How Long Does an Oil Change Take?

Every car with an internal combustion engine needs oil. If you change your own oil, you already know that different vehicles require different types of oil. It’s crucial that you use the right oil in order to protect your engine. Should you use synthetic or conventional oil? What oil weight is best for your engine? Does it matter which oil you use? Yes, it does. Your car manufacturer recommends the best type of motor oil for your car in the owner’s manual and oftentimes, it is printed on the oil cap. Read on if you are not sure what type(s) of oil your car requires.

Choosing a Motor Oil

Internal combustion engines have parts that are constantly in contact with one another. These parts move at high speeds. This harsh environment can easily wear these parts down. Motor oil is needed to create a protective barrier between the parts to avoid excess wear. As oil moves through the engine, it accumulates deposits. When the deposits are allowed to accumulate over time, engine sludge is the result. Synthetic and conventional oils are both designed to reduce the accumulation of deposits. However, the synthetic oil is said to do a better job of keeping things clean.

Most types of motor oil break down over time and the quality diminishes. Both synthetic and conventional motor oils are designed to prevent different problems but may be lacking in other qualities. The highest quality oil is expected to extend the engine life to 250,000 miles.

Several things go into consideration when choosing the motor oil for a vehicle. First, the type of vehicle, its age, and its brand are the most common indicators for choosing the right oil. Driving styles also affect the motor oil choice. People who rack up high mileage every year would need a high mileage motor oil. Even the weather can affect the motor oil type. Price is also a big factor, as some store brand motor oils are really cheap, while the top brands can cost more than $30 per quart.

Can You Use 10w30 Instead of 5w30?

Many people wonder if it would make a great difference if they used 10w30 motor oil instead of 5w30. Now that you know the difference between conventional oil and synthetic, find out what is different between 5w30 and 10w30 formulas. First, let’s look at what these types of oil mean. The first number, 5 or 10, is how easily the oil pours under low pressures. The second number, the 30, is the measure of thickness the oil becomes under high temperatures. Next, let’s look at the properties of both motor oils:

The 10w30 is a multigrade motor oil that is used in engines with heavy loads. This type can withstand high temperatures for extended periods of time. All the while, the performance remains high. The viscosity of 10w30 is a grade 10 in the low temperatures and grade of 30 in the high temperatures. These characteristics mean that the 10w30 is thin in low temperatures.

The 5w30 is also a multigrade motor oil that is used in automobiles. . The viscosity of 5w30 is a grade 5 in the low temperatures and grade of 30 in the high temperatures. This oil also creates a protective coating over the engine parts to reduce the friction. 5w30 has great thermal stability and is designed to reduce the need for oil. Many times, the grade of the 5w30 depends on who makes it. This type of oil is best suited for automobiles and light-duty engines. It is also ideal for colder climates.

There is a difference between 5w30 and 10w30 motor oils, and that is the viscosity. The 5w30 is much thinner than the 10w30. This means that the 5w30 will do better at protecting the inner components than the 10w30. The 5w30 outperforms the 10w30 in cold regions.

As for using 10w30 instead of using 5w30, it is always a good idea to stick with what the manufacturer recommends. Both motor oil provide excellent quality. Using the 10w30 with higher viscosity could cause the engine to drag and drive the temperatures up. Using the 5w30 low viscosity could eventually cause metal parts to start grinding together. Again, the effect will vary based upon the age and model of your vehicle. Instead of changing from 5w30 to 10w30, consider mixing the motor oils. There is no harm in mixing them and you may get the performance you want without completely changing the type of motor oil. Before completely switching from 5w30 to 10w30, you should consult an automotive professional first.

How Many Types of Motor Oil are There?

How many types of motor oil are there? What do all of those letters and numbers on the bottle come to? It may seem like there is an endless number of motor oils available today. Actually, there are only four main types of motor oil: full synthetic, synthetic blend, conventional, and high mileage. There are two types of motor oil grade: single and multigrade. Then, there are 11 types of viscosity or weight for the single grade motor oil: 0W, 5W, 10W, 15W, 20W, 25W, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60. These types of motor oil may differ even further with the type of additives that are used.

Motor Oil Brands

Just as there are many motor oil producers, there are also many motor oil brands. If you’re luck, the manufacturer may recommend a brand. If you’re not so luck, there are many brands to choose from. You will find that the best motor oil brands invest heavily in improving their formulas. Some brands have been around for ages so you may want to go with those because of the reputation. Valvoline is one of those of the oil brands that has been around seemingly as long as there have been cars. Valvoline is the oldest motor oil brand to date. Castro is also a household name in motor oils. Mobile is an old, well-known brand that is also the official brand for NASCAR. Lastly, perhaps everyone has heard of Shell automotive products, including motor oil. This brand spends millions on research to improve its products. These are only a few of the motor oil brands out there today. Many stores carry a generic motor oil with the store brand.

Synthetic Oil

Most of the newer cars require synthetic oil. Synthetic oils are made using complex processes. The oil is developed using petrochemicals, some of the highest quality base oils, and additives. While the synthetic oil is being processed, impurities are removed which provides better performance in newer cars.

Most would say that synthetic oil is better for your engine than conventional. That’s because synthetic oil provides more protection and performance. Synthetic oils are more stable chemically, acidify and oxidize better than conventional, and break down faster while retaining its protective quality. Synthetic oil also does a better job of combating deposit buildup and engine sludge buildups. Synthetic oil protects the engine against high temperatures and reduced wear on the engine. Another plus is that less oil changes are required when synthetic oil is used. Some synthetic motor oils are only a synthetic blend, which means the oil is a mix of conventional and synthetic.

Conventional Oil

Conventional motor oil is a bit rougher than the synthetics. Conventionals are made of cruse oil. Although synthetic oil has many great properties, conventional oil does too. It can withstand high temperatures and stability for long periods of time. Conventionals also can extend the life of the engine by reducing the wear and tear as you drive. Some may even say it’s better to use the conventional oil because for one, it is more cost effective. It’s also more readily available than synthetics. This is especially true in rural areas where conventional oil is likely what will be on the shelf.

There are several benefits from using synthetic oil in your engine. Yet, conventional oil is just as good as synthetic in some cases and it is actually better for older cars. It is not recommended to use synthetic oil in older engines that have at least 75,000 miles. The synthetic can cause grinding gears in older engines. As a matter fact, synthetic oils were said to crack the oil valves and create leaks in older engines when synthetic oil was first introduced. Many car manufacturers still recommend conventional oil for their engines.

Viscosity – Viscosity is one of the number one aspects of motor oil that affects its ratings. The motor oil is graded by how fast it can flow through an engine at about 212 degrees Fahrenheit operating temperatures. The thinner the motor oil, the faster it will flow. Viscosity is classified by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), thus, the motor oil SAE 20 or SAE 40. The smaller the SAE number, the faster the oil will flow. You may see a motor oil that says “SAE 10W-20”. In this case, the “W” means winter. The last number is the measure of the viscosity when the oil is hot.

If you only drive around your community, it would not make sense to adjust the type of motor oil you use. However, some people commute for long distances or drive through rough terrain. Others may live in an area with massive snow each year. Remember, ideally, the oil flows at around 2012 degrees Fahrenheit. If the climate outside is close to freezing, your car will need a multigrade oil to help your car start up in the morning.

You Need to Know This About Your Oil

If you regularly have problems with your vehicle or you’re experiencing problems with the oil system and engine, chances are you don’t maintain your vehicle often. The key to avoid problems within your vehicle along with oil problems is to properly maintain your vehicle.

If you want to avoid engine problems and save $100s of dollars that you’ll spend at the auto repair shop, you’ll need to service your vehicle often – you can use our mechanic-rated Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual to do this. It’s basically what mechanics use to go through your vehicle to check if there are any problems that need fixing. As soon as they notice the most minor problem, they’ll ask you to fork out some money even though it’s a problem you can fix yourself in minutes – the manual will teach you how to maintain your vehicle every few thousand miles and it’ll teach you how to fix minor problems that mechanics will ask you to pay for; saving you money in the long run.

A lot of our readers have the Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual printed on their garage wall and 92% of them haven’t visited the auto repair shop in the last year because they know what to do to avoid problems. All it takes is giving your vehicle a little attention every few thousand miles and you’ll never spend money at the workshop again.

Single or Multigrade

Some motor oils meet the requirements for only one grade. Thus, they are referred to as single grade oils. These oils are often also used in smaller engines, such as lawnmowers. The multigrade oils meet the requirements of several grades. The grade is another area where you need to consult with the manufacturer for which is the best for your car.

Oil Additives

Motor oils are differentiated one step further with various additives. Manufacturers use different additives to improve their products. The additives can make up as much as 10% of the composition. Of course, the engineers come up with different formulas which use additives to improve different aspects of the engine performance.

Additives can have a massive effect on the quality of the motor oil. They enhance the properties of the base oils found in motor oil. This is done by using corrosion inhibitors, antioxidants, demulsifying agents and anti-foam agents. The additives can create new properties in the base oils using detergents, extreme pressure additives, tackiness agents, and metal deactivators. Other undesirable properties can be suppressed using viscosity index improvers and pour-point depressants. Many will say that viscosity modifiers and oil stabilizers are the most important additives to look for in a motor oil.