DEAR CAR TALK: After some research a few years ago, I purchased a used 2006 Lexus ES 330 with 60,000 miles. It has been a really reliable and comfortable car (I used to be a truck gal). I have kept up all the regular maintenance and would like to keep it until it goes or I go.

I now have 112,000 miles on it. My question to you is about changing to synthetic oil at my next oil change. I have read many pros and cons on the subject and would like your opinion. Your thoughts? By the way, I read your advice column every week in our paper. Thanks for writing fun, informative articles. - Paula

RAY: There are a bunch of myths going around about synthetic oil, Paula. People say you can't switch to synthetic oil after using conventional, dinosaur-based oil - your car will reject the new fluid like a transplanted spleen from your annoying brother-in-law. They say you can't mix synthetic oil with conventional oil inside the engine - they'll react badly to each other, like two grouchy, old cats. And they say synthetic oil is lower in calories if you use it in salad dressing.

All of these claims are false, as far as we can tell. Although we haven't tested the salad dressing as of yet. We're really impressed with synthetic oil. It seems to lubricate better and last longer. And because you change it less frequently, there's less waste oil that we have to dispose of or reprocess. So I wouldn't hesitate to switch over to synthetic.

Otherwise, it sounds like you're doing all the right things, Paula. You're doing all the regular maintenance, even as the car gets older. And presumably, you're driving it gently, which is a huge factor in automotive lifespan. So my only suggestion would be to get into an exercise routine, eat a diet rich in leafy greens and see which of you lasts longer. Even though we know you like the car, we're rooting for you, Paula.

Got a question about cars? Write to Ray in care of King Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or email by visiting the Car Talk website at www.cartalk.com.