Api oil ratings

Whether you take your car to a mechanic to get an oil change or you do it yourself, you want to get the best possible motor oil for your car. This is trickier to do than you might think.

There are so many different motor oil types and motor oil manufacturers to choose from, and none of which are equal since different companies maintain different motor oil standards. The logical thing would be to believe that the best motor oil manufacturers make the best oil for your car, but there are so many other things you also have to consider. So if you can’t simply rely on the motor oil manufacturers’ brand, how then do you pick the right motor oil for your car?

1. Viscosity.

Viscosity refers to the oil’s fluid resistance to flow. Motor oil manufacturers denote the viscosity on their bottles with the common “XW-XX.” The number before “W” rates the oil’s flow during winter when it’s 0 degrees Fahrenheit, or -17.8 degree Celsius. The lower that number, the less it thickens in the cold. If you drive in the North or another area where it’s cold, you’d benefit from getting an oil with a lower winter number. Conversely, a car in Texas would need a higher number to keep the oil from getting too thin.

The second set of numbers indicates the oil’s viscosity when measured at 212 degree Fahrenheit, or 100 degrees Celsius. This represents how much the oil thins out in high temperatures. For example, 10W-40 oil will thin out at higher temperatures slower than 10W-30 oil will.

2. Motor Oil Type.

After determining what viscosity you need, it’s time to figure out what type you should get. The best rule of thumb is to stick with the kind of oil that you started out with. The two main types of oil are conventional, and synthetic. While conventional oil is often the cheapest, synthetic oil is often believed to be the best thanks to automotive advancements made by motor oil manufacturers. These have additives that require less frequent changes, and can patch up small leaks, too.

By looking at these two factors, you can figure out which motor oil manufacturers’ product is best for you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. References.