Oil Viscosity Explained

Pouring Out the Information on Oil Viscosity – Encinitas Foreign & Domestic Auto Repair

A vehicle is typically a large investment, so it’s important that you protect your engine to make sure it lasts a long time. One critical protective factor is motor oil. You need to select the proper oil for your car and driving conditions. We’ll explain a bit about viscosity and engine protection, but remember that you can always count on the certified technicians at Encinitas Foreign & Domestic Auto Repair in Encinitas, California, for all your oil change and preventive maintenance needs.

Viscosity 101

Viscosity refers to how well motor oil pours at certain temperatures. Don’t worry! You don’t have to be a scientist or even a car expert to figure out viscosity because the information is on the oil label to help you. As you’re standing in front of what seems to be an endless number of choices on the auto care shelves, pay attention to that number/letter combo on the front label. Substituting actual numbers for X, the label will show XW-XX. That single X that appears just before the W refers to viscosity. The lower the number, the better the oil will pour in cold temperatures because it thickens less. The W stands for winter. It indicates a measure of how thin or pourable the oil is at zero degrees Fahrenheit. The engine oil with a 5W rating is thinner and pours more easily than its counterpart 10W rating. The numbers following the hyphen (XX) shows how oil thins out in higher temperatures. The higher the number, the thicker the oil. For Example, 5W-30 means that the oil will have a viscosity rating of 30 at 100℃.

Why Viscosity Matters

Perhaps you’re wondering why you should even worry about viscosity. It’s just oil, right? Well, yes, sort of… but there are noticeable benefits when you choose the right oil for your vehicle. So viscosity will have an impact on your vehicle’s performance. Think about the role of lubricant. It needs to coat the moving metal parts so that they don’t rub against one another by shaving away metal and circulating debris and help reduce engine heat so that the metal doesn’t warp. If the oil is so thick that it struggles to coat the parts, you could incur damage. Conversely, oil that thins out too much at high temperatures may not cling to the moving parts well enough to provide adequate protection. Therefore, you should follow your auto manufacturer’s recommendations and consider the climate where you operate your car most of the time. The most convenient solution, however, is to let the service technicians at Encinitas Foreign & Domestic Auto Repair in Encinitas, California, assist you with all your oil change needs!

Written by Encinitas Foreign & Domestic Auto Repair

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