What I need to know about engine oils
Wow writing a blog on engine oils, there is so much to know about this particular topic.
So let me start with the best advice I can give you, if in doubt in any way talk to your local Future Auto Service Centre about what is the correct engine oil for your vehicle and why they recommend it.
They have a wealth of resources available to them and will happily ensure the correct oil is used in your vehicle.
Todays vehicles are becoming more complicated and specific oils are recommended by the manufacturer for the best use in these vehicles.
In the past a mechanic may have stocked 2-3 different types of oils that covered the majority of situations, modern service centres have to stock a multitude of different oils to ensure vehicles are operating with the correct oil in the engine.
“The wrong oil will lead to the destruction of the engine and an expensive replacement cost”
The purpose of Engine oil
The engine oil is for keeping the various components inside your engine lubricated, so they can operate correctly.
Keep in mind these components are turning at thousands of revolutions per minute even at idle, so the correct engine oil is vital to the safe operation of your vehicle.
If the oils is too thick it won’t lubricate the system properly, if it is too thin it also will cause issues, so the correct engine oil must be used and must be kept clean for it to work efficiently.
So let’s go shopping
If you have ever gone into your local Bursons Auto Parts shop and looked for oil for your vehicle you will see a vast array of engine oil available in different brands and grades, usually there is a chart that will tell you what you require.
So what are the numbers all about?
To understand the numbers we need to understand the term Viscosity
Picture a jar of honey, when it is cold it is thicker and slow to pour allowing it to stick to surfaces.
When it is hot it can become almost a water consistency allowing it to flow freely over surfaces.
The engine oil in your vehicle needs to do the same, when the vehicle is cold we want a certain amount of oil to adhere to the various internal parts of the engine, to prevent wear on start up.
As the engine heats up we need the oil to become thinner so it can still keep the parts lubricated but can flow freely around the engine and its various components.
So “Viscosity, is a fluids resistance to flow”
The higher the number the more resistant the oil is to thinning
Now let’s look at those numbers
The first number 10 is its viscosity or thickness at cold temperatures (usually measured at zero degrees Fahrenheit)
The W usually stands for winter indicating it is suitable for Winter or Summer use
And the second number 40 after the dash - indicates its viscosity or thickness at hot temperatures (usually measured at 212 degrees Fahrenheit)
So a 10W-40 grade oil is more resistant to thinning than a 10W-30 grade oil.
There are lots of different types of oils on the market and you must select the oil grade and purpose recommended by the manufacturer.
Automatic transmission fluid
And these can be mineral based or synthetic based with various additives to ensure the best use for a given application.
Vehicle manufacturers are very specific about what oil is to be used in their vehicle to ensure the best performance, economy and emission requirements are met.
These are listed in your owner’s manual and must be used to maintain your vehicle warranty.
Myth: “If I haven’t done the kilometres the oil will still be good”
Reality: Engine oils chemically break down over a period of time regardless of use, so changing them at the recommended service interval is vital for keeping the system operating with the correct formulation for your vehicle.
The oil companies only warrant the use of their products for a time period specified by the manufacturer.
At Future Auto Service Centres we ensure the correct oil is used in your vehicle and is equal to or exceeds the manufacturer’s specifications, ensuring your warranty remains intact.
As I stated earlier always check with your Future Auto Service Centre about which oil is required for your particular vehicle and keep your vehicle regularly serviced.
In particular if you the time period is expiring before you do the Kilometres, The oil is breaking down while the vehicle is sitting idle.