While motor oil is used in many different kinds of engines, we most often think of using it in our automobiles. Whether you change your oil at a dealership, in specialty business, or in your own garage, you will need to determine what kind is best for your car. It can make a big difference in how long your car’s engine will last.
Types of Oil
Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended viscosity (5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-20, etc.). You may also want to talk to a professional about the best choice for your vehicle, given your driving habits and the typical operating conditions for the area. Next, you’ll have to decide the type of motor oil you would like in your car.
Conventional: This type is used most often by dealerships and service companies. It is also the least costly. Most don’t have many other additives that may benefit your engine. If you are diligent about keeping your oil changed, about every three months or 3,000 miles, this kind should be fine.
Premium Conventional: Most new cars will be serviced with this type. It is available in the most common viscosities that are appropriate for nearly every light-duty vehicle.
Full Synthetic: This type is made for high-tech engines. They are rigorously tested to ensure they have a better, longer-lasting performance, including:
– Protection against engine deposits
– Enhanced flow at low temperatures
– Greatest lubrication at high temperatures
This type is more expensive than conventional, and not all engines need it. Refer to your owner’s guide, and if it doesn’t recommend this type, it may just be an additional cost that doesn’t add that much value to your engine.
Synthetic Blend: As the name suggests, this type is actually a blend of conventional and synthetic. It is designed to give the engine better protection during heavier loads and higher temperatures. It is frequently used in trucks and SUV’s. Even though there is the synthetic component, it does not cost much more than premium conventional types.
High Mileage: Once your vehicle has more than 75,000 miles on the engine, you may want to consider a motor oil designed for that purpose. This type is formulated with seal conditioners that help to keep the internal engine seals flexible.
Once you’ve chosen among these different types, you will find there are additives that may be included to address specific engine performance conditions.
Detergents: These are designed to prevent high-temperature deposits, rust, and corrosion. They may even help remove some existing deposits.
Anti-Wear Additives: As the motor oil breaks down, it forms a film. These additives help protect the metal surfaces of your engine against that film.
Viscosity Index Improvers: Oil has a tendency to thin as the temperature increases. This additive reduces its ability to do that.
Foam Inhibitors: The crankshaft rotation causes foaming, which doesn’t lubricate as well. This additive disperses the foam.
Friction Modifiers: These additives reduce the friction in the engine, which results in improved gas mileage.
When it comes to motor oil for your vehicle, it’s best to start with the recommendation from your owner manual. Talk to your dealership or other service professionals about your particular driving habits and vehicle history. They can help you choose the product that’s right for your situation, in order to keep your vehicle running smoothly for as long as possible.