If you own a new or newer vehicle, you need to understand some basic information about engine oil types is more important than ever. Making sure your car, truck, or SUV is properly maintained means knowing what kind of oil the manufacturer requires and making sure your auto care professional installs a product with the proper specifications during oil change service.
With advances in technology over the last several decades, automotive component manufacturing is turning out engines machined with such precision that they perform at higher levels of efficiency than ever before. While these precision engines work better than ever, they also require extra attention to continue operating at peak performance levels. Ensuring optimum performance means following your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations about scheduling intervals as well as engine oil types.
How do I know what oil type is best for my vehicle?
The owner’s manual for your vehicle should provide information about which engine oil specifications satisfy their requirements. It’s also not uncommon to lift the hood on your vehicle and find the recommended oil type printed right on the engine oil cap.
Engine oil types are identified by labeling that reflects a measurement of oil viscosity, or thickness during hot and cold operation. Numbers designations such as 10W-30, 5W-30, etc. appear on virtually all brands available for sale in the US. Most engine oils include a temperature chart showing which conditions are best for different viscosities.
While using the oil that meets the automaker’s standards is important to keep your vehicle’s engine running as it should, it is also an important condition for many vehicle warranty requirements. Failure to install engine oil with the proper specifications can void the warranty and leave you holding the bag if engine damage happens. That means you’ll be paying for an expensive engine repair to get you back on the road.
Is it Better to Use Synthetic Engine Oil Types?
Synthetic oils are man-made lubricants that differ from naturally occurring oils in that they are better able to handle extreme hot and cold temperatures. Under high-heat conditions, such as with towing heavy loads, a natural oil tends to break down faster, due in part to the impurities that remain even after the refining process.
While engine oil types vary in price, synthetic oils generally cost more than conventional oils. Some synthetic oil products justify this added expense by claiming you won’t need to change your oil as often when using their oil. Still, many automakers make no adjustments to their recommended oil-change timelines, even when using synthetic engine oils.
There are new cars that come off the assembly line with synthetic oil on board and a variety of automakers recommend synthetic engine oil types for their vehicles. It’s not your job to decide whether to use natural or synthetic oil. Your job is to make sure your auto repair professional knows which product is recommended for your vehicle and that they have the correct product on hand when its time for your scheduled oil change service.
Next time you are due for an oil change service, call Tune Tech Downtown. Have a discussion with our ASE certified technician and get the reassurance you need that you can trust us to take proper care of your vehicle.