The engine oil aisle at your local store can be a daunting place. You’ll have choices of different weights, viscosities, conventional, synthetic, high mileage, and you’ll see more three letter abbreviations that you can shake a stick at.
If you’re like most people, you look at your owners manual, it gives you the recommended blend that should work best for your engine, and that’s what you go with. Either that or you trust to your local autocare professional to put the right oil for your car when you get a change.
What you need to know though, is that the recommendation in your owner’s manual is for your car when it’s brand new. As your car ages it may be better to use a different blend in order to get optimal performance. Here are 4 things you should know about oils.
The viscosity rating for any oil is shown on the front of every bottle. It’s shown as one number then a “W” then another number. Things like 10W30, 20W50 are all viscosity ratings. The first number is a rating for the oil at 0 degrees while the second number is the rating at 212 degrees. These numbers give an indication of how thick the oil is at various temperatures and how fast they flow. Oil thins as it heats and thickens as it cools, and making sure your oil is not too thin is important.
Types of Oil
There are three main types of engine oil sold in the United States. Conventional Oil, Synthetic, and High Mileage. Conventional Oil is your standard petrolium based motor oil. Every manufacturers makes conventional oils in several viscosities. Synthetic oils are made for high tech engines and are not right for every car. High mileage oils are made for older vehicles that may have a few leaky seals or wear and tear. They are designed to keep their viscosity longer without significant breakdown.
There are a whole host of additives that you can add yo your engine oil to achieve desired performance. A few of the most common are things like Detergents, Dispersants, Friction Modifiers, and Anti Wear Agents. Detergents keep your inner workings clean and help reduce buildup. Dispersants help to break down physical build ups in the system. Friction Modifiers help to reduce engine friction, and Anti Wear Agents help to shield moving metal parts in case of oil breakdown.
Understanding your Engine oil is important. Come and see the professionals at North Star Dodge or schedule an appointment and keep your car running smoothly.