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Things to Consider When Buying Engine Oil for Your Vehicle


The various types of engine oil in the market are produced for different purposes and vehicles. To choose the proper type of oil for your vehicle, do not allow price to determine your choice. You need to first ask yourself some key questions concerning your car and also understand the significance of the following:

  • Oil additives:

Refiners blend in various additives to help the oil keep your engine cool, clean, and corrosion-free. These additives can account for as much as 25 percent of the cost of the oil.

  • Viscosity ratings:

Viscosity is the oil’s resistance to flow or an oil’s speed of flow. Oil is rated and identified by its viscosity. There is single-viscosity oil and multi-viscosity oil. Almost every vehicle is designed to run on multi-viscosity oil. The lower the number, the thinner the oil and the more easily it flows.  To find out which viscosity to choose for your vehicle, look in your owner’s manual for an oil viscosity chart.

  • Oil classification codes:

Other things to know while selecting engine oil includes the API certification mark on an oil container, also known as “Starburst”. An oil displaying this mark meets your current engine’s protection standard and fuel economy requirements of the international lubricant standardization and approval committee (ILSAC), a joint effort of USA Japanese automobile manufacturers.

Also, ask yourself the following questions:

What kind of oil does your owner’s manual recommend?

The owner’s manual contains the recommended oil and all other information you need to keep your vehicle in good shape. If your vehicle is still under warranty, using something other than the recommended oil may invalidate the warranty on a new vehicle.

  1. Do you live in a very cold or very hot climate? 

What is the temperature of your location? Are there sharp changes in temperature? Multi-weight oils cover a range of temperatures. The lower the number before the “W,” the better the oil works in cold weather and vice-versa.

  1. How old is your vehicle?

If you have an old vehicle that has been running on single-weight oil for most of its life, it would have built up quite a bit of sludge because some single-weight oils don not have detergent in them. If you suddenly switch to multi-viscosity oil, the detergent in it will free all the gook in your engine, and the gook will really foul things up.

  1. How worn out is your vehicle’s engine?

Multi-weight oil isn’t consistently thick enough to lubricate the worn engine parts that have become smaller while wearing down which leaving wider spaces between them. To keep the oil thick enough to fill these gaps, switch to heavier single-weight oil as your vehicle gets older and starts to run more roughly or burn up oil more quickly. If you’ve been running on 30-weight oil, switch to 40-weight at least in hot weather, when oil tends to thin out.

Putting all these into consideration when buying engine oil for your vehicle, will save you the stress and cost of repair caused by regular use of the wrong or substandard engine oil for your vehicle.

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