Which engine oil burns less: synthetic or mineral

Oil emission is a completely natural process which indicates an excessive consumption of lubricating oil in the power unit. It is due to the peculiarities of the installation itself or due to internal defects and breakdowns. Determining the fact of excessive oil consumption is quite simple. For example, in this case, gray smoke may appear from the exhaust pipe, which is absent when burning high-quality gasoline. Another clear sign of malfunction is a black edge on the edge of the exhaust pipe. So what oil burns faster – “synthetic” or “mineral”? Let’s deal with these points in order.

The main reasons of oil burning

It will not be possible to identify the problem area, where the oil leak occurs, without a complete dismantling of the power unit. However, there are several proven methods of combating this phenomenon, which greatly facilitate the search for and solution of the problem.

Usually, excessive consumption of lube fluid occurs due to a number of factors:

  • Natural depletion, prescribed in the regulations and specifications of a particular model and brand of car – the larger the volume of the engine itself, pistons and cylinders, the more substances are needed to produce an oil film;
  • Questionable default oil quality;
  • Aggressive driving style with frequent overloads, mode changes and slippage;
  • Incorrect choice of lubricant – manufacturers may recommend using the 5w40 series, while the car owner saves money by buying 0w20;
  • Oil getting into the combustion chamber – it is impossible to rule this situation out. Particles of the lubricating fluid can get into the chamber through the crankcase ventilation elements;
  • Liquefaction – if droplets of water or combustion products combine with the lubricant, its chemical properties are violated;
  • Significant engine wear – Poor condition of oil caps, cylinders, jumpers or piston rings compromises the integrity of the lubrication system and leads to oil leakage;
  • Inadequate combustion of the lubricant.

In most cases, the problem must be looked for in the power unit, so it will have to be sent for diagnosis and repair.

Where oil leaks are commonly observed

Lubricant forms a thin film on the cylinders, protecting important organs and assemblies of the car from corrosive processes. However, during operation, this protective layer is burned as gasoline inside the cylinders ignites and explodes. This is the main place where leaks are observed.

The product gradually passes into the combustion chamber as piston system components or valves move. The composition can also end up in the ventilation system, where it will be displaced together with the gases.

As for the turbocharged units – remember that they lose part of the oil when exceeding the allowable speed mark during acceleration. Also the mixture often trivial leaks.

What criteria can be used to determine the level of loss of lubrication

Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut parameters for determining oil burnout. But there are several indirect points which help in solving such a problem – flash point and evaporation values.

It is not possible to determine the level of evaporation by any formula, while the flash point is prescribed in the characteristics of different oil series and brands. This indicates the rate at which the grease catches fire when exposed to open flame. It can be determined after studying the composition of the substance: if there is a high concentration of light fractions, the ignition temperature decreases.

How to avoid oil carbonation

To minimize the consumption of lubricants, a few rules should be followed:

  • Use those options recommended by the manufacturer;
  • Choose products with a higher flash point and a low NOACK* if you can find this information (The NOACK* level is the volatility of the composition at 250 degrees Celsius for one hour). The lower the value, the better. On average, mineral oils lose 22-25% and synthetic oils lose up to 8-10%. Premium products usually have a minimum value, but manufacturers often do not specify it in the parameters;
  • Don’t forget to service the engine, perform maintenance and repair activities;
  • Do not allow the engine to run at high speeds for long periods of time. Do not exploit it for wear and tear.

Following the listed recommendations, you can significantly reduce the intensity of oil leakage and carbon monoxide.

Differences in the carbonation of different series and types of engine oils

If you choose the right lubricants for your vehicle, you can significantly reduce the percentage of burnout. The level of burnout is estimated in the following way: the composition is heated up to +250 degrees Celsius for about an hour. Those components that have been subjected to evaporation are measured in percentages – the lower they are, the lower the level of loss.

Studies have found that synthetic formulations evaporate up to 14% and mineral formulations evaporate up to 25%. All lubricants burn out over time. But if you encounter atypical leaks and suspect that there are significant problems with your car’s engine, you need to go to a car service center immediately and find the cause of such breakdowns.

Top Engine Oils with Least Carburizing Rates

When comparing different series of engine oils and their characteristics, it was possible to identify that the burnout rate of “synthetic” is rarely more than 15%, while in the case of semi-synthetics you need to be ready for 20-21%. Based on the tests in expert laboratories and practical experience of motorists we have made a selection of oils, which are less exposed to the burnout.

5th place – IDEMITSU SN/CF

The series of Japanese brand IDEMITSU marked SN/CF opens the list of the best oils in terms of carbon monoxide resistance. It is a fully synthetic product, made by hydrolytic cracking from base oil with the addition of various additives, which improve the operational and technological parameters.

The company’s representatives point out full compliance with API SN certificates, which reduces the degree of wear of the piston cylinder group elements, excludes carbon deposits, as well as facilitates starting the engine at low temperatures. The flash point is 238 degrees Celsius, which is not unimportant when the engine is “eating” oil. The specifications of the product are as follows:

  • viscosity index – 167. This guarantees the fluidity and lubricating properties irrespective of temperature conditions and season;
  • Resistance to oxidation by oxygen when heated above 100 degrees Celsius, which excludes the appearance of carbon deposits;
  • absence of low-temperature deposits due to auxiliary additives.

4th place – SHELL Helix Ultra API SP

The 4th place is occupied by SHELL Helix Ultra brand products. It is a high-tech composition based on synthetic with a package of additives for the best protection of a cylinder and piston group against wear and tear as well as for the even formation of an oil film in the working area.

The lubricant contains active detergent additives to get rid of existing deposits. It is also resistant to the service interval over 15,000 km. The API SN classification and viscosity index of 168 makes it a quality recommendation for heavy duty units which gobble up oil.


The third place belongs to GT OIL PREMIUM GT GASOLINE series of motor oils popular in Russia. The product is produced based on group 3 base oils with high viscosity index and special additives which add unique properties and characteristics.

A distinctive feature of the series is to maintain the declared index of viscosity (170) throughout the life of the oil. Flash point is 245 degrees Celsius, so the friction composition retains its initial properties longer even under extreme operating conditions and frequent overheating.

2nd place – ASTRA ROBOT HR High Resistance

The former leader among oils with the lowest carbon monoxide index is a product of domestic brand TOTEC ASTRA ROBOT HR High Resistance, which is 100% “synthetic” with a package of additives. The product is designed for extreme conditions, including high temperatures, continuous overheating or engine wear.

Its viscosity index is 165, so it doesn’t get thicker in cold and doesn’t get liquefied in warm seasons.

1st place – XENUM© X1

The best engine oil in terms of carbon monoxide resistance is XENUM© X1. It is a product with increased efficiency, based exclusively on synthetics. It is based on an ester base with improved protective properties, which has a positive effect on the performance of the powertrain.

It is easy enough to reduce the oil consumption by the engine. It is sufficient to choose the suitable compositions recommended by the manufacturer, to monitor the quality of the internal combustion engine and adhere to a careful driving style. When choosing an oil, it is necessary to pay attention to the level of evaporation and flash point. Such data may be different for various products, sometimes by colossal amounts.

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