Oil 101

Despite the number of new car technologies out there, some maintenance jobs will always be the same—like a good old oil change. Even if oil itself has come a long way!

These days, cars are even more reliable, more fuel-efficient, and more environmentally friendly. It goes without saying that car manufacturers have to respect laws, standards, and regulations when developing more advanced technologies and parts. But either way, cars will always need oil to run smoothly!

Synthetic and conventional oil

Mechanical technology, meet lubricant technology. The manufacturer determines the best lubricant for your vehicle and how often maintenance is required. You can ask at your local shop, but all the information you need can be found in your owner’s handbook (specifications). The chemical mixture found inside an oil can is made from crude oil. Additives with special properties are then added to create the perfect lubricant for your vehicle.

A mechanical maze

Oil runs through your entire engine. This gooey liquid has many jobs, like lubricating all the engine parts, reducing friction between the moving parts and lowering the heat . . . Basically, everything that makes your engine purr!

If you want to keep everything under the hood singing, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil changes (in terms of kilometres or time). Remember that mineral or synthetic oil will deteriorate over time. It lasts approximately 5,000 to 10,000 km, sometimes more. When you take your car in for an oil change, be sure to change the oil filter as well.

What reduces a lubricant’s useful life? The age of your car, engine type (naturally aspirated or turbocharged), the climate, plus how far and long you’ve driven.

Lastly, your technician will highly recommend synthetic oil to help deal with the harsh winter weather. This more expensive oil will give your engine added protection and make it easier to start in the morning when it’s -30°C outside!