Selecting the right oil for your car can be a little problematic if you are not well versed with all the technicalities and aspects that revolve around the same. Many a time, manufacturers will suggest particular motor oil viscosities for car engines which can either be 5W-20 or even 5W-30 depending on a wide range of factors and temperature. Engines require varying viscosities owing to the differences in overall operating conditions.
What is viscosity? Viscosity at a very primary level stands for the resistance of a fluid towards flow. Viscosity is usually noted as XW-XX in the world of automobiles. The number before the W symbol stands for the oil flow rate at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and the number after the W is the viscosity at 212 degrees Fahrenheit or higher temperature resistance to thinning for the oil. Your owner’s manual will be a veritable Bible when it comes to picking out the best viscosity range for your vehicle. You should keep this in mind before going to purchase car engine oil. It is important to keep in mind the following pointers while choosing the right oil for your car:
- Fully synthetic oil: These types of oils are usually created to fuel engines of a high tech and refined nature. Once these oils pass all requisite tests, details of which are almost always available on the label, they provide long lasting performance levels which are superior compared to other types. This pertains to protection against deposits in the engine and also the viscosity index. These oils have better flow at lower temperatures while higher temperatures usually see the maintenance of peak lubrication levels. Synthetic oils are a must for luxury cars like Mercedes Benz or BMW and are usually very expensive as compared to standard car oil. They are not required for most car engines as well. If your car manual does not have any special requirements for synthetic oil, you might want to consider your decision to purchase the same owing to the high costs involved without any particular addition to the life of the engine or its performance.
- Conventional/Standard oil: This is the oil type used most at car dealerships and is the cheapest option you can get at automobile stores as well. Most of these oils have to adhere to regulations and standards imposed by the SAE and API but additive packages are very few and far in between. Owners who desire frequent changes of oil and possess broken-in engines will find this to be a good option.
- Synthetic blend oil: This oil type is a little more up market with strategic synthetic doses and contents. These oils provide superior protection levels when there are heavier loads to be borne by the car engine. Most pick-up trucks and SUV’s use synthetic blend oil for superior performance and protection especially at high engine temperatures. These are not as costly as you would think, with prices rising just a little bit as compared to high end conventional car oils.
- Premium Conventional Oil: This is one of the most basic car oils recommended these days. Most car brands have high service oils and common viscosity ranges are usually available for this oil type. Manufacturer specifications should be adhered to and most vehicles make use of premium conventional oil these days.
- Oil for high mileage from your car: Most of the total vehicles we see on roads each day, have at least 10, 000 kilometers or more under their belt. Catering to this segment, there are high mileage oils developed by labs and refiners. There are conditioners which are added to these oils, both conventional and synthetic and internal engine seal flexibility is enhanced accurately. Engines are usually benefited from these oils and deliver better performance as well.
You should also have a grip on the oil classification codes as well. There are symbols on oil containers that pertain to it meeting prevalent fuel economy requirements and protection standards as decided by the ILSAC or the International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee and other regulatory bodies. Also learn more about oil additives which keep the engine fresh, cool, tidy and free from any corrosion whatsoever. There are various additives which are usually blended into engine oil. These mostly cover about twenty five percent of the total premium you pay for car oil. Multi-viscosity and single-viscosity oils are basically available in the market. Each and every vehicle can run on multi-viscosity oil with ease. As mentioned, our owner’s manual will help you determine the right range for your car.
You need to ask yourself a few questions, following which, your purchase dilemma will be solved. You should look into the kind of oil used by your vehicle and if it has been performing decently, you should not change it in a hurry. Always go by the manufacturer recommendations. If you have not crossed your car warranty period, using anything else might as well invalidate the owner’s warranty and lead to problems. Consider the climate in your area. Are there sharp fluctuations in weather and temperature? The lower the viscosity number before the W symbol, the better the overall performance of your engine in cold and freezing weather. The same applies for the number after the W symbol which is an indicator of performance in high temperatures. You should also consider the age of your vehicle and the total number of services it has had.
Also pause to think about the condition of your engine. If your car has logged in loads of kilometers for many years and has been using single weight oil, multi weight oil will never work aptly with regard to lubricating worn and run down engine components that have become tinier with bigger spaces in between. For greater oil thickness, you should upgrade to heavier single weight car oil once your car starts ageing and burns oil faster than ever. Be careful of thinning in the summer season. Follow these tips towards selecting the right oil for your car!