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Engine oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. But many don’t know when it’s best to use a synthetic oil over a conventional one.
This Q&A provides answers to common questions about Petro-Canada synthetic oils, and why you might want to get a synthetic oil change the next time you top up.
Cold weather driving
Oil thickens significantly at low temperatures, slowing it from reaching critical engine components at start-up.
Compared to conventional oil, synthetic oil:
Your oil may be too thin to protect your engine. Maintaining film strength under high loads and temperatures is critical to preventing wear.
Driving in stop-and-go traffic every day can really have an impact on the engine as it heats up beyond normal temperatures.
High temperatures cause thermal breakdown of the oil and deposit formation. Synthetics resist breakdown resulting in cleaner running engines with better performance and fuel economy.
Frequent short trips
Frequent, short trips cause sludge formation due to lack of warm-up. Low engine temperatures don’t drive off water from the combustion process and residual fuel, causing moisture.
Synthetics resist sludge formation and maintain oil flow for longer lasting engine protection.
Petro-Canada engine oils meet or exceed new car warranty requirements for North American and Asian vehicles where ILSAC GF-5 or API SN engine oils are recommended.
Always consult your owner’s manual to select the appropriate viscosity grade for your engine.
Petro-Canada recommends that you follow your OEM's (original equipment manufacturer) oil drain interval recommendation.
However, synthetics maintain cleanliness and fresh oil properties longer and are more forgiving if you go past your recommended oil drain interval. Regular oil changes are low cost preventative maintenance measures that help keep your engine running in top condition.
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