The motor oil in automobiles has to function under various temperature and pressures. For example, vehicles must endure the cold weather of the winter and the hot weather of the summer. Oil has a harder time flowing in the cold and an easier time flowing in the summer. And if you’re hauling a heavy load on top of that, it is even more work for the oil. This resistance to flow calculation is known as viscosity.
There are standards for measuring the characteristics of oil which have been determined by the American Petroleum Institute. SN is their latest standard set forth for all gasoline engines. Because of this, all the oil you buy in the present will have to be equal or better than the previous standards such as SG, SF, SJ, SL, and SM. Check your owner’s manual to find the right oil for your car and at least 2 accurate multi-grade specifications that coincide with the engine of your vehicle. Do not just look for a brand name when choosing oil. Your manual should recommend an oil that has a requirement such as “compliant with standard SN of API.”
The numerical codes of these standards are defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers. For example, winter is represented by the letter “W” and it is only suitable when the viscosity is equal or less than 25. This means it is best used in the wintertime or cold temperatures. If the viscosity of the oil is over 25, then it is too thick and should only be used in warmer temperatures.
Wrong Engine Oil Effects
If the cold viscosity of your oil is too much, then you won’t be able to start your car in colder temperatures. If the hot viscosity of your oil is too much and then you start your car, the oil will lose its strength and it won’t lubricate the components of the engine properly. This will result in the oil being burnt.
It does not matter which motor oil brand you use. The only thing that matters is the viscosity rating such as 10W30 or 5W20. Your owner’s manual will tell you which one to use. If you end up using the wrong oil in your vehicle for too long, the components of the engine won’t be lubricated as much which will result in the engine’s life being shortened. If the owner’s manual recommends you use synthetic oil, then that is what you should use. Do not believe the myth that mixing synthetic oil with regular oil is bad for the engine because it is not. You won’t benefit from doing this, though.
Use the oil that is recommended by the manual. Just make sure it is a multi-grade oil which matches the service standard that is required. If you get your oil changed and end up putting a heavier oil in your vehicle one time, then it won’t become a huge issue. All it will do is lower your fuel mileage. However, the manufacturer could provide a recommendation to go with an oil that has a higher viscosity if the usage of the oil is more demanding.