What Drivers Should Know About Engine Oil

What Drivers Should Know About Engine Oil

There are now many brands and types of oil on the market.  Fortunately, there are automotive industry standards which explain all their characteristics so you can find what is best for your vehicle. Read on for some interesting information!

Getting the best oil for your vehicle

Choosing the right engine oil is not easy. For one thing, there are two basic kinds; synthetic and standard. Synthetic engine oils have been available for years and years and are considered mainstream today. As the name suggests, they are derived from chemical compounds other than those in crude oil. More expensive synthetics provide great lubrication at any temperature, contain additives to condition engine seals and may be used for a long time with no change.

So, which oil is best?  The first thing to do is consult your owner’s manual. Some vehicle makers outline specific brands, blends, and viscosities, and most always on their newer models. The designated oils could have specific additives or characteristics that your car’s engine needs for the best economy and performance. If you are ever in doubt, ask a car dealer who has experience with your vehicle model. We would recommend checking with a helpful Service team associate at Beck Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM near Jacksonville FL.

Viscosity ratings

On the front of many oil containers you will see the “viscosity rating.” Viscosity can be thought of as the oil’s “thickness.” Viscosities you might find include 0W-20, 5W-30, 10W-40, and 20W-50, but there are many others. These are multi-grade oils, with additives to tailor their viscosities to various engines’ oil requirements and operating temperatures.

Let’s Reflect

Consider oil’s role in your engine’s well-being. There’s more to engine oil than we’re able to discuss here, but with having looked at the basics, you can start to understand engine oil and make the perfect choice for your car.

We have come a long way from the days when just the auto parts store carried a few big brands of oil, and that was about it. As engines have become more complex, engine oil has diversified to keep up. This can only be a good thing.

Bonus: How to do your own oil change

For many cars, it is ideal to check the oil with your engine cold and off (there are a few exceptions, so look in the owner’s manual), when parked on a level surface. If you are not sure where your engine’s dipstick resides, consult the manual.

All you do is pull the dipstick out and wipe it clean with a towel or rag. Replace it, then pull it out again. You should see oil between the two holes or lines in the dipstick; when it is in that range, your level is fine. If it’s at or below the stick’s lower mark, add a quart and check your level again soon.

Whether you change your engine oil yourself or have it done at a garage, just be sure you do it. As the oil additives break down and contaminants get into the engine, oil’s effectiveness is compromised!  And we are not making this up; oil really does become less effective over time. And you probably don’t want to see that happen!

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