What Is the Difference Between Oil Types for Vehicles?

December 1, 2017 12:59 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Most vehicle owners know that they need to take their vehicles in for routine oil changes once every three months or so, but that’s often the extent of their knowledge on motor oil. Motor oil is a major part of auto maintenance in New Palestine, IN. It comes in many varieties, and your car’s performance can differ based on the type of oil you put into it.

This is why it’s important to understand the major differences in motor oil and what they mean for your vehicle. To help you get up to speed, we created this brief guide to help you determine the differences between oil types and why they matter.

What motor oil does

Motor oil lubricates engine components and is instrumental in reducing friction, which can cause damage to your engine parts. Motor oil grades are based on viscosity, or how quickly the oil moves through the engine. The higher the motor oil viscosity, the thicker it is, meaning it flows more slowly throughout your engine.

Why viscosity matters

The thicker, or higher, the viscosity of your motor oil, the better lubrication it provides to your engine components. This results in greater protection against damage, but also takes longer to cover the engine parts, which can cause engine stress during startup.

Oils with lower viscosities move much more quickly, coating engine parts more easily but also providing less lubrication.

However, you don’t have to choose one thickness or the other. Certain oils react to different temperatures, so some oils, such as 5W-30 will move quickly upon startup, when the engine is cold, and become much thicker as the engine runs and heats up. The number preceding the “W” in the oil type indicates how the oil acts in cold temperatures.

Different types and additives

In addition to the varying viscosity, you’ll find many other motor oil distinctions. Certain types of cars run at peak performance with certain motor oils using additives.

Conventional oil is mainly used for standard cars and provides an average level of performance. This is the type of oil you’ve probably used in your car most often.

Synthetic oils, whether full synthetic or blends, have been formulated to provide superior performance and last longer, but are also much more expensive. More high-tech engines will recommend using full synthetic or blended motor oil to get the best engine performance possible.

Ultimately, the type of oil that’s best for your vehicle will be included in your owner’s manual. Make sure you know what type of oil is recommended for your vehicle before you buy and change the oil yourself, or let your mechanic know your correct vehicle make and model when you have them perform auto maintenance in New Palestine, IN so they can choose the correct oil for you.

If you’re looking for an expert mechanic to provide you with auto maintenance in New Palestine, IN, look no further than Auto Air & Heating, Inc. For 35 years, we’ve provided auto repair and maintenance services to customers. We specialize in auto heating and air but also offer services for fleet maintenance, transmission services and more! Visit us today!

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