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Ask a Mechanic... The preference of synthetic oil

In today’s column we discuss the superiority of synthetic oil.
Nida Zafar
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Every week, we take your questions about what is going on under the hood of your vehicle and pose them to a knowledgeable mechanic in the Greater Toronto Area. In today’s column we discuss the superiority of synthetic oil.

Dear Ask a Mechanic,

Which type of oil is better in your opinion? I’ve always thought that, especially for motors which go into winter storage (motorcycles, mowers, snow blowers), synthetic oil adheres longer to the running surfaces. Is this correct? Why is there a price difference between synthetic and non-synthetic oil? What should I use every day for my vehicle? – Oil head

Zafar Habib, co-owner of Scarborough’s Humble Autohaus, said synthetic oil is what he recommends to all of his customers, and believes it to be superior to non-synthetic oil. “It has better additives in it and that give you more protection and lubrication for your engine.” Habib recommends synthetic oil be used for any vehicle or machinery people plan on using daily in the winter because it covers and protects the item better. The answer changes for things being stored throughout the winter; while synthetic oil is still better, non-synthetic oil can also be used. Habib explains the price difference partially exists because of the “special” additives found in synthetic oil “which are expensive.” It’s also costlier to produce the base oil stock, the synthetic part of synthetic oil.

Ask a Mechanic is written by Nida Zafar, a reporter who grew up in a house full of mechanics in Scarborough, and occasionally poses your questions to her dad or brother. You can send your questions to wheels@thestar.ca. These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before having any work done to your vehicle.

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