It should be simple, right? Oil is just a lubricant, it all looks the same. Just grab it off the shelf and pour it in. Your engine was designed with a certain type, amount, and viscosity in mind. A work truck will require different oil than a standard truck that is driven daily. If you choose an oil that strays from the manufacturer’s standard, then your vehicle will likely perform poorly. It can be worse, the wrong oil can damage your engine and even result in a seized engine. Engines are more sophisticated than ever before, and so is motor oil.
In your owner’s manual, you will find what oil is right for your car. This will be influenced by ambient temperatures, mileage, and your driving. It can be daunting to stand before the staggering options on the shelf and wonder which viscosity and additives are right for you. You don’t need to do that. Your owner’s manual is your vehicle’s bible. It will tell you everything that you need to know about oil.
There are two symbols to look out for.
- The Donut – you will see it split into three sections that describe the performance level of the toil. The top is performance level, the center tells you about viscosity, and the bottom signifies energy conservation.
- The Starburst – this indicates that your oil has been tested to meet the standards as set by the American Petroleum Institute.
Additionally, the performance level is denoted by a C for diesel engines and an S for gas.
This tells you how well oil flows at certain temperatures (0 and 212, Fahrenheit). It is these tests that designate your oil at 0W-30 or 10W-30, etc. If there are two numbers, this tells you the oil has been tested at two different temperatures and is multi-grade. Single-grade oils are available, you will generally find these in use for such engines as lawnmowers.
There are also additives to consider. Understand that your manual may suggest more than one type of oil. This is because factors like temperature must be taken into consideration. If you live in a hot environment, then a higher number is necessary to prevent thinning.
There are a variety of additives on the market. Detergents can remove deposits but are generally preventative. Friction modifiers should improve mileage by reducing engine friction. Foam inhibitors prevent the foam in the pan caused by the crankshaft. While an anti-wear additive protects surfaces. Additives can work well, however, there are many factors to consider when choosing what additives would benefit you. Talk to us about what type of additives and oil are right for your vehicle’s engine.
In addition to all of the factors we discussed above, it’s vital that you book your car in for regular servicing. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often your car requires a service, and will also tell you how often to change the oil. We can set up a schedule to ensure your vehicle is as reliable as the day you purchased it.