Synthetic oil is better, but ..


Are you putting synthetic motor oil or ordinary oil? "Asks the mechanic before the oil change. For almost half of the people, the answer looks like, "Uh! "But we now know more with this AAA study, the US equivalent of the CAA, which reveals that synthetic oil clearly offers a better performance. So what do we do? We all go to synthetic oil? Not necessarily.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) has subjected both types of oils to a battery of tests to conclude that synthetic oil offers increased resistance to cold and oxidation, that it leaves fewer deposits in the engine etc. In sum, it offers a 47% higher yield than mineral oil (or ordinary), which gives superior protection to the engine. The question now is whether it's really worth the asking price. A regular oil change costs about $ 40, while it costs about $ 70, or 75% more expensive, for synthetic oil.

Good wine and grand cru
If your budget allows, choosing synthetic oil is a good investment for your car, since you offer it the best nectar. But as not everyone can tell the difference between a good wine and a grand cru, not all cars will benefit clearly. The gain is much more valuable in situations where the engine is put to the test:

  • Driving in heavy traffic (frequent stops and departures)
  • Towing (trailer, boat, etc.)
  • Very cold and very hot temperatures
  • Short frequent trips

Synthetic oil can be used to replace ordinary oil unless otherwise specified. On the other hand, synthetic oil is mandatory for a growing number of vehicles. This is due to a tendency to reduce the engine displacement to lower fuel consumption, and to graft a turbocharger to compensate for the loss of power. Most often, the presence of a turbo requires the use of a more powerful oil.

Follow the guide!
The required oil information can be found in the owner's manual for each vehicle. It is essential to follow these recommendations, not only for the type of oil and the periodicity of the oil changes, but also for the correct degree of viscosity and sometimes even certain specific standards. Otherwise, the engine may suffer and the dealer may refuse to honor your warranty.

A check often overlooked ... but important
A car can over-use oil, even if it is in good condition. So you have to do your homework and take out the rag to check it from time to time , especially before a long drive. We must admit that we may not do it often enough. A small test carried out in 2014 by our patrollers revealed that the oil level was too low in the third of the vehicles inspected ...


Driving on the fuel tank: How many kilometers can you travel?



A warning lights up on your dashboard: your car is cutting fuel. How many kilometers can you still travel before the dry out? Here is the answer - and some tips to avoid breakage.

Imagine if you are driving at 100km / h on the highway and all of a sudden, your car stops at the end of its gasoline resources?

Imagine that you are turning right on a red light and that your vehicle no longer has gasoline vapors to propel itself and remains paralyzed ... in front of the priority traffic that comes in perpendicular?

Imagine finally that the dry failure occurs while you drive in a row of desert countryside, where the cellular waves do not surrender ... and while it is -20 degrees?

It's with these scenarios in mind that the YourMechanic Internet service team interviewed the owner's manual for some fifty of North America's best-selling models - from the frugal Toyota Prius to the grand GMC Sierra Denali.

Results: on average, when the reserve indicator lights up close to the fuel gauge, there are more or less ten liters of fuel (2.6 US gallons).

With the exception of Korean-branded vehicles, all vehicles will be able to travel an average of 89 kilometers to 132 kilometers before their engines go out. Remember that fuel consumption is higher in the city than on the highway.

Cars up to three times more generous
But be careful: just as you do not have to rely with your eyes on the on-board computer indicating the distance that needs to be traveled before the outage, do not take for granted the number of liters remaining in the tank. .

In fact, we notice in the table below (our conversion in liters and in kilometers) that the margin of maneuver in fuel varies greatly from one model to another.

The most generous car in its allocation? The Nissan Altima sedan: its reserve gives it up to 184 kilometers of autonomy before full. The Chrysler 200 sedan (174 kilometers) and the Nissan Rogue utility (159 kilometers) are almost as good.

That said, the Toyota Prius hybrid gives the most for its money: with the smallest reserve of the lot (6.06 liters), it can travel as much as the high average (131 kilometers).

On the other hand, if you are driving a Hyundai or Kia, do not take any chances: the manufacturer reports a very small autonomy of two to three times less - an average of 56 kilometers.

The model (among those analyzed) that is likely to leave you in the plane the fastest? The Chevrolet Silverado, with just 40 kilometers announced ...

The advice of the Pro: the quarter or .... parachute!
It may be useful to know the approximate number of kilometers that can be rolled on the fuel reserve of his vehicle.

But to avoid stress and possible costly repairs, it is better to hold the tank needle at least a quarter - and thus ensure that its witness does not illuminate, recommends Sylvain Légaré, Supervisor of Automotive Advisory Services at CAA -Québec.

Because beyond the risks to your safety (and that of other road users), driving to the edge of the dry tip can damage the mechanical components of your vehicle - starting with its fuel pump. "To work well, this pump needs to be lubricated by - you guessed it - gasoline," explains Sylvain Légaré.

Also - and it's far from a myth: the bottom of your fuel tank contains contamination and / or debris that you do not want to see in the ducts of your car.

At the limit, your catalyst may possibly suffer from a fuel-air mixture too poor. Oh, one time here and there is not going to kill him, this catalyst, but if you regularly practice the thing, this anti-pollution element will be bad enough to want to take revenge on your wallet.

Above all, recalls the head of automotive advisory services at CAA -Québec: with rollercoaster conditions that are raging more than six months a year in Quebec, there is a risk that gasoline freezes when condensation forms in the tank , at the rate of temperature variations.


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