Would synthetic oils benefit your outboard or inboard marine engine? Find out here.

I’m a fan of using synthetic oils, which help engines run cooler, smoother, quieter and with less smoke. One of the biggest benefits of using synthetic oil is extended engine life. Synthetic oils flow more smoothly with cold-engine starts than conventional oils, helping to minimize engine wear.

Synthetic oil, which contains no carbons, won’t leave carbon deposits on your pistons, in the combustion chamber and on the back of the throttle blades. Carbon buildup can lead to engine noise, reduced power and drivability issues.

Regarding carbon buildup, blogger Brett Becker writes:

“During the combustion process, engine oil sneaks into the chamber through the PCV system and in the form of blow-by from the crankcase. Since conventional oil is rich in carbon, deposits form. Carbon, which is nature’s molecular magnet, cakes beautifully on pistons, valves, throttle blades, and combustion chambers. And when engines face severe loads, such as pushing a boat, it only makes things worse.

Since engine manufacturers have really gotten a handle on fuel delivery, engines now run consistently at an optimal air/fuel ratio. That means there are no lean periods to help burn off carbon buildup, as would happen with carbureted engines. ‘Take ‘er down the lake at wide-open throttle and blow ‘er out,’ was often good advice for cleaning carbon deposits. Not any more.

Because the air/fuel ratio is always optimized, that no longer works. Only chemicals or friction will remove carbon deposits. Synthetic oil, which has no carbon, leaves no deposits. It’s a bit more expensive, but depending on how much you use your boat, synthetic engine oils can last an entire boating season.”

As Becker mentions, another advantage of synthetics is extended oil life. With the greater durability of full-synthetic oils, boat engines can go longer between drain intervals.

Remember to consult your owner’s manual and follow the engine oil weight and recommendations set by manufacturers. For your recreational vehicles, check out Cenex® Small Engine Oils. These premium lubricants offer reduced smoke and odor, ease of mixing with gasoline, excellent cold-temperature flow, and advanced additives that help keep engines clean.

photo credit: angelabethell via Flickr

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