If all the different types of motor oils out on the market are confusing you and you don’t know which one you should be using right now in the cold weather months that are upon us, you’ve come to the right place! What do the numbers mean and what does the “W” stand for? These two points in the following article will help give you more understanding and help you decide which oil is best for you to use in the cold winter months.
- Motor oils with 5W-30, 10W-40 and other similar designations are referred to as multi-viscosity oils. An oil’s viscosity corresponds basically to its thickness. You need to look for one that is viscous enough to run through your engine smoothly and lubricate all the moving parts but it doesn’t need to be so thick that it won’t flow. It also doesn’t need to be too thin that it flows like water. Oil does change its viscosity with the change in temperature, so you need to focus on that property when choosing the oil that’s right for your car.
- For cold weather purposes, let’s look at the “W”. It stands for winter, not weight as some may think. The first number in the oil classification refers to a cold-weather viscosity. This means that when your engine is cold the lower the W number the easier the oil will flow. For instance, a 5W- motor oil will flow better at lower temperatures than one rated at 15W. The higher this first number is, the slower it will flow.
As your engine warms, the oil will warm along with it, but on those bitterly cold mornings when your engine is cold from the start, use this information to help you choose the right oil for your car. If you still have questions, grab a service technician at our dealership and they will be glad to help.