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How to Choose the Right Oil for Your Car

How to Choose The Right Oil for Your Car


Viscosity is a fluid’s resistance to flow. When picking out the right oil for your car, viscosity is a key characteristic that can’t be overlooked. The type of viscosity depends on the type of vehicle you are driving, and the climate said vehicle is in. Typically, a car manufacturer will recommend two or more motor oil viscosities (5W-20 or 5W-30)

The number preceding the “W” is the rate of the oil’s flow at 0˚F. The lower the number, the less it thickens in the cold. That being said, a vehicle that drives in cold weather would benefit from a 0W or 5W viscosity.

The numbers following the “W” rates the oil’s viscosity at 212˚F. This represents the oil’s resistance to thinning at high temperatures. The lower the number, the faster the oil will thin out at high temperatures.

Different Types of Oil

Just how there are different viscosities, there are different types of oil that are dependent on the age of your vehicle, your driving style, and the climate you are driving in. Below are the different types of oil and what type of vehicles they should be used on.

Conventional Oil

Conventional oil is made from petroleum and is the most common type of oil used in older passenger vehicles. This oil is good for owners that change their oil every three months or 3,000 miles. The pros of this oil are that it’s the most affordable oil out there. The cons are that it contains impurities and doesn’t perform as well at extreme temperatures.

Premium Conventional Oil

This is your standard, new-car oil. Most of these oils are available at the typical viscosities (5W-20, 5W-30, and 10W-30). These three viscosity ratings will cover just about every light-duty vehicle on the road.

Synthetic Oil

According to Firestone Complete Auto Care, synthetic oil “goes through additional chemically engineered processes to create more uniform molecules with fewer impurities. The pros of this oil are that it performs better at more extreme temperatures, and it’s ideal for high-tech engines. While this oil is excellent for specific vehicles, it is notably more expensive, about three times more expensive than conventional oil.

Synthetic-blend Oil

This oil is premium conventional oil with a dose of synthetic oil. This oil is popular with trucks and SUVs because it offers better protection during heavier engine loads and the associated higher temperatures.

High-mileage Oil

High-mileage oil is designed for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles on them. It contains additives, like seal conditioners, that are designed to help older engines last longer. These additives can restore seals, prevent leaks, enhance engine performance, and reduce smoke and emissions in older engines. Unfortunately, it costs more per quart because of all of the additives.

Choosing The Right Type of Oil

As mentioned earlier, the type of oil you pick is dependent on certain factors. Those factors include the age of your vehicle, your driving style, and the climate you’re driving your vehicle in.

If your vehicle has more than 75,000 miles on it and you see oil spots in the driveway, consider changing to high-mileage oil. However, if you are using synthetic oil and your vehicle seems to run fine, don’t worry about it.

There are typically two types of drivers—ones who drive short distances at moderate speeds and those who drive long distances at highway speeds. If you are doing a lot of city driving, consider high-performing oil that will last longer. Here’s where you’ll want to use synthetic oil

Consider your climate and owner’s manual to determine the proper viscosity grade, specific oil type, and oil drain interval. Climate does play a factor in the type of viscosity you need your oil to be.  However, the vehicle’s manufacturer will always have recommendations.

Home Service Oil

Home Service Oil carries all types of oils for all types of vehicles.  You name it, we supply it. From VP Racing fuels and oils to Mobil Motor Oils, we have what you’re looking for. If your bulk supply of oil is starting to lack, call us today at 1-800-467-5044 to schedule a delivery.





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