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Synthetic Oils

With the prices of vehicles these days you want the best engine protection and the absolute best protection is with synthetic motor oils.

One of the most frequently asked questions that we get via our e-mail is whether or not our viewers should be using synthetic motor oils. There are a lot of properties that motor oils are rated and tested for and one of them is pour point. In a nutshell pour point refers to the ability of the motor oil to pour or be liquid enough to lubricate the engine at low temperatures, so the lower the pour point the better. When it comes to pour point, synthetic motor oils are still quite liquid at minus 40 Celsius: they still will pour quite readily. All motor oil thickens to some extent as the temperature decreases. That is a normal and expected condition and it's unavoidable. How much it thickens can often be the difference between the engine getting started or not getting started in sub-zero temperatures and whether or not the engine sustains any damage on start up on that minus 20 or 30 morning.

If you live in an area of this country where the ambient is consistently below minus 15 Celsius, you should think about using synthetic motor oil because it will give you much better engine protection and it may be the difference between getting that thing started on a minus 15 degrees morning and not getting it started or should your block heater fail or wasn't plugged in. This is one key area where synthetic oils are clearly ahead of the rest of the conventional motor oils. You're going to pay twice as much for a litre of synthetic motor oil but when you pay what cars cost these days, I think $6.00 or $6.50 isn't too much to pay for the motor oil to give you the kind of protection you need.

The other question that people ask is: "is it ok to use it in my particular vehicle?" Well, mileage doesn't always have to be the factor. When I bought my used pick-up truck it was in excess of 300,000k and I switched to synthetic motor oils with no problems at all. However, if your engine is burning oil, leaking oil or it has signs of major engine problems: in other words low engine pressure or knocking, don't switch to synthetic before you repair the wear and tear on the engine or replace the engine. It's not for an engine that already has problems. If your engine is making good oil pressure, not burning oil, not losing oil, and sounds good there is no reason why you can't switch and reap the benefits of synthetic motor oil.

Till next week I'm Bill Gardiner for Motoring.


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