One of the essential car maintenance services is Engine Oil Change. But how can you decide which engine oil is the best for your car? Given the choices available, this can seem like quite a difficult question. But here’s a simple guide. Let’s start with engine oil grades (and what all those numbers and letters mean).
UNDERSTANDING ENGINE OIL GRADES
Engine oils for cars have a designation in this format: XXwYY. For example, 5w30 or 10w40. The letter ‘w’ stands for ‘winter’ and the numbers on either side represent the oil’s viscosity – in other words, how easily the liquid can move or be poured at different temperatures. The first number represents the viscosity at low temperatures, while the one after the ‘w’ represents viscosity at high temperatures. Both are important: the first one is for helping your engine start without clogging it up, and the second one is for helping it function properly at very high internal temperatures.
HOW DOES ENGINE OIL VISCOSITY AFFECT MY CAR?
In layman’s terms, in cold climates, you need a lower number before the ‘w’. In a warm climate, a higher number is also fine.
As for the number after the ‘w’, this represents how quickly the oil will thin out at high temperatures. If you have a car that has an older engine or takes heavy loads, then you need a higher number after the ‘w’.
SOME COMMON CAR ENGINE OILS
So that’s it! Now you know the basics of how to choose the best engine oil for your car. If in doubt, head over to your nearest car service center when it’s time for an engine oil change. The mechanics there can give you the best advice.
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