Whether you’re looking for a car repair shop, a dealership garage, or a plan to change your oil yourself, it’s extremely important to know how to find the right engine oil and filter for your car. Shouldn’t you just follow the recommended oil viscosity, type, and filter of your manufacturer? Yes, but what does viscosity mean by that? Did you even know that there were different types of oils or filters out there? The point is, the more you know, the better you’re going to be in the long run when the time comes for an oil change — no matter who does it. Therefore, when you pick up your engine oil and filter, you need to consider these important factors.
Factors to Consider When Picking Oil
Full synthetic oil is made for the high-tech engines I’ve just mentioned. For example, engines in the Corvette or Mercedes-Benz are all considered high-tech engines. The main difference between full synthetic engine oil and conventional engine oil is how it is produced. While conventional engine oil is made from natural materials, synthetic engine oils are produced strictly in laboratories. As a result, they have less impurities than conventional oils, provide superior protection and longer-lasting performance. They also flow better at low temperatures, and they still lubricate properly at higher temperatures.
This premium conventional engine oil is the new standard vehicle oil. All leading oil brands have one available for SL (service level) and are available in different viscosities. Typically, you’ll see 5W-20, 5W-30, or 10W-30. These three oils cover almost every type of light-duty vehicle on the road, and this is the most versatile engine oil on this list. As long as it’s not a high-tech engine, conventional oil will work fine.
Higher mileage oil is developed for cars with a high mileage, typically over 75,000 miles. It does two things that the other oils don’t: it replenishes the crankshaft seals to stop oil leaks, and it helps the worn-in engine perform better because it’s a bit thicker than the others.
This engine oil takes a shot of synthetic oil and injects it with conventional engine oil. The result, huh? An oil that has some protection from synthetic oil while still retaining organic oil materials that some engines need to operate. This oil works well in truck engines and SUVs because it provides extra high load protection. They are also less volatile than conventional oil and evaporate less, resulting in longer-lasting performance and protection.
The Manufacturer’s Viscosity Recommendation
Now that you know the difference between oils, it is important to consider the viscosity recommended by your manufacturer. What’s the viscosity of this? In a nutshell, viscosity is the resistance of the fluid to flow. Engine oils are rated at zero degrees Fahrenheit by the number preceding W (i.e. Winter) and 212 degrees Fahrenheit by the second number. The 10W-30 oil will therefore have less viscosity when cold and hot than the 20W-50 oil.
The Temperature Your Car Will be Operating Under
Why is viscosity so important? Because oil thickens in cold weather and thins out in hot weather. As a result, 10W-30 oil will do much better in the winter than 20W-50. It will flow through / lubricate the engine more easily, resulting in better performance over the colder months. The 20W-50 would move too slowly through the engine because it thickened like molasses.
Everyone always says that oil is the lifeblood of your engine, so what’s that going to make the filter? The answer is simple: life support. Without the filter, the engine oil could not perform properly. The filter does exactly what its name means — filters. The oil is being rolled through, and any debris that accumulates in the engine is removed when driving down the road. That way, the oil remains as clean and protected as possible. It’s already taking enough abuse to be in such a high-stress environment, and having gunk mixed in with it will only cause more problems.
So How To Choose The Right Filter?
Finding out what type of oil filter you need is not nearly as complicated as finding out what kind of oil you need. There are hundreds of different filters, but you’ll need only one type of car. In your owner’s manual, the manufacturer will tell you what type of filter you need, so all you need to do is match it up.
Are You Looking for an Independent Auto Repair Shop you Can Trust?
If you’re considering making a change to an independent auto repair mechanic trusted by thousands of happy customers, look no further than autoTECH Blackhawk. Why? We differ from other automotive repair stops because we are a relationship shop. This means that the more of your car repair needs we support you with, the better able we are to customize our recommendations based on your driving habits and needs. Whether you want to keep the daily driver in ‘good enough’ condition, style your new car so that it’s customized just for you, maintain your favorite car in ‘like new’ condition, or even train your whole family to be more knowledgeable about cars – we partner with you to ensure that your cars meet your needs. We also offer an industry-leading 3-Year/36,000 mile warranty, so we only use Original Equipment and manufacturer recommended products. Contact us now to book your no-contact, friendly appointment! We truly value your trust and your business, so thank you for staying local with your auto repair needs.
By Jon ‘ShakataGaNai’ Davis, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3177569