Choosing the Right Motor Oil for Your Vehicle

Posted on: December 15th, 2015 by Accurate Auto Body Denver No Comments

motor oil Trying to choose the correct motor oil for you vehicle can be an overwhelming process for the average motorist. The quantity of different types of oil available often makes it difficult to know which will keep your car the healthiest and out of the auto repair shop. Luckily, we’re here to give you a rough guide of what to look at when browsing through the options.

Motor Oil Viscosity Explained: Resistance to Flow

Motor oils are classified by their flow rate by temperature in the formula of ‘XW-XX,’ with the W standing for winter. The number in front of the W is the flow rate at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, indicating its performance in winter conditions. As a guide, lower numbers will perform better in cold weather by preventing the oil from thickening (e.g. 0W-30 will perform better than 5W-30). The number after the W represents the oils resistance to thinning at high temperatures (212 degrees Fahrenheit).

Science aside, the quickest way to figure out what is right for your vehicle in terms of rating is to consult your owner’s manual. There will be an oil viscosity chart to help you choose what is right for your climate.

Types of Oil

  • Conventional: This is the cheapest motor oil available, adhering to all API and SAE standards without any of the additives. If you are on top of your oil changes and your engine is well broken in, this is a good choice for the price.
  • Premium Conventional: This is the new standard oil type. Most leading car brands have several viscosity options available covering just about every light duty vehicle on the road. Make sure not to miss oil changes every 4000 miles/4 months to keep your vehicle at peak performance.
  • Full Synthetic: This is for high performance automobiles and is designed to have superior performance for viscosity and protection against deposits. But don’t be fooled by the expensive price tag and superior features; unless you have a performance engine, chances are there won’t be any benefit. Stick to your owner’s manual recommendation.
  • Synthetic Blend: This is a mix of synthetic and organic motor oil which provides better protection for large loads and higher temperatures at a price just over premium conventional. These are a good option for SUV/Truck drivers looking for higher fuel economy (a result of a lower evaporation rate) and high-load protection.
  • Higher Mileage: Manufacturers have now made a specific oil type designed for vehicles which are pushing 6 digits of mileage. This is an excellent option for getting your vehicle through its later years.


Bonus: Motor Oil Additives

In addition to the plethora of motor oil types available, you can also boost their effectiveness with additives. All manner of additives exist for rust prevention, combustion aids, engine wear particles, etc. Adding additives does not necessarily improve the effectiveness of your oil and certain additives can produce unwanted side effects. It’s best to use an additive if your vehicle is in need of it or after you have run it by your mechanic.

Bottom Line

While it is always good to understand what is happening with your vehicle, following your owner’s manual is the surest way to extend its life. Go take a look at the viscosity index chart and figure out if you’ve been choosing right. Making the switch to the right type and being conscious of oil changes is an easy way to help your vehicle push well its mileage into the 6 digits range.

How to use this information

If you have any doubts about the motor oil you have been using or are in need of an oil change, our car repair experts have all the knowledge you are looking for. Be sure to give Accurate Auto Body a call at 303-344-2122 or contact us through our website for more information and we will be happy help!

 What oil additive do you recommend to improve your vehicle’s performance?

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