What Type of Engine Oil Should I Use - Sterling Virginia - Hogan and Sons Tire and Auto
Updated: November 16th, 2017
Choosing the best oil for your car can be a daunting task given the many choices available. It is, however, easy if you know what to look out for. Below is a detailed discussion of the most important factors to consider when you want to pick the right oil for your car.
Understand motor oil labels
We recommend focusing on understanding motor oil labels first before choosing motor oil. There are a variety of motor oil types and brands with seemingly different labels, however, the best oils have labels with some important similarities. For instance, the best motor oils have the starburst symbol. You should look out for this symbol on labels because it indicates that the oil in question has met API (American Petroleum Institute) standards.
The best motor oils also have a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) label that provides the viscosity number of the oil and also lets you know if the motor oil has passed the standard Energy Conservation test. Besides API and SAE, you also need to pay attention to the type of oil indicated on the label to make sure you buy the right type of motor oil. However, this shouldn’t be a problem because motor oil type is clearly indicated on the label. If you want synthetic oil, make sure it is labeled as such. 
Understand viscosity
Labels aside, you also need to pay attention to viscosity which is simply a fluid’s resistance to flow. Viscosity is usually rated at 0 degrees Fahrenheit represented by the number that precedes the “W" (w stand for winter) as well as at 212 degrees Farenheit represented by the 2nd number in the viscosity designation. In simple terms, 20W-50 oil has more viscosity when cold and hot than 10W-30 oil. It is important to note that motor oil thickens when it cools and thins as it heats. Additives are usually added to stop the oil from thinning too much. 
The best motor oils are resistant to thinning. Thicker oil seals and lubricates moving parts better. As a result, they usually have a higher second number in the viscosity designation. For instance 10W-40 oil is better than 10W-30 in regards to resistance to thinning. 
Oil should also be resistant to thickening at low temperatures. If oil becomes too thick, the engine will need to use more force to turn the crankshaft which in turn reduces fuel economy. During winter 5W oil is generally recommended. It is, however, important to note that synthetic motor oils are specially formulated to flow easily during cold temperatures, so they usually pass viscosity tests regardless of weather. 
Oil viscosity can be a complex subject. The most important thing is having a rough idea of the ideal oil viscosity for your car. If the above information seems too much to take in, you can check your vehicle owner’s manual. The manuals usually states the recommended oil viscosity.
Know your oil types
You also need to understand the main types of motor oils to be able to pick the best for your car. There are two main types namely conventional and synthetic oil. Conventional oil is your standard or regular car oil available in several viscosities. Synthetic oil is as the name implies - the oil is synthetic. But, don't let the synthetic lable fool you. Synthetic oil is usually superior in regards to performance and durability. Synthetic oil offers added engine protection against deposits. It also flows better at both high and low temperatures. It's important to note that a synthetic oil change is more expensive than a conventional oil change. But, since your car can travel longer in between oil changes synthetic oil is probably the less expensive choice. 
Other types of motor oils include; synthetic blend and high mileage oils. As the name suggests, synthetic blend oil is a blend of oils usually synthetic and organic oils. The oil is perfect for high temperatures and heavier loads. High mileage oil is great for cars that have covered more than 75,000miles. If your car has more than 75,000 miles on the odometer, high mileage oil will be perfect for you. 
After reviewing the above information, you should be well on your way to picking the right motor oil for your vehicle. Understanding motor oil labels will help you choose the highest quality oil that has been tested to meet American Petroleum Institute standards as well standard energy conservation tests. Understanding motor oil viscosity helps you understand how to choose the best kind of motor oil viscosity for your vehicle. Understanding the various types of motor oils will help you make an informed and educated decision. 
Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto provides automotive safety and auto repair information for the sole purpose of educating the community at large. “We believe an educated customer is a loyal customer.” 8 Locations throughout the Northern Virginia area including locations near me, you, and every one in between including Sterling, Virginia. Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto: http://www.hoganandsonsinc.com  
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