Learn how to pick the right motor oil for your vehicle.
Each type of oil is graded by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The higher the grade number – up to 70 – the higher the viscosity. These numbers are often referred to as the weight of the oil. In addition to numbering, motor oil that meets low temperature requirements gets a “W” after the viscosity grade. Simple enough, right?
As your car ages, it will need slightly thicker oil for added lubrication. The parts of your car’s engine will have worn over time, increasing friction; thicker oil will help condition seals in older cars. An oil’s thickness changes with the outside temperature as well. It will become thinner with warmer temperatures and thicken when it’s cold.
There are three overarching types of oil – conventional, synthetic and synthetic blend. Conventional oil is organic and limited in its capabilities when compared to the synthetic oils, which have fewer imperfections in their chemical buildup. Conventional oil is highly reactive to temperatures, which isn’t true for synthetics; also, synthetics give you better engine performance, as they are more slippery.