What Engine Oil Do I Need For My Car
With a variety of options available it is understandable that people often ask what oil do I need? From fully synthetic to synthetic blend to conventional motor oil it really is a minefield!
However, you can usually find the oil that is recommended for your car in your vehicles handbook. Alternatively, simply enter your vehicle registration here to get an instant result.
What Are Engine Oil Specifications
Not all engines are the same, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that oils aren’t the same either. The specification is another way that engine oils differ.
Car manufacturers and oil companies work together to agree performance specifications for engine oils. There are several different sets of standards around the world:
- The American Petroleum Institute
- The European Automobile Manufacturers Association
- The International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee , or
- The Japanese Automotive Standards Organization JATO.
Modern car engines need oils that are really durable, and last for thousands of miles between services. Modern oils protect against corrosion and sludge formation, and contain detergent additives to keep the engine clean.
Later specification oils are usually, but not always, suitable for older cars, while older specification oils shouldnt be used in newer cars.
Car manufacturer’s specifications
Many car manufacturers develop their own engine oil specifications. Most notable are Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, but BMW, GM, Porsche, PSA and others also have their own.
More and more often, these are very specialised ‘long life’ oils designed to support very long intervals between services.
- If your car’s handbook quotes the manufacturer’s own specification, you must look for this on the oil container.
- The manufacturer may also give an acceptable equivalent ACEA or API specification, though this might be for ’emergency top-up only’.
What Type Of Oil Should I Use
Changing oil in your car is necessary for engine reliability, longevity, and performance. There are four main types of oil: regular, synthetic, synthetic blend, and high-mileage. The type of oil you choose depends on the make, model, and engine of your car. Refer to your car owner’s manual to see what type of oil is required. Most cars take regular or synthetic oil. Synthetic blend oil is generally required for heavy duty trucks with towing capacity, while high-mileage oil like Castrol EDGE High Mileage is often recommended for cars with over 75,000 miles to improve performance in older engines.
Some cars can run on either regular or synthetic oil. Car owners may choose to use synthetic oil, even if its optional, to improve overall engine performance. Synthetic oil, specifically Castrol EDGE, can extend the intervals between oil changes since it can tolerate higher engine performance better than regular oil. If you have a hard time keeping to your oil change schedule, you may want to consider switching to synthetic. If your car specifies conventional oil, choose Castrol GTX to protect against sludge buildups.
Owners of cars that can take either type of oil may switch between regular and synthetic oil and even mix types of oil without causing harm to the car, but always check the owner’s manual and consult with a qualified technician before making any changes.
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Whats The Best Oil For My Car
Different cars require different types of oil
Check your car’s oil level using the dipstick
Ensure you are using the correct oil for your car as it could cause long-term damage
Some modern cars don’t have a dipstick and rely on sensors to inform you if levels are low
If your car’s oil level is low, you should be alerted on your dashboard
Check your car’s manual for tips on how often to change your oil, and how to do it
Oil is one of those mysterious substances for many car owners.
Unless youre an enthusiast, you may well open your cars bonnet only when something goes wrong youve run out of washer fluid or theres an alarming amount of smoke coming from somewhere. But keeping the car well lubricated is one of the most important maintenance jobs, because unwanted friction in a fast-moving engine usually leads to bad, potentially expensive news.
Advanced mechanical technology in modern cars means that modern oils are more complex than ever, according to David Wright, director general of the United Kingdom Lubricants Association.
Amsoil Seems Expensive How Can I Justify Paying So Much
For most people its fairly easy once they consider all the actual costs and;benefits on an annual basis, instead of per-oil-change. And of course, youll want to;become a Preferred Customer;through us, to save about 25% from retail while getting our free automotive-engineering support and advice. The bottom line is that ;AMSOIL really saves money. ;Now, this doesnt include fuel savings or time savings, but consider this example to see what we mean when you buy at wholesale and have it shipped to your door :
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So What Are The Different Types Of Oil
As there are a many different types of engines, there are also different types of oils to suit these engines. The oil companies and car manufacturers collaborate to agree on the performance specifications of oil.
The different types of engine oil are:
Oil is measured by its resistance to flow. This is known as viscosity. The oil viscosity is graded and given the number and letter combinations we see on bottles of oil i.e. 5W-30 etc. The higher the viscosity, the more resistant the oil is to flowing around the engine.
So an engine oil that is graded 10W-30 will flow more slowly that oil that is graded 5W-30 at the engines start-up temperature.
- 10W = The number is the viscosity/thickness at colder temperatures and the W stands for winter.
- 30 = How thick the oil is at the engines normal operating temperature.
Engine oils thin out as they are heated up and thicken again as they cool back down.
Consider Using Synthetic Oil
Whether you opt for 5w30 or 10w30 for your gasoline engine, when you go to purchase the oil you’ll be faced with another decision – should you buy synthetic oil or not. Synthetic oils typically last longer than regular oil, and for that benefit they usually cost a bit more. Synthetic oils are safe to use in place of regular , but manufacturers recommend never mixing synthetic and non-synthetic because it can affect the viscosity in ways that can actually damage your engine.
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Oil Advice On License Plate
Are you curious which motor oil is suitable for your car, bus, motorcycle or truck? Consult our oil advisor here for oil advice on license plate. With Eurol Olieadviseurs you can find the right motor oil for your car. You will be shown which motor oil is suitable for your car. You will also receive advice on other lubricants for your car, such as brake fluid, transmission oil and coolant. Eurol has an extensive range of lubricants for various applications.
Dispose Of Oil Appropriately
If you change the oil yourself, make sure to store the used oil in an airtight, safe container that won’t spill. Contact your town and find out when the scheduled “hazardous waste” day is – a day when the town accepts engine oil and other waste that gets appropriately disposed of according to State and Federal laws.
For more information about maintaining your car, check out:
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What Type Of Oil Does A Jeep Grand Cherokee Take
Motor oil is available in several types, including conventional or petroleum-based, full synthetic, synthetic blend, and high-mileage, but what youll need will depend on your cars engine. The Grand Cherokee year models we focused on in this guide all have gas-powered engines but have different oil capacities and specific oil requirements that you need to be familiar with.
Differences Between Synthetic And Mineral Oils
The main two types of engine oil are synthetic and mineral oils.
Mineral oils are the product of refining crude oil, removing contaminants, unwanted hydrocarbons and other natural substances. The first motor oils to be developed, theyre designed to be used on older, less advanced vehicle models, and as a result are lower-performance compared to newer, synthetic oils. Nevertheless, they are some of the cheapest lubricants available, and in the case of vintage and classic vehicles, are usually recommended by manufacturers.
Synthetic oils are formed from highly chemically modified mineral oils, or are oils with entirely synthetic formulations. Featuring far fewer impurities to mineral oils and loaded with additives to boost their lubricating power, synthetics anti-corrosion, anti-oxidation, anti-wear and detergent effects are far greater than traditional lubricants. Its because of this that theyre often the recommended motor oils for high-performance, technologically advanced vehicles and equipment.
Halfway between the two varieties are semi-synthetic oils. Not as advanced as pure synthetics yet offering greatly improved performance compared to mineral oils, theyre used as everyday oils for practical modern vehicles.
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Synthetic Blend Motor Oil
Synthetic blend oil offers the best of both worlds. It has many of the characteristics of full synthetic oil, but at a much lower price. This type of oil is a mixture of synthetic and conventional base oils, plus some additives, for extra resistance to oxidation and excellent low-temperature properties. Synthetic blends make it easy for drivers to make the switch from conventional to synthetic oil, which is why this type of oil is becoming increasingly popular among todays savviest drivers. Its also a great middle ground for drivers who want the added protection and performance of a synthetic oil, but might not be ready to foot the bill for a total switch to full synthetic oil.
Why Does Engine Oil Run Out
Thanks to the extreme heat and pressures inside car engines, oil degrades over time and becomes less able to protect your engine, so you’d eventually have no oil left in your engine at all if you didn’t top up regularly. If your car is reaching a ripe old age, then the seals and gaskets may not be as tight as they once were, letting small amounts of oil leak out too. IMPORTANT: if your car is leaving puddles of oil on your driveway or you have to top up every few weeks, visit a mechanic as soon as possible, as oil leaks can lead to bigger, more expensive problems as time progresses. Pop into a Halfords Autocentre or book an appointment.
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How Often Does Your Car Need Oil Changes
There can be some variation on this answer, but most cars typically need an oil change every 3,000 miles or so. There might be different information in your cars owners manual, especially if your car uses synthetic oil. Once you understand the different factors that play into the right answer for this question, youll be able to plan those services better.
Silica Is Your Engines Worst Enemy
There are many different types of contaminants that can enter an engine oil, and most of them have destructive potential. These include water, glycol, fuel, the wrong oil, dirt, wear debris, etc. Solid contaminants are generally referred to as being the most destructive.
After oxygen, silicon is the most abundant element on the earth. Silica and silicates make up a large proportion of the earths crust in the form of natural soils and terrain dust.
External contamination of lube oil by dust is generally regarded as the most harmful to engine surfaces. As a point of reference, both of these common particles are harder than a hack saw blade. Engine components do not have surfaces as hard as a hack saw blade.
|“These common particles are harder than a hack saw blade. Engine components do not have surfaces as hard as a hack saw blade.”|
Particles of airborne sand and dust vary in size, shape and abrasive properties. In an engine, the ingress of terrain dust takes place primarily through the air intake. Efficient air filters remove 99 percent or more of the dust that an engine ingests.
The remaining consists of very small particles that pass through the air filter. These vary from submicron-size particles to particles up to and larger than 10 microns.
This abrasive dust will pass between pistons, rings and cylinder walls. Many particles will eventually become suspended in the engine oil. Those particles similar in size to the oil film clearance do the maximum damage.
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Motor Oil & Other Product Faq
Whether you have questions pertaining to motor oil performance, synthetic oils or how to recycle your used oil, you can get the answers youre looking for below. First, narrow the options down by choosing the closest-related category to your question.
Oil Types, Weights & Viscosity FAQ
Is it ok to switch motor oil weights, for example, from a 5W-20 to a 10W-30?
It depends. Some vehicle manufacturers provide a range of recommended motor oil viscosity grades based on the outside temperature in which the car is driven. Other manufacturers recommend the use of only one motor oil viscosity grade. For best engine performance, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations found in your vehicles owners manual.
Is it ok to use 5W-30 in a car if the owner’s manual calls for 5W-20?
Valvoline does not recommend doing this. Using a heavier grade than recommended may cause decrease in fuel economy, higher engine loads and eventually shortened engine life. Using a lighter grade than recommended may result in excessive mechanical wear and reduced engine life. For maximum engine performance, follow the recommended motor oil viscosity and maintenance schedule provided in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
What does the “w” in a grade of motor oil stand for?
Is thicker oil better?
When does it make sense to use straight weight oil versus a multigrade oil ?
Is switching types of motor oil harmful to my vehicle’s engine?
Is it true that older cars must only use conventional oil?
Need Help Finding The Right Oil
If youre not mechanically minded – no worries! Our friendly Forecourt Concierge team can help you check your oil between 10am 5pm every day.
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How Often Should You Change Your Oil Filter
Many installers, parts stores and even auto makers say the oil filter needs to be replaced only at every other oil change. While you may think you are saving money by this practice, it really is false economy.
The filters on late-model car engines have been downsized to save weight, cost and space. Sometimes they’re hard to find and reach. The quart-sized spin-on filter of the past has been replaced by a pint-sized filter today.
You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that a smaller oil filter has less cumulative dirt-holding capacity and perhaps higher flow restriction – a concern with high rpm’s or low oil temperature engine starts.
However, we have to trust that these smaller filters will be adequate for 3,000- to 7,000-mile oil change intervals; but there is real risk that they will blind off long before a second oil change at 8,000 to 15,000 miles.
If your oil filter becomes plugged before it gets changed, the oil will go into bypass, leading to accelerated engine wear. When your filter goes into bypass, it is no longer working.
While your engine will not be starved of oil, particle concentrations will continue to grow in the oil by as much as 100 times normal levels.
When you have 100 times more dirt, you will have no less than 100 times more wear associated with particle contamination. Sadly, car makers don’t build cars with oil filter bypass alarms.
Find The Right Engine Oil For Your Car
Wondering what engine oil to use for your car? Use our engine oil lookup and get engine oil recommendations matched to your vehicle.
Simply enter your car details and the results will give you the correct specification and amount of engine oil for servicing your engine.
Once you’ve found the right engine oil, buy online from the biggest and best independent online supplier of motoring oils & fluids.
We stock a massive range of fully synthetic, semi synthetic, and mineral engine oil service kits, all picked by lubricant experts and including enough oil for a full change and a disposable filling kit . These engine oil packs DO NOT come with a filter; if you need a kit with a filter select Engine Oil & Oil Filter.
We pride ourselves on having something for every budget and application. Got a unique vehicle and not sure what engine oil is right? No problem, get a FREE recommendation from the Opie Experts. We’ll find the right oil to match your vehicle, its condition, and your style of driving.
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The Type Of Oil Is Crucial But The Brand Is Not
Theres no substitute for reading your owners manual. It will list what type of oil the automaker recommends for your car. It may also recommend different oil depending on whether you live in a hot or cold climate.
The most important thing is to use oil thats the right thickness, or viscosity, for your cars engine. Oil thats too thick or thin wont provide the necessary protection for your engine, which can result in costly damage. Your owners manual may recommend an acceptable alternative-weight oil if you cant find the recommended product. ;
Oils must also comply with different quality standards. The standards required for your car will also be listed in your owners manual. Sometimes the automakers list standards published by the Society of Automotive Engineers or the American Petroleum Institute. These will be listed on the oil container.
Others have their own standards that dont necessarily correspond to SAE or API standards. Any car dealer who sells the brand, and most auto parts stores, list which oils conform to these standards. ;
Because standard motor oil can’t meet many of these standards, many of todays cars require synthetic oils.
Although some mechanics will swear by certain brands of oil, its most important to use the right weight of oil that meets the required standards. ;