You probably think that choosing an engine oil for your car is a pretty simple business. Head to the nearest auto parts store and pick up the same oil you’ve always used.
Because every oil is pretty much the same… right?
Unless you are an automobile enthusiast or own an engine oil business, you probably don’t know what the boldly printed ‘XW-XX’ on the bottle means. Or which oil is actually right for your car.
Choosing the right oil comes down to viscosity.
Viscosity, if you remember high school physics correctly, is a fluid’s resistance to flow. The car engine oil fraternity usually denotes it in the ‘XW-XX’ format, where ‘W’ stands for winter and the number before it denotes the oil’s flow at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
The lower this number, the lesser is the chance of oil thickening.
If the oil thickens too much, all the running parts of the engine are deprived of it, which can result in overheating.
This is why you need to use the perfect oil to suit the temperature you’re driving in.
Say, for instance, that you need to drive around in cold temperatures of about 10 degree Celsius. To ensure a safe ride, you need an oil with a viscosity between 0W to 5W.
If, on the other hand, your usage is specific to higher temperatures, an oil with viscosity between 10W to 30W would work best.
Additives are usually a factor you need to look into before choosing an oil because they often offer additional care for your engine. Not every oil is created equal.
These additives range from detergents (removes deposits and prevents rust), foam inhibitors (which remove the foam dispersed by the crankshaft), and friction modifiers (which reduce friction to improve mileage).
Choose an oil with a healthy mix of the right viscosity and additives to prolong the life of your car.
To quickly educate yourself about the right oil for your car, simply go through your owner’s manual.
Typically, it lists out a variety of oils that can be used to suit your specific needs and usage.
If you keep these points in mind, picking the right engine oil for your car becomes a breeze. You’ll have a smoother, safer ride. Not to mention, a longer-lasting car.