When you look down the automotive isle for oil, this is generally what it looks like. Bottles everywhere, top to bottom, far left to far right, all have different labels, lots of claims to be the best, but how do you know what you need or want? There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the right oil. A few questions you should as yourself:
Q: Is my vehicle under a factory warranty?
A: If your vehicle is under a factory warranty, you must follow the guidelines in your owners manual to maintain that warranty. The brand of oil doesn't matter, as long as your using the correct type of oil, blend of oil, and interval your manufacturer recommends. If your vehicle isn't under warranty, you have the options to change your oil change interval. Higher end oils today have claims to be able to last 15,000 miles, or even 20,000 miles before needing to be changed. Full synthetic oils do not breakdown like conventional oils do, so they have the ability to go further, do more, and save you time and money in the long run. Imagine changing your oil only once a year....pure bliss, I know!
Q: Is my vehicle leased?
A: If your vehicle is a leased vehicle, usually you are required to have them serviced by the dealership. If this is you, you have nothing to worry about, because your dealership knows what goes in your car.
Q: What is the difference between oil brands?
A: There are only a select number of manufacturers that create the base oils for most oil brands. The major difference in the oil brands are the detergents and additives that are added to the base oils. Most oils are generally made up of roughly 80% base oils, and about 20% detergents and additives. So the name brand oils have more detergents and additives that help clean your engine better, give you better fuel efficiency, and overall treat your car better. There is nothing wrong with cheaper oil in your car, they are all certified and capable in keeping your car running well, but you generally get what you pay for.
Q: Conventional, Synthetic Blend, Full Synthetic, or 100% Synthetic?
A: Most cars today require a synthetic blend or full synthetic oil. Oils have a base that is categorized into groups, groups I to group V. Groups I and II are your conventional oils, they are less refined oils, cheap to make. Group III is your most popular, they are very refined petroleum oils, these are normally your synthetic blends, and most full synthetics, these will keep your engines cleaner, and generally perform well in most conditions. Group IV and V, these are your highest end oils, these are made up of PAO or Polyalphaolefins (Poly-alpha-olefins) base oils not petroleum, these are your 100% Synthetic oils, the best you can buy, and the best for your vehicle, extreme heat or extreme cold, or racing applications, and they are even used in jet engines!
Q: 0W-20, 5W-30, 10W-40, 20W-50, and so many in between! Whats the difference?
A: Again check your owners manual, that is your best bet! If your vehicle is under warranty, then you must use the manufacturer's recommendation. Most people think the W stands for Weight, but it actually stands for Winter. The first number which is followed by W (5W, 10W), detonates how thin the oil is while in freezing temperatures. So a 0W oil will move faster to crucial parts of the engine than a 10W oil. The manufacturer's recommendation is based mostly on the design of the engine. Today's manufacturer's are recommending a 0W oil much more often, and that's because their engines have evolved, bearings have much tighter clearances than before, so the crucial moving parts are much closer together than previous years, so the thinner oils can get in there faster!
Conclusion: Oils can be intimidating, hard to understand, and look like jibberish on the bottle. Ultimately, if you have a manufacturer warranty, use the blend and type they recommend, which will be in your owners manual. If your car isn't under warranty, you have the option to explore what type of oil is best for you based on your driving conditions, weather conditions, and desired interval. Do some research, decide whats best for your car, and if you are still unsure, shoot us a message, and we'll help navigate you through it!
Oil Change PROS,