But what makes your motor oil so valuable? What kind of engine oil is best for your car? Many locations will offer you certain brands or types, but they aren’t necessarily the best. They may be trying to upsell certain products because they cost more, or because they need to sell inventory. However, since you’re the one who has to drive the car every day, it makes sense that you should be the one who knows which oil is best.
four main types of motor oil
Synthetic: This oil is man-made, and composed of additives and chemicals that can optimize performance, as well as prevent overheating. These also include lubricants to make sure the oil keeps everything running smoothly. For high-performance vehicles, this would be a smart choice. However, because of the advanced materials included, full synthetic oil can cost a lot more than conventional.
Synthetic-Blend: As the name suggests, this is oil that is a mixture of conventional and synthetic components. This makes it suitable for extreme temperature variations and “cold starts”, where your engine has been in chilly conditions for a long time. This type of oil is ideal for vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow loads frequently. It’s also good for people in dramatic climates (such as the East Coast).
High-Mileage: This type of oil is pretty much self-explanatory. The oil itself is blended with various synthetic components to keep a high-mileage engine working optimally. If your car is over 75,000 miles and/or is driven a lot, then this type of oil can be best.
Conventional: Unfortunately, the only real benefits of basic, conventional oil is the price. Because it doesn’t have any additives or synthetic lubricants, it’s the cheapest stuff out there. While it may be tempting to go for the lowest price, it could cost you in the long run by creating more problems than it solves. Really this is only recommended if your car requires such oil. Checking your user manual will tell you if this is the case.
choosing your oil
If you’re choosing your oil, keep in mind how you use your car, how old your car is, and what kind of wear and tear it endures on a regular basis (such as cold weather). If you’re unsure, you can compare oils not only on their mixture but their labels. Many of you may notice that oil comes with numbers on it, such as 10W-30. These are grades for the oil, and tell you the ideal temperature range for it. Below are the ratings. All temperatures are in Fahrenheit.
Now that you know the different types of oil, you can start to search for the best kind of oil that will benefit your car. You can also look at manufacturer’s recommendations, or ask your mechanic for any particular types that could be better than others. Also, make sure to see how frequently the oil needs to be changed, as many synthetics can be used up to six thousand miles between changes. Above all else, however, make sure to keep your car happy and healthy, for both of your sakes.