The oil you put in your car is critical to its daily function. Oil lubricates and cools moving parts, keeps them clean and helps to seal the pistons inside the cylinders. Without oil, your engine would run for a few seconds and then seize up.
Because oil is so important, we want the best we can find. Oil change Springfield MO stores have oils for many different uses – high tech engines, new cars, old cars, off road SUVs – the list goes on. In addition, the oil rating system can seem cryptic to the uninitiated, so here’s a brief primer on what the numbers mean and which type of oil is best for your car.
First, let’s get these cryptic numbers out of the way. Oils are rated with two numbers, for example 20W-50. The first number is the oil’s viscosity at 0⁰ F and the second is its viscosity at 212⁰ F. Viscosity is like thickness – the oil’s resistance to flowing.
When it heats up, motor oil flows more than it does when it is cold. Chemical additives are used to help the oil resist thinning too much when it heats up to keep the seals closed and the moving parts well lubricated.
When the oil is cold it has to resist thickening too much or it won’t be able to move to all parts of the engine. It also takes more energy (in the form of gas) to move the crankshaft, so it can be hard to start the engine if the oil is too thick when cold. 5W- or even 0W- oils are good for winter.
Once you have chosen the weight of your oil, there are more choices to make. Your favorite auto repair springfield mo shop can help you decide.
Premium conventional oil is the standard oil a new car has when it first rolls off the lot. Manufacturers usually use a 5W-20 or 5W-30 for colder areas of the country and a 10W-30 for warmer areas. Modern conventional oil should be changed along with the oil filter every 4000 miles or 4 months. If the oil change light goes on, it should be changed right away.
Synthetic oil is made for high-tech engines. These oils have superior performance and last longer. They flow better at lower temperatures and keep a high lubrication factor at high temperatures. Your user’s manual will tell you if you need synthetic oil.
Synthetic blend oil is a combination of synthetic and conventional oil and provides some of the benefits of synthetic oil while keeping the price lower than synthetic oil. These oils work well in cars that have a bit higher loads (like a pickup or SUV) and run at high temperatures.
Higher mileage oil is designed to keep a car with more miles on the road even longer. They are formulated with seal conditioners that will help keep the rubber seals in the proper shape and increase their flexibility. Finally, they have more anti-wear additives to keep your engine in as good a shape as possible.
No matter what you drive, putting the right oil in your car is an important way to keep it running smoothly for years to come. Start with the recommendation of trusted auto care professionals and then adjust, if necessary, the oil for your particular driving needs.