Motor Oil Grades: The Importance of Knowing What the Numbers Mean

You're seeking just the right motor oil. You don't want it to be too thin or runny, but you also don't want it to be too thick so that it doesn't flow freely around.


Motor oil grades are essential to understand when you're looking for the right kind of oil for your car. Each number on the can stands for something different, and it's crucial to know what they all mean to make an informed decision about which oil is best for your vehicle.


Sun Toyota understands the importance of understanding what's going on in your car, which is why we'll provide you the information you need about motor oil. Keep reading.



What Does Motor Oil do for Your Car?


The engine must be kept at a constant temperature for your car to run correctly. When it gets too hot or cold, several issues could arise.


Too cool, and you'll experience noxious emissions and increased fuel consumption.


Too hot, and you'll have to worry about decreased lubrication efficiency, reduced viscosity (the friction between liquid molecules), deposits in the combustion chambers – which can lead to gasket failure if not taken care of quickly – or even broken piston rings from overheating.


The motor oil is specifically designed to prevent these issues by keeping your engine running at optimal temperatures. It also provides additional benefits such as protecting against wear on moving parts within the engine, cleaning dirt off internal components, preventing corrosion, and even reducing emissions.


What's the Right Oil for Your Car?


The viscosity rating of the oil you select is probably the most important consideration when comparing engine oils for your vehicle. Look for the viscosity grade(s) the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) advised, which may be found in your owner's manual.


You're looking for an oil that can keep your engine cool while providing thick, cushiony support when it's running hot and won't turn to molasses when the temperature drops.



What Does Each Number Mean?


The Society of Automotive Engineers has developed a system to classify motor oils according to their viscosity or thickness. The higher the number following "W" in an oil's grade, the thicker the oil. Conversely, the lower the number, the thinner the oil.



Why Should You Understand the Reading?


It is crucial to understand motor oil grades to help protect your engine from damage and increase its lifespan. Using the proper weight oil for your climate and vehicle type is key in ensuring that your engine runs smoothly and efficiently.


For instance, if you are in a hot climate and drive a sports car, you want to use an oil with a high "W" grade, such as SAE 30 or 40. If you live in a colder climate and have a standard passenger vehicle, using an oil with a low "W" grade, such as SAE 20 or 0, would be more appropriate.


It is also vital to ensure the numbers on the motor oil can match those specified in your vehicle's owner's manual. Using an incorrect oil weight can lead to engine damage and decreased performance.



The Gist:

Automobile owners often neglect oil change procedures, some of whom do not realize when it is necessary. If you haven't changed your motor oil in a while, bring it to Sun Toyota serving Palm Harbor, FL. 

We realize the inconvenience of having a car that isn't running well, especially if you're already behind schedule. We'll handle the complex tasks, so you don't have to.

Schedule a service online today.

February 22, 2022
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