How to choose the right engine oil for your car?

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More than just a requirement than a privilege, cars play a significant role in people’s lives. Like all machines, they require proper maintenance to function correctly. The most important way to keep your vehicle running smoothly is to use the appropriate engine oil.

Car owners should always pick the best option for something as important as their car. Using the right engine oil for a vehicle is crucial, as the wrong oil can cause extreme damage to the engine.

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Consider reading this article if you want to know how to select the best engine oil for your car.

Determine the climate where you drive

One of the most critical factors when choosing an oil is the climate where you drive. In climates that are very hot and dry, such as Texas or Arizona, you should use an oil with a low viscosity index (VI). The VI rating indicates how quickly an oil thins when exposed to heat.

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Oils with higher VIs perform well in cold weather but tend to build up sludge and varnish more quickly under extreme heat.

If you live in areas where temperatures often drop below freezing or snowfall occurs frequently, then look for an oil with a high VI number for optimal performance during winter.

Determine the right viscosity level.

Viscosity is the thickness of the oil. It’s measured in centistokes (CST). The more CST, the thicker your oil will be. This is crucial to selecting an appropriate viscosity level for your car.

If you have a turbocharged vehicle or live in a hot climate, then it’s advisable to use high-viscosity oil such as 15W 50 (which has a higher number rating).

Verify oil standards

The next step in choosing the best oil for your vehicle is verifying oil standards. There are basically three major standards that you should be aware of:

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  • API (American Petroleum Institute) – it’s a standard used in most American cars, which means it meets all the requirements of this spec. It consists of a base grade, i.e., 0W-20 or 5W-30, and two viscosity grades, i.e., SAE 30 or 40 — both indicating that they’re made for extreme temperature conditions (cold or hot).
  • ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association) – has slightly different designations than its American counterpart: “A3/B3” indicates an engine oil with a viscosity rating SAE 15W-40; “A2/B4” indicates an engine oil with a viscosity rating SAE 5W-40; “C1/C3” indicates an engine oil with either SAE 10W-40 or 20W-50 viscosity rating.

Different types of engine oil

There are 4 main types of oil – conventional, synthetic, high-mileage, and synthetic blend.

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The most common type is conventional motor oil, which has been around for more than 100 years. Conventional oils are made from natural gas and crude oil (petroleum). These oils have additives that help protect against wear on engine parts as well as corrosion in the engine chamber.

Synthetic oils do not contain additives because they are man-made in a lab with different components than those found naturally occurring in a vehicle’s crankcase oil supply tank.

Wrapping Up

Besides routine maintenance, picking the appropriate engine oil when getting an oil change is another crucial consideration. It would help your car in the long run because oil is essentially the engine’s lifeblood. The long-term penalty of ignoring this reality is that your machine will start to malfunction early or fail dramatically.

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