What do those oil numbers mean?

Have you ever opened the hood and looked at the oil cap to see it says to use 5w30 and wonder what that meant? Or walked into the auto parts store to see dozens of oils and wondered.. which one should I choose? Believe it or not that is a very common question. The type of oil used in your vehicle is the lifeblood that circulates and protects your motor; so making sure that the right viscosity and type of oil used for your car in Bedford PA is a very important decision to make.

Let’s look at some information to help you better understand what those numbers represent.

What does viscosity mean?

Oil viscosity is simply how thick the oil is. Different engines, performance levels and outside temperatures help identify what type of oil would be best suited for use in your vehicle. As the vehicle ages, engine specifications change; meaning that the oil viscosity will change with it. It is important to make sure that the correct oil viscosity (weight or grade) is used based on these variable conditions so that damage does not occur to your engine. The experts at Town Hill Auto Service understand the variables that are unique to the Bedford PA area and can advise you on the proper weight of oil needed to properly protect your engine.

Can I change the viscosity of oil in my car?

Town Hill Auto Service does not recommend changing the oil viscosity in your vehicle without first analyzing the specific criteria discussed in the previous paragraph. If you have a newer car driven under normal operating conditions, we do not recommend adjusting the grade or weight of the oil that is recommended by the manufacturer. However, in extreme circumstances such as an extreme change in weather (cold or hot), severe driving conditions (stop and go driving) and the age/ mileage of the engine; changing the weight of the oil is necessary to make sure that internal engine components are properly lubricated. Again, make sure that you check with the experts at Town Hill Auto Service in Bedford PA for sound advice on changing these oil grades to keep your engine at its best performance level.

What does the “w” in 5w30 represent?

The “w” represents: winter. Engine oil has two different viscosities or weight measurements based upon temperature. The first number is more representative of the weight of the oil when the engine is cold (or colder temperatures) and the second number represents the weight of the oil at operating temperature. Because oil thins when it is heated, both of these numbers are important. When the engine is cold it is more difficult for it to circulate thick oil so the starting weight should always be lower than the operating weight. As the outside temperature changes to extreme cold or extreme hot those temperatures may be enough to recommend the change of your oil weight specification; however, modern engines and oils are designed to work in temperatures ranging from -5°F all the way up through 95°F so changing the oil viscosity based on external temperatures should be carefully considered before changing.

Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford, PA is your one stop facility to keep your car performing at its best year-around. Call Today to see the Difference Experience makes (814) 310-2221

Is thicker oil better?

This is not really an easy answer being that, again, many variables go into making a decision to change the weight or grade of an oil. Thicker or higher grades of oil are recommended when engine wear has increased bearing clearances (gaps between bearing and rotating shaft) from years of driving.

In some cases only one of the two measurements would be adjusted being that the vehicle still needs to be able to have the two different viscosities to operate properly. Simply assuming that you need thicker oil because the car is five or six years old with 100,000 miles is not necessarily true.

Vehicles driven under normal operating conditions with proper oil change intervals may find that their engine’s performance has changed very little from when it was new.

In this case changing to Valvoline Max life oils with engine seal conditioners would be better than changing the viscosity or weight of the oil.

Should I ever use straight weight oil (SAE 30)?

No. This type of oil was developed for very specific types of engines. These engines are not utilized in passenger cars and light trucks.

Can I use synthetic oil in my car?

Over the years Valvoline has developed a line of oil products that can significantly increase the performance of your vehicle. These include conventional oils that have better temperature tolerances and breakdown slower, synthetic oils which lubricate more efficiently and disperse heat better, synthetic blends that are recommended for higher mileage engines and others depending on your driving conditions and use of vehicle. Any of these types of oils can be used in any type of vehicle providing the weight is applicable for your use.

Even older cars can see a tremendous advantage in gas mileage and performance by upgrading their oil to one of Valvoline’s performance lubricants. Be sure to consult with your automotive expert at Town Hill Auto Service in Bedford PA to determine which Valvoline oil would be the best for your vehicle.

When Experience Counts

Town Hill Auto Service in Bedford PA is your first choice for Valvoline oil changes and top-quality service and repairs. From simple oil changes to engine rebuilds we can handle it all! Our ASE Master Certified, dealer trained technicians are here to make sure that your car is always performing at its best. As a Napa Certified facility all of our work is backed with a nationwide warranty.

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