Different Types of Motor Oil for Cars

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Different Types of Motor Oil for Cars

motor oil
Motor oil plays several important roles in your vehicle, from helping to lubricate mechanical parts to reduce friction, to preventing overheating. Maintaining the right oil levels and ensuring that you use only the best oil for your vehicle then, is an important way to ensure that your vehicle lasts as long as possible, and performs optimally during that time.

This begins with choosing the right type of oil for your vehicle. So what are the different types of oil? Let’s take a look.

Types of Motor Oil

Full Synthetic

Fully synthetic motor oil is often preferred for vehicles that require peak performance levels and require maximum lubrication. This is because synthetic oil offers higher levels of viscosity, and also has more resistance to oxidation and thermal breakdown. It is less likely to accrue a build-up of sludge that can harm performance.

The downside? Synthetic motor oil is also more expensive. In fact, it can be up to four times more expensive! It’s therefore important for you to understand the differences and therefore to know whether this is a worthwhile investment for you.

Conventional Oil

Conventional motor oil is made from minerals and is therefore also referred to as “mineral oil.” This oil works perfectly well for the vast majority of vehicles but is the lowest performance in terms of heat degradation, sludge build-up, etc.

Synthetic Blend

The synthetic blend offers a safe middle-ground that is a good choice for many motorists. That’s because the synthetic blend is made from the same mineral base as conventional oil, but with the addition of many synthetic ingredients that will provide additional benefits and properties: helping the oil to withstand temperatures and avoid sludge build-up, for example.

What Do the Numbers Mean on Oil?

Once you have decided on the type of oil you are going to use, you then need to choose the right type for your particular vehicle. Oils are given different scores based on the optimum temperature, as well as the viscosity. You will likely have encountered this in the past: for example, you may have worked with oil that says “5W-30” on it.

Here, the “W” stands for winter. That means that the oil will have a thinness of “5” during the winter, and “30” when it is very hot. Is viscosity better? More viscosity means more lubrication, but also means the oil won’t have the best performance during start-up.

And no: mixing two types of oil won’t give you the benefits of both! Though there is no harm in mixing types should you need to.

How to Change Your Engine Oil and How Long Does it Take?

The first step is to open the drain plug. This in itself can be fiddly and therefore might take about 2 minutes.
From there, you’ll then need to let the oil drain. This can take a little while – usually around 10 minutes. The good news though is that you can get on with other things while that drains such as changing the filter. This is one of the factors that will alter the amount of time it takes for your oil to be changed.

The filter is held in place with a cap in newer engines. This can be tough once again to remove and will often take about four minutes.

From there, you’ll then need to remove the old filter cartridge and seal. This takes approximately two minutes.
Then you need to install the new filter and seal it. This can add an extra three minutes to how long your oil change takes.

Now you’ll want to get the cap back on and for this, you’re looking at anywhere from 10-11 minutes. This isn’t just a matter of turning it in place! The mechanic will then need to reset the ‘maintenance required light’ which will take just a few minutes. Often, it’s a simple process of holding down a few buttons.

Then you’ll need to reinstall the drain plug bolt with a new washer and that will take around two minutes. And of course, you also need to fill up with fresh oil! This can take around four minutes. So, there you have it! Now you know how to choose the right oil for your car, and to change it if you should need to.

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