Motor oil is essential to the functioning of your car. Quite simply, the engine needs oil to lubricate, cool and clean its moving parts. On a regular basis, the oil needs to be changed, replacing old oil with fresh, clean oil. It’s simple, routine maintenance that makes a big difference in how well your car works. But there are different kinds of oil available to use in your car. How do you know which kind is right for your car?
The three basic types of oil:
– Conventional oil is petroleum based. It typically lasts for 3,000 miles. Additives alter the quality of conventional oil and what it’s best suited for. Despite refining processes, there are still contaminants in conventional oil that can build up and become harmful to your car, making regular oil and filter changes critical.
– Synthetic oil is man-made, in a lab. It does not contain the containments of conventional oil. It performs better at extremes of high and low temperatures and therefore is more stable. Because of its stability, it lasts longer without breaking down. That means that you can go longer between oil changes, typically every 7,000 miles. It’s also better for the environment both in its make-up and because fewer oil changes mean fewer oil containers in landfills. Although more expensive than Conventional oil, because of the less frequent changes, the cost ends up being approximately the same over the course of a year.
– Synthetic blend is just what the name implies, a cocktail of additives, conventional and synthetic oil. It’s a good compromise price wise, lasts about 5,000 miles, and works for most vehicles.
What about the “W” numbers?
– The different numbers, 5W 20, 5W 30 etc. refer to the viscosity (consistency) of the oil. Your engine will run best with the manufacturer’s specified viscosity. In some cases a different viscosity is recommended for temperature extremes.
– Your mechanic will be able to look up what type of oil your manufacturer recommends based on the model and age of your car and the conditions in which you drive.
Come in to Amina Auto Repair and we can help you determine which is the right oil for your car.