Why oil for my car?
So now we know that the engine oil is essential for the smooth running of the engine. But do you know all engines can’t work with the same engine oil?
Yes, different engines require different engine oils to function and operate normally. The car manufacturer recommends the engine oil based on the parameters of your car. You ought to know the grade of the engine oil your car needs as well. This will help you get the best performance from your motor. A good oil will also increase the lifespan of the engine.
Know This! 7 Questions You Should Ask About Your Car Engine Oil
Engine oils have got different grades. SAE has graded them based on their viscosities. Viscosity is the quantity expressing the internal friction of the fluid. Different engine oils have different viscosities at room temperature. They also react differently to temperature changes.
The engine oil grade is in the form of an alpha-numeric code. Let’s see what each character that makes up the code means:
The 10W-30 engine oil will have a better flow than the 10W-40 engine oil at normal operating temperature.
Take a look at some internationally used engine oil grades-
Before you go ahead and purchase any engine oil, know what type of oil your hatchback, sedan or SUV requires. It is essential to understand what goes into your car. This is after all the deciding factor that ensures that the engine runs smooth, slick and efficient.
In general, there are three types of engine oil: Mineral, Semi-Synthetic and Synthetic Engine Oils.
This is the crudest kind of engine oil. Mineral Engine oil is considered as the genesis that paved the way for modern engine oils. Mineral oil is essentially refined petroleum oils which undergo treatment to function under a wide range of temperatures. Besides, mineral oil is cheaper in the market compared to the other two varieties. Nowadays, we use mineral oils in older vehicles and motorcycles.
The biggest problem with mineral oil is that they offer little to no lubrication and protection against friction-induced heat. Also, they perform very inefficiently in colder temperatures. They are also much susceptible to breakdown during high-temperature uses. Mineral oil requires more frequent replacement as well. They don’t last for more than 5000 km.
This positions itself right in between the territory of Mineral and Full Synthetic oil. Semi-Synthetic oil offers the affordability of mineral and the performance of synthetic. This kind of engine oil provides as much as three times the protection compared to mineral oils.
Semi-synthetic oil is also known as synthetic blend oil. Here, a small amount of synthetic engine oil is mixed in with mineral oil. This boosts its properties without escalating the cost by much. The addition of synthetic oil enhances its viscosity and wear resistance of the engine oil at higher temperatures and stress. Synthetic-blend engine oils can also offer better performance at lower temperatures compared to mineral oils.
The thumbs down with semi-synthetic is that they do not offer the superior level of protection that a full synthetic does.
This is the cutting edge in engine oil technology. Full synthetic engine oil delivers excellent protection and contributes to greater fuel efficiency.
Synthetic oils go through extensive treatment in the laboratory. The process breaks down the mineral oil into the most basic molecules. This makes them significantly superior to their counterparts. This also helps remove any impurities to a very high degree. The molecules of synthetic oil are also very consistent in their size and shape, offering superior lubrication. Full synthetic oil functions at their optimum in both low or high temperatures, or under extraordinary stress.
The science behind manufacturing synthetic engine oil is an expensive and painstaking one, which makes synthetic oils significantly costly.
Your guide to choosing the right kind of engine oil for your car
Motor oil is indispensable to your car engine. It makes sure that the motor works in the best condition possible. So which engine oil should you go for? This would depend on the car you drive as well as where you drive it. However, remember to choose the manufacturer specified engine oil for your car.
Also, look out for your car and get the oil changed periodically. Wondering who the best person is to service your car? Think GoMechanic. We are here to assist you!
Read More? Here you go! 10 Most Googled Questions About Engine Oil, Answered!
Engine oil is for a car, what blood is for a human being. It won’t be wrong to say that any vehicle can’t survive without engine oil. It serves as a protection for car components against wear and tear even when temperatures inside the motor go in access of 120 degrees. Hence, choosing the wrong grade of engine oil for a car or opting for an inferior quality one can have very bad results.
This is because wrong fluids lead to increased friction between the movings parts of the engine, which in turn causes accelerated wear and tear. Also, using the wrong viscosity of engine oil can lead to a huge drop in the performance of the car. Also, in case of an oil leak, the engine is sure to seize, which will lead to an expenditure of lakhs in repairs. Therefore, it’s really important to know how to choose the best engine oil for a car.
Before you go ahead and purchase the engine oil, it’s important to know what grade of oil should be used. The same can be figured out by having a look at the car’s instruction manual. In the section below, we’ll give you details of all the essential terminologies of engine oil to help you choose the best one for your beloved car –
API Standard (SL, SM, SN, or SJ) – This is a standard set by the American Petroleum Institute in order to classify the motor oils based on their performance. You should refer to your car’s owner manual to figure out the API Standard that your car’s manufacturer recommends.
Viscosity Grade- The viscosity grade determines the thickness of the engine oil along with its stress holding capacity. Thin engine oil works well for winters, but an engine oil of a higher grade is recommended for summers. This is also why performance cars, whose engines often work at very high temperatures, come with a higher viscosity oil. The viscosity of the engine oil is determined through a set of two numbers, for example, 10W-30, 0W-40 or 15W-40, or 5W-30. For example, if an engine oil is of grade 5W-30, it means its viscosity grade of cold start is 5W. An engine oil of grade 0W-40 shows that a car can have a cold start even in freezing conditions as the oil is thin enough to flow through all the parts. An oil grade of 10W-30 generally works for places where temperates are pretty high. Basically, the lower the Low Winter (W) viscosity, the easier it is for the engine oils to flow through the motor.
Coming back to the example of 5W-30, where 5W denotes the viscosity, the ’30’ determines the thickness of the oil at a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius. It’s best to follow the recommended oil grade, as an engine oil with ’40’ grade is thicker. That said, it can survive better in higher temperatures.
ACEA Rating – The ACEA Rating of engine oil is its lubricant ratings. Some examples of ACEA Rating include A5/B5, A3/B4, etc. This property of the oil is figured out using several parameters, including sludge, ear, soot thickening, oxidative thickening, and fuel economy. It gets quite important to keep the ACEA rating in mind when choosing the engine oil, particularly for vehicles with a diesel engine.
From above, it is quite clear that it is of utmost importance to get to know the Correct Engine Oil Grade for your car. Using oil of Incorrect Viscosity grade, irrespective of its price, can lead to increased wear and tear of several components of the engine. Hence, you’re requested to surely check your car owner manual for recommended engine oil grade as these recommendations are made only after extensive development by the carmaker’s expert engineers.
In all, there are 3 Types of Engine Oils available for cars –
Synthetic oil is produced to offer the best protection from the wear and tear caused by braking, accelerating, and clutch usage. Hence, if you are someone who drives in high traffic conditions, it pays to go for synthetic oil as it leads to lesser production of sludge. It’s also best suited for performance-focused cars and motorcycles and even helps with the achievement of higher mileage. This oil even results in lower NVH and higher refinement. It’s also best suited for those who travel long distances. Most fully synthetic oils cost anywhere around Rs 1050 to Rs 1250 per litre. A fully synthetic oil lasts up to 10000 km or 1 year, whichever comes earlier.
Semi-synthetic oil costs much lesser than fully synthetic oil and is a cost-effective solution in case your annual running is less than 10,000 km. It costs anywhere from around Rs 550 to Rs 650 per litre. However, in case your running is high, it’s recommended to go for fully synthetic oil as semi-synthetic offers lower protection and increased wear and tear of components. Semi-Synthetic oil has a changing interval of 6000 to 7500 Kms or 12 Months, whichever is earlier.
Mineral Oil is the most cost-effective and can be used for cars that come with small engines and aren’t driven much. However, it offers far lower protection than synthetic oil. It even costs much lesser, with a litre costing as low as Rs 300. Mineral oil is generally good only for 5,000 km or 6 months, whichever comes first.
- Unusual Sounds From Your Engine. Nobody likes to hear unfamiliar noises from their car, especially from the engine.
- Dirty or Grimy Oil.
- Your Oil Level Is Low.
- Dashboard Warning Lights.
- Smoke From Your Exhaust.
- Abnormal Vibrations.
- A Burning Smell.
- You Travel Often.
In a nutshell, engine oil lubricates your engine's moving parts to reduce the damaging friction that reduces performance. Driving with low oil levels can significantly reduce the life of your vehicle. Clean oil also prevents the buildup of sludge which can clog the narrow oil passages in your engine.