Every week Ask AutoGuide provides iron-clad vehicle-shopping advice to distressed, confused or otherwise bewildered consumers. Whether they’re in the market for a family-friendly crossover or something that’s good in winter weather, the Oracles of all things automotive have been there to lend some helping hands. But this week they’re taking a slightly different approach.
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Last week we explained the basics of motor oil, from viscosity to additives and everything in between. Now it’s time to tackle a much more contentious issue: synthetic versus conventional. Which lubricant should you use in your vehicle? Is the extra protection afforded by man-made oil worth the added expense?
It’s a cliché analogy, but oil really is the lifeblood of a vehicle’s powertrain. Without its friction-cutting properties engines would literally grind to a halt, failing in spectacular fashion. Connecting rods would punch holes in blocks, camshafts would pulverize themselves and bearing inserts would spin like the blades of a jet turbine.