Ask the Oil Changes Expert – Gerald Guenette
There are a few different types of oil to use for your vehicle: synthetic, synthetic blend, high mileage, and conventional. One of the most asked questions I receive as an oil change technician is “what type of oil should I use in my vehicle?” Well, the short answer is use the proper weight as per the manufacturer, but when it comes to type, there are actually a few different variables that need to be brought into account. For example, what type of driving does the vehicle do, mostly highway or city? Does the vehicle do a lot of idling? How many kilometres on the vehicle? Does it leak or burn oil? Just to name a few…
Conventional motor oil is refined from premium petroleum products and contains additives that are specially designed and formulated to provide your engine with its basic protection and performance needs. Motor oils lubricate the moving parts of the engine which protects your engine against basic wear and tear. Conventional oils contain waxes, so in the colder months don`t forget to use that block heater. For easy, everyday use of a vehicle, conventional oil is a safe bet for keeping your engine going. Recommendation for oil change intervals is 5,000 kms to help insure the motor oil remains clean and efficient. Oil breakdown is at greater risk when you demand more out of it.
Synthetic blend oils are a happy medium between conventional and synthetic oil. Synthetic blends work harder than conventional oils as they are able to withstand more heat and abuse. Being a mix of synthetic and conventional oils makes the blends better for cold starts in the winter; the easier the engine starts the less wear and tear on start-up.
High mileage motor oil is designed to extend the life of vehicles with higher kilometres. High mileage oil provides your engine with the protection it needs when it gets higher in kilometres. It protects more than conventional against the four major causes of engine breakdown: leaks, deposits, sludge, and friction.
Full synthetic motor oils provide your engine with the best level of protection, performance, and fuel economy.
Synthetic oils have specially engineered anti-wear additives that are added to the oil to be more resilient than any other types of motor oils. Synthetic does a much better job at dispersing heat than conventional, which translates into less engine wear. It is a much better choice for the winter months in Saskatchewan due to the fact that it has a very low wax content which means it needs to be close to -40° before it starts to thicken. There are a lot of different types and brands of synthetic oils on the market, all with their very own special additive packages designed for specific uses.
One major misconception about synthetic oil is that it was designed for longer intervals between oil changes. It is true that higher quality oil can take a much bigger beating that the other types of oil, but that doesn`t mean you need to test its limits. Synthetic motor oil was designed for the absolute best protection of your engine. If you do regular scheduled oil changes with synthetic oil your engine will love you back.
So, the answer to the question of which type of oil you should use: my answer is unfortunately going to require a few questions of my own to make sure you are getting the oil you need. As I have stated, synthetic oil is going to be the best choice for engine protection, but depending on the condition and the kilometres on the engine, that might not be your best option.