With very few exceptions, Synthetic Oil can safely be used in ALL new cars (and in most older cars) regardless of make or model
Synthetic oil is superior to conventional oil and significantly outperforms it on all counts. Synthetics deliver superior protection and performance in temperature extremes (hot or cold), keep your engine cleaner by significantly reducing the formation of sludge and varnish, resist oxidation and acid formation, and provide unsurpassed friction reduction and wear protection for extended drain intervals.
Also, many vehicles today leave the factory with synthetic oil installed as the "initial fill
I personally use 100% Full Synthetic Oil
all in my vehicles, new and old.
Check out the following LINKS to find out more about synthetic oil:
Select Synthetics - Why Synthetics?
Mobil Canada | Car Engine Oils | Products | The Benefits of Synthetics
As already stated, many vehicles today leave the factory with synthetic oil as the initial fill
Synthetic Oil | Cars Filled with Mobil 1
I believe the Sorento is one of those vehicles (at least in participating
countries anyways). The owner’s manual does
mention TOTAL QUARTZ 9000 ENERGY HKS G-310, which is a synthetic oil. "Kiatechinfo.com" also recommends other synthetic oils.
KIA MOTORS CORPORATION recommends TOTAL
One of the myths
surrounding synthetic oil is that new engines still require an initial break-in period with conventional oil before you can switch to synthetic. However, with most modern engines today, this is simply no longer the case. Today’s engines are built to much higher/tighter manufacturing tolerances
(due to more accurate and precise machining and assembly) than the ones in older vehicles, eliminating the need for a long break-in period with conventional oil.
In the Sorento’s owner’s manual (p.1-5) it states: “No special break-in period is needed. By following a few simple precautions for the first 1,000 km (600 miles) you may add to the performance, economy and life of your vehicle.”
Now that said, I still believe that it is very important that you closely follow the ‘precautions’ outlined in the manual for proper engine break-in; however
, even if synthetic oil wasn’t the ‘initial factory fill’, you do not need to wait before switching over
Now as to the question of how frequently you should change your oil
, the quick answer is 'it depends'
. The subject of oil change intervals is a hotly debated topic that even the so called ‘experts’ can’t seem to agree on. The truth is: there is no magical one-size-fits-all number
Oil change intervals depend on a number of different factors such as:
The ‘type’ of oil used:
Synthetic oil allows for significantly longer drain intervals then conventional oil – especially
high quality 'extended drain' 100% Synthetic Oils
Driving conditions (normal or severe):
For instance, frequent city driving or repeated short distances driving; driving in very cold, very hot, dusty, or sandy environments; towing a trailer; etc, will require more frequent oil changes. (Check your owner’s manual for more on severe driving conditions.)
The make, model, year, and 'engine type' of your car:
Because of technological advances in modern engine materials, design and built recommended oil change intervals for new vehicles have become considerably longer.
However, if your car has a Turbo and/or Gasoline Direct-injection engine for instance, you will need to change the oil more frequently.
Another factor that will impact the length of your Oil Drain Intervals is the size/capacity of the vehicle's oil sump
. A smaller sump (say less than 5 liters) will require more frequent drain intervals as the oil will become over-saturated with contaminants sooner than it would with a larger sump.
The bottom line is, the recommended oil change interval will be different for different people and different cars.
One thing that is
certain however, is that the 3,000 mi/5,000 km oil change interval recommendation is a thing of the past.
The 3000 Mile Myth / Frequently Asked Questions / What People Are Saying
Personally, I change the oil in my vehicles twice a year using high quality 100% Synthetic Oil.
[See also THIS POST
Now as to the question of what brand
of oil you should choose... Different people have their own personal favorite brand of oil they prefer and it’s very easy to get into a heated argument as to which one is the ‘superior’ product. Any high quality ‘name brand’ oil will do just fine provided it meets or exceeds the minimum required specs outlined in your owner’s manual
See also: When should I do my first Oil Change
That brings us to the question of the oil SAE viscosity grade
All vehicle manufacturers today recommend the use of 'multi-grade' oil. My Sorento Owner’s Manual states: “For better fuel economy, it is recommended to use the engine oil of a viscosity grade SAE 5W-30 API SM/ILSAC GF-4. However, if the engine oil is not available in your country, select the proper engine oil using the engine oil viscosity chart.”
The 'viscosity chart' lists two other recommended oil grades (5W-20
Now because these are the grades of oil Kia recommends, does this mean that they are the only
grades that can be used in this engine? Well, not exactly. First, let’s look at what these numbers actually mean...
The viscosity of a fluid describes its resistance to flow – the thicker the oil, the higher its viscosity. The first number (5W) is the 'cold' viscosity rating of the oil, the ‘W’ stands for winter, and the last number (30) is the 'hot' viscosity rating. Therefore, when the oil is cold it has a rating of 5W. When the oil is circulating in a hot engine, it has a rating of 30. What this means is that a 0W-30, a 5W-30, and a 10W-30 grade oil will all have essentially the same ‘thickness’ when circulating in a hot engine but will have a different ‘thickness’ when cold.
Note: The viscosity grade numbers (i.e. the 5W and the 30) are simply a rating
representing the viscosity range
of the oil. They are NOT the actual viscosity of the oil.
The viscosity of an oil is temperature dependent
. In other words, a particular grade of oil will have a different viscosity/thickness at different temperatures.
Therefore, the question as to which oil viscosity grade can
be used in your car’s engine will depend on a number of different factors, such as, the type of climate you will be driving in. If you live in a very hot climate (i.e. Australia) you could use an oil of a slightly higher viscosity grade (10W-40 for instance), and if you live in a much colder climate (i.e. Canada) you could use an oil of a slightly lower viscosity grade (0W-20 for instance). However, the recommended viscosity grades should do just fine in all climates.
See Also: What is Oil Viscosity?
I am currently using 0W-30 (in the Summer) and 0W-20 (for the winter months - it does get pretty cold up here in Northern-Ontario) in my Sorento. Not only do 0W-xx grade oils remain more 'fluid' in colder temperatures but they also have a lower 'Cold Cranking Viscosity' and 'Cold Pumping Viscosity', helping minimize engine start-up wear. Plus, they will also reach the proper 'hot' viscosity faster, further minimizing wear.
Again, ANY 'high quality' name brand synthetic oil will do just fine provided it meets or exceeds the minimum required specs outlined in your owner’s manual
. That said, the brand I
personally use in my own
vehicles is AMSOIL's Signature Series
(See also this Head-to-head Study