use this oil at the next oil change and let your vehicle breathe unobstructedly again. This motor oil is suitable where there are burdensome duty engine requirements. Also, this product works best for modern Asian and American gasoline engines.
- This full synthetic oil does not include harmful sodium-based compounds.
- Approved by readers of German auto magazines.
- Has a “natural oil color.”
- Beats Royal Purple, America’s best 0-20 oil.
- Improves fuel economy.
- Lacks the essential chemical compound “molybdenum.”
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4. Pennzoil Platinum
Pennzoil is an oil company headquartered in Houston, Texas. For more than a century, it has been providing high-performing automotive lubricants to vehicle owners in the United States and the rest of the world. Since 2002, it has been owned by the industry giant Royal Dutch Shell. Unlike other synthetic oils, Pennzoil Platinum is derived from pure natural gas (not crude) extracted right from the Earth.
The base oil (99.5 percent pure) is processed with the revolutionary PurePlus gas-to-liquid technology. This technology allows Pennzoil to convert pure natural gas into a synthetic base oil. And as you would already know, a motor oil made with natural gas as a base has fewer impurities. Further, the solution is processed with Advanced Additive Technology to make it suitable for modern engines.
The company claims that this motor oil will give you unbeatable engine protection. The industry standard ILSAC GF-5 requires the motor oil to keep the engine cleaner. This is exactly what Pennzoil Platinum does. It keeps pistons dramatically cleaner– exceeding the industry standards. This is the best synthetic oil for those who reside in areas with extreme weather conditions. The Pennzoil Platinum 0W-20 full synthetic oil flows faster in winter and slower in summer.
Pennzoil Platinum is Suitable For –
With Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil, you can get a high-grade product at the cost of conventional oil. Plus, this oil suits vehicles with a longer drain interval. You don’t have to worry about changing the oil until 7,000 – 10,000 miles.
This is the best synthetic oil for General Motors vehicle owners– it meets the warranty requirements of dexos 1 Gen 2 specifications. In general, this motor oil suits best for modern engines and meets their unreasonable demands.
- It offers better fuel economy.
- Made from 100 percent pure natural gas.
- Contain fewer impurities than other full synthetic oils.
- This 0W-20 synthetic oil works well in all weather conditions.
- The “natural oil color” of this product makes it difficult to read on the dipstick.
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5. Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic
Valvoline is an American owned and operated automotive lubrication company. The Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic is made in the manufacturing plant based in Jalisco, Mexico. The package comes with a five-quart container and a product manual. Valvoline has made the container more user-friendly. It has an easy pull tab, precision pour spout, and anti-glue tube.
This synthetic oil is far higher in quality than other similar products (including brand name conventional oil). Conventional oils work great in the right weather conditions, but as the temperature gets colder or hotter, it begins to thicken or lose its viscosity. Such is not the case with Advanced Full Synthetic by Valvoline. As an experiment, you can place a shot of this oil in a deep freezer; I am pretty sure it will maintain its viscosity.
Moreover, this oil will improve fuel efficiency by quite a degree, even if your engine is over 70,000 miles. Generally, as the engine gets older, the mileage goes down as the parts incur damages due to overuse. By replacing this 0w-20 synthetic oil with your current oil, you can give your vehicle a new lease of life. It will clear the engine parts of all the dirt particles and contaminants within days after an oil change.
Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic is Suitable For –
This product is made specifically for hardworking cards, trucks, and SUVs. If you reside in a place with adverse or continually changing weather conditions, you might benefit from adding it to your engine after every 7000-10,000 miles (although, it is better to go through the vehicle’s instructional manual before your first oil change).
Lastly, you will also be glad to know that this 0w-20 synthetic oil offers “50 percent more wear protection than industry standards“.
- It helps maintain fuel efficiency.
- The “natural oil color” of the product makes it easy to spot dirt when it gets contaminated.
- Tried and trusted product.
- Excellent at cleaning the sludge and dirt stuck within the engine parts.
- Valvoline needs to improve the packaging of this product. The container is made from a thin material.
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6. Royal Purple 51020
In one of the earlier sections, we discussed how Liqui Moly 2208 exceeds the performance of Royal Purple (even though it is the best motor oil in the United States). In this section, I have shared why Royal Purple is so highly rated. To begin with, the Royal Purple 51020 0W-20 synthetic oil is approved by the American Petroleum Institute. Further, it also meets ILSAC GF-5 and Dexos1 performance requirements.
As the name suggests, this oil is purple. It flows slightly slower (at the room temperature) than other 0W-20 full synthetic oils. The color is just for identification purposes– there is no technical reason behind it. This product is a combination of premium base oils and artificial additives. As a result, it provides complete protection from rust and corrosion in the engine. Naturally, the mileage of the vehicle improves with use.
The additives also prevent metal-to-metal contact– complying under the dexos1 and ILSAC GF-5 specifications. This results in low friction in the engine parts. After one cycle of an oil change, you should notice the fuel economy going up. This oil prevents the engine from lubrication starvation. Meaning, no matter the weather conditions, the oil will remain in close contact with the metal parts.
Royal Purple 51020 is Suitable For –
This is the best synthetic oil for those who wish to perform quick detox of their engine parts. Like every other high-end engine oil, this one takes a few weeks before you see a noticeable difference in the vehicle’s performance, fuel economy, fuel efficiency, and engine noise. For older engines, Royal Purple recommends going through at least two intervals (or 3,500 miles) before you begin to use it as per the vehicle’s instruction manual.
- Protects the engine from rust and corrosion.
- Increased fuel efficiency–noticeable within a few weeks from the day of “oil change.”
- Compatible with fuels containing ethanol.
- Fully compliant under dexos1 and ILSAC GF-5 standards.
- Larger oil drain intervals in older engines.
- The oil is dark purple. It is difficult to discern the quality of the used oil.
- The packaging could be improved.
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How Long Does 0W 20 Synthetic Oil Last?
When using 0W20 synthetic motor oil, the oil needs to be changed every 7,500 – 10,000 miles (within a year).
Hence you can say that a 0W20 synthetic oil lasts about 7,500 – 10,000 miles for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles. In newer or kes used vehicles, the oil would definitely last a couple of thousand miles more.
Further, in this section, I have discussed more on “how long before you should think of changing the engine oil?
In case you didn’t know about the terminology of synthetic oils, the first part “0W” denotes the viscosity or the thickness of the oil in winter (0-degree Celsius). The other two letters indicate the viscosity of the same oil in summer. Remember that this is only the case in multi-grade oils.
Having said that, the drain interval mentioned above is merely a rule of thumb followed by every vehicle owner and mechanic. As a well- informed and responsible vehicle owner, you should determine the drain interval depending on several factors such as weather conditions, driving habits, the quality of roads you drive the vehicle on, traffic situation, and, most importantly, the frequency of use.
For instance, in extreme weather conditions, the properties of the oil are likely to change. Hence you might have to either reduce the drain interval or prolong it. Likewise, when you drive in a city, you put more pressure on the engine (per mile) than if you drive in the countryside.
Ultimately, if you are still unable to determine the right drain interval for your vehicle, you can collect a sample of the engine oil after driving 7,500 miles and let a qualified mechanic examine it.
- What Is the Difference Between Full Synthetic Oil, Synthetic Blend, and Regular Oil? Full Synthetic Oil
A full synthetic oil is a liquid engineered oil with contaminants like sulfur and other impurities removed. Although the full synthetic oil is heavily processed and may contain some chemical compounds (added within the guidelines of the American Petroleum Institute), the base oil is still derived from Earth (it may or may not be crude).
The base material undergoes distillation, during which the physical properties of the oil are altered with the help of chemical compounds.
Most manufacturers do not wish to share the exact additives used in the making of a full synthetic oil. Hence, you will notice that the performance of synthetic oils varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
One common trait in a full synthetic oil is they are highly resistant to changes in oxygen content in the engine. Also, most full synthetic oils are multi-grade— they are capable of changing their thickness with the external environmental temperature.
- Synthetic Blend Oil
In the automobile industry, synthetic blend oil is also known as semi-synthetic or partially-synthetic oil. A synthetic blend oil is a mix of mineral oil and synthetic oil.
Motul, a French automotive lubricant manufacturer, came with this ingenious idea in 1966. They began using additives to enhance the traditional motor oil but did not hike up the prices as synthetic oil companies did.
Vehicle owners who couldn’t afford to invest in an expensive full synthetic oil decided to buy an affordable synthetic oil. The synthetic blend oil came at the same price as that of conventional oil. Plus, it did not have any repercussions of ill-effects of an engine drenched in traditional oil.
Some manufacturers do not specify the number of additives added in the synthetic blend motor oil. However, many do mention the percentage on the package or the container. The Society of Automotive Engineering or the American Petroleum Institute hasn’t provided guidelines as to what portion of the blended oil should be mineral.
- Regular Conventional Oil
Conventional motor oil (also known as mineral oil) is a natural resource extracted from the Earth using traditional drilling methods. Unlike other forms of motor oil, conventional oil does not require much processing. Even the process of extraction is easier and cheaper. Hence, it is available for a price much lower than synthetic oil.
Manufacturers make sure that mineral oil is processed enough to comply with the industry standards. No additives or chemical compounds (unless specified) are added to the conventional oil.
Having said that, conventional oil has naturally-occurring substances that are proven to prevent the formation of rust and corrosion in the engine parts. If used with a good quality oil filter, you can add a conventional oil to a relatively modern engine too.
What Makes Full Synthetic Oil Better Than Conventional Oil?
In terms of friction reduction, heat resistance, fluidity, and longevity, synthetic oil is far better than conventional oil. It beats the conventional oil on all fronts (except price). On top of that, vehicle owners who switched from conventional oil to synthetic oil notice a massive improvement in performance and engine noise.
A synthetic oil comes with intelligent molecules capable of attaching themselves to the engine parts even when the engine is turned off, or the car is kept seated in the garage for weeks on end. In addition to this, synthetics use a far better quality base material than conventionals.
You should pick a full synthetic oil over conventional oil for the following reasons:
1. Prevents the Built-Up of Sludge
2. Reduces Friction Between Engine Parts
3. Protects Against High Temperatures
4. Available in a Wide Range of Grade
5. Improves Fuel Economy
The synthetic oils mentioned in this post are manufactured by one of the best automotive lubricant brands on the planet. I have investigated each product to find out their unique qualities and also shortcomings. When choosing the right product for your vehicle, kindly go through the vehicle instruction manual once.
- Which Brand of Synthetic Oil Is the Best?
Overall, Liqui Moly 2208 0W-20 Special Tec Motor Oil is the best full synthetic oil available in the market. This product is designed, manufactured, and marketed by Liqui Moly, Germany’s most famous automotive lubricant company.
For the last 60 years, Liqui Moly has been at the peak of innovation, quality, and customer service. This is what makes 2208 0W-20 Special Tec one of the best full synthetic oils in the world. It even beats America’s best, “Royal Purple.”