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How to choose the right oil for your vehicle -
Not all oil is created equal. So how do you determine the best one for your vehicle?
Oil change basics to keep your car healthy everyday
Your vehicle’s manufacturer should specify the recommended viscosity of oil for your vehicle in the owner’s manual. The recommended viscosity is usually printed on the oil cap under the hood as well. Viscosity represents the thickness of the oil as measured by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) during hot and cold temperature testing. Viscosity is represented by a number followed by a letter followed by another number; for example, 5W-30 and 5W-20 are common viscosities. The first number is the oil’s viscosity in cold temperatures. The cold weight is thinner to allow for easier start-ups and less strain on the engine during cold temperatures. The second number is the oil’s viscosity when warm and is typically a heavier (or thicker) oil to provide better protection at higher temperatures. The “W” paired with the first viscosity designates an oil that is certified by the SAE for low temperature use.
The necessary viscosity of your oil varies from car to car, but most cars can handle multi-viscosity oil. A one-size-fits-most for automotive engines, multi-viscosity oil passes SAE specifications for thin oils at low temperatures and thick oils at high temperatures. However, older cars benefit from thicker or heavier oil, as the thicker oil helps condition seals and decrease friction as parts of the engine wear. Oil viscosity is listed on the bottle. Oils are also listed by grade; the higher the grade number, the higher the viscosity. Manufacturers also recommend certain oil grades for certain vehicles.
Once you’ve determined the recommended viscosity for your vehicle, it’s time to choose the type of oil. The most common oil types are conventional, synthetic blend, and synthetic. Conventional oils are organic and more limited in their capabilities. They are highly reactive to temperatures. Synthetic oils, on the other hand, are entirely man-made. They have fewer impurities, more additives and provide better engine performance. Synthetic blend oils are exactly as they sound – a blend of conventional and synthetic oil. While synthetic oil can be on the pricier side, synthetic blends are more affordable and still offer more performance enhancement than conventional oil. Again, you’ll want to check your owner’s manual to see if the vehicle’s manufacturer recommends a type of oil. Some cars leave the factory lot with synthetic oil, so manufacturers will recommend synthetic oil moving forward.
While you’ll get nothing but increased performance using better oil than the manufacturer’s recommendation, using a lesser oil can result in damage to your engine. Better still, take advantage of Highways FREE consultation and advisory service to unravel this complex mix of how, when and why about engine oils and when to oil change. Check out the oil services we offer and schedule your next service today.
Severe is the New Average
Most motorists know it’s important to change their oil routinely. What many don’t know is why it’s important, and how often it should be changed. Fresh oil lubricates the many parts of your engine, transfers heat away from the combustion, and helps keep contaminants out of your engine. Over time, the additives in oil which help lubricate and protect your engine are depleted, including viscosity improvers and corrosion inhibitors. Routine oil changes keep the additives fresh and your engine protected from contaminants.
The new Normal
Vehicle manufacturers recommend intervals for oil changes in the vehicles’ manuals, both for average and severe driving conditions. However, according to the Filter Manufacturer’s Council, only roughly 20% of vehicles are regularly driven under “normal” conditions, while 4 out of 5 drivers fall into the “severe” category. As defined by AAA, the Car Care Council, and the Filter Manufacturer’s Council, “severe,” or as we should say, the “new normal” driving conditions include:
If these are the “new normal,” be sure to refer to your vehicle manufacturer’s standard for severe driving when referencing the frequency with which you change your oil. Also check your vehicle’s manual for recommended oil types, as different oils do different things. Bring your car into Highway Auto for a multi-point inspection, including an oil level check, and ask Steve or one of our expert technicians about the best type of oil for your vehicle.
- Trips of less than 8 kilometres, particularly in cold weather.
- Frequently idling for long periods of time or driving in stop and go traffic.
- Sustained highway driving in hot weather.
- Towing a boat or trailer or carrying heavy objects on a rooftop rack.
- Driving in above average hot and below average cold temperatures.
- Driving in dusty or dirty driving conditions, such as dirt or gravel roads.
- Driving on step hills or mountains on a regular basis.
New car service - Log book service includes warranty inspection.
Highway Auto Electrics carry out new car log book services as prescribed by the manufacturer, as expected we use only genuine replacement parts and premium grade lubricants. At each service we inspect your vehicle to locate any items for warranty correction or replacement.Click here for more information.
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Oils aint oils, or thats what they say. Read that as: there is a lot more to changing your oil and which oil to use than most folk think. Next time your car or 4X4 is due for a service or an oil change if you like bring it to highways for the best service and the best advice on what will deliver good value for your money and prevent unnecessary expense from preventable events. Stop paying too much for your car repairs and service ring Steve and make a booking now. Dial direct (07) 49261303.