Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


How to Choose the Right Engine Oil for Your Car - Vol.113

Your car needs good engine oil for it to work perfectly. Whenever you go to a mechanic, the first thing he or she checks is your car's engine oil. The oil you use greatly impacts your engine. For this reason, it is imperative to use good quality engine oil. Some things that you need to keep in mind when choosing engine oil for your car are:

Your Vehicle
First of all, it is important to know about your vehicle. The engine oil you choose depends on which vehicle you have. Engine oil is different for a car, a truck or a bus. Whenever you buy engine oil, always keep this point in mind. Your car's manufacturer is also to be remembered. Often, companies send manuals recommending motor oil that work best with your car.

Every fluid has a viscosity level. It is the fluid's resistance to flow. Engine oil's viscosity differs from brand to brand. It is denoted by XW-XX. The 'X' shows the oil's flow at -17 0C (zero degrees Fahrenheit). The 'W' stands for winter and helps you understand the engine oil's position in declining temperature.

During winters, the lower the number the better, as a lower number means it will not become thicker in extreme temperatures. So, 5W-35 engine oil thickens less in the winter than 10W-35 oil. So, if you live in a place where the temperature is low, you should choose motor oil with a higher number to keep it from thinning.

There is another number after the 'W' that indicates the oil's viscosity at 100 0C (212 DEGREES Fahrenheit). Like the former number, this indicates the oil's condition with increasing temperature. In such cases, 10W-35 oil will thin out faster than 10W-45.

Keep the climate in mind before buying oil. If you are traveling to a hotter or colder place, you should also keep that in mind when selecting engine oil for your car. Now, that you are clear about the concept of oil viscosity and your car, it is time to move on to some different types of engine oil.

Conventional Oil
As the name suggests, this is the most conventional or commonly used engine oil. It is readily available at all auto stores and is highly demanded due to its lower prices and easy availability. This is good for owners who do not travel huge distances and believe in low-mileage.

Premium Conventional Oil
Considered to be better than the conventional oil, premium conventional oil is good for almost every light-duty vehicle. It is available in different viscosities and can be bought easily from any car oil shop.

Synthetic Oil
Synthetic oil is recommended for big cars with high-tech engines. This oil is specially produced for heavy cars to enable a smooth driving experience and to keep the engine in a good condition. Most big companies recommended synthetic oil for their cars as it keeps the engine in a good condition and secures it against several risks. However, the main reason people stay away from synthetic oil is that it is very expensive. Normally, they cost more than double when compared to conventional oil. One can use conventional oil if synthetic oil is out of range; however, if your car is very expensive or synthetic oil is highly recommended then you should only use it to maintain the car in a good condition.

The Oil Additives
The last thing to remember are the additives present in the engine oil. They should be paid attention to as they enter your car's engine along the oil and have the power to impact it both in a negative and positive way. Some commonly used additives are:

  -   Detergents

  -   Anti-wear additives

  -   Viscosity-index improvers

  -   Friction

  -   Foam inhibitors

  -   Friction modifier