Car Guides

‘Should I use synthetic oil in my brand new car?’

The Car Doc weighs in.

Antique oil can collection. Nancy Palmieri Cars is your go-to resource for coverage of local car news, events, and reviews. In the market for a car or truck? Check out our new car specials and used car specials curated by our local dealer network.

Q. Based on your recommendation, I’m looking to buy a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It will be mostly driven around town, but it will also be hitting the highway once or twice a month for 250 miles round-trip. My plan is to drive it until it dies. Should I immediately switch to full synthetic oil right from the get-go?

A. I’m a little old-fashioned, so I prefer to wait until the first scheduled oil change to allow the engine to break in. That said, some of the finest engines in the world come with synthetic oil right from the factory, such as Mercedes, Porsche, Corvette, Volkswagen, and even some Hyundai models. Whether you choose synthetic or conventional oil, make sure you use the correct weight and grade recommended by the manufacturer.  


John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. He answers readers’ questions each Saturday. You can tune in to his radio program Saturday morning from 8:30-10 a.m. on 950AM WROL or Email your car question to [email protected] Follow John on Twitter @johnfpaul and friend him on Facebook mrjohnfpaul