MD: Right engine oil for car | Best engine oil for car | Engine oil brand | Types of engine oil | Engine oil guide | Engine oil recommendation for your vehicle
It is a known fact that engine oil is the lifeblood of a vehicle. In order to get optimum performance of the engine, it is necessary to change the oil and lubrication frequently. However, the knowledge regarding the selection of the right engine oil for vehicles is scarce.
If you choose the right oil, it will enhance the functionality of the engine. On the other hand, if you choose the wrong kind of oil for the engine, it will require more fuel. Besides giving your pocket a tough fight for savings, it will also raise emissions and create a hazard for the environment. Hence, not only do the wrong type of oil damage the engine but also increase the carbon footprint.
In this article, we will help you identify different types of oils and the way to choose the right engine oil for your vehicle.
What Are The Different Types Of Engine Oils?
The engine oils of today are made out of different types of base oils, inclusive of dispersants, detergents, additives, and chemicals. In addition to this, various types of polymers are also utilized in multi-grade oils for ensuring that the engine oil has the right amount of viscosity. This helps the oil adapt to any kind of temperature extremity.
When the oil thins, it loses its viscosity. Such types of lubricants are used to drive in cold temperatures. However, for normal temperatures, it is crucial to maintain the viscosity levels of engine oils.
Below are the types of engine oils classified with their differentiated purposes:
Full Synthetic Oil:
Synthetic oil is a lubricant, developed from artificial chemical compounds. These compounds are produced by breaking down and rebuilding petroleum molecules. Most of the synthetic oils used by the automotive industry are polyalphaolefins (PAO).
As the name suggests, semi-synthetic oil is produced with a combination of mineral as well as synthetic oil. It offers the benefits of synthetic oil as well as mineral oil. It can help engines achieve a high level of performance that can’t be achieved from mineral oil alone.
Mineral oil is an odourless and clear oil, which is purified, highly refined, and processed petroleum. It is an ideal oil for older vehicles. It is relatively cheaper in price as compared to semi-synthetic and synthetic oil. Besides this, we can categorize the engine oils based on the viscosity:
Low Viscosity Oil:
Engine oil with a viscosity level of 30 grade is usually considered thin oil. It is denoted by two numbers. 5W-30 is an ideal grade for low viscosity oil. The viscosity nature also determines how easy it is for oil to be poured into the engine.
Below are the advantages of engine oil with low viscosity:
- It creates less friction in the engine.
- Ignition is easy, even in freezing conditions.
High Viscosity Oil:
Engine oil with a viscosity level of above 30 grade is known as thick oil or oil with high viscosity. 40 is considered to be an ideal grade to determine the oil viscosity. The engine oil viscosity levels do not flow as easily as thin oil.
Below are some of the advantages of engine oil with high viscosity:
- Thick oil operates better at high temperatures.
- Given its thick layer, it adds a protective layer to engine bearings and seals.
Now that you know the types of engine oils, it is about time to know how to choose one for your vehicle. In the section below, we have shared some important determiners to look for before pouring that engine oil into your vehicle.
How To Choose The Ideal Engine Oil For Your Vehicle?
Every vehicle has different types of engines. Each of these is meant for different purposes. Hence, it is important to select the best oil to keep your engine up and running. In this section, we have listed out some determiners for you:
Type Of Vehicle:
You will need to use a different type of oil for your vehicle based on the type of fuel it consumes. Based on the engine, you can choose the type of oil. Usually, automotive oil manufacturers mention on the oil cans the specifications. By reading the details, you can find out whether it is for a petrol engine or a diesel engine. As per the norms, the engine oil cans have C mentioned for diesel and S mentioned for gasoline.
Type Of Viscosity:
The viscosity of oil is an important factor to determine the right engine oil for your vehicle. When you are living in a region with cold temperatures, you should opt for oil with low viscosity. In stark contrast to this, when you have hot temperatures, you can opt for engine oil having a high viscosity. If you are still confused about it, you can refer to the vehicle manual. Usually, automotive manufacturers mention the ideal viscosity level in the manual. You can opt for the same.
Type Of Grade:
The grade of the additive oil also helps in determining the right oil for your engine. These are usually added to decrease the wear and tear along with the stress on your vehicle. The detergents and dispersants used as oil additives help prevent oil leaks and buildup. It is the rating of the quality of the oil. It can be further classified into single grade oil and multi-grade oil. In the value 5W-30, ‘W’ indicates the minimum temperature that an oil can function with. However, similar to viscosity levels, engine oil grade can be determined by the type of temperature. In tropical weather, OEMs suggest the use of multi-grade oil.
How can you choose an engine oil without knowing your vehicle better? You can’t, right? That is why you need to have a close look at the brochure of your vehicle and identify the appropriate specifications. The new-age engines sporting high performance are developed to boost efficiency but require new oil formulations. Hence, you need to keep a close look at the specifications and the additives of the oil to select the right one for your engine to offer optimum performance.
Any OEM would swear by the fact that engine oils with proper quality certificates should be used for vehicles. In India, you should select the engine oil with ISO 9001 and EOLCS certificates. These certificates authorize the engine oil manufacturers to meet the required specifications and comply with the quality. Hence, you can identify the certificates on the engine oil can and verify its quality.
Should You Mix Two High Performing Oils To Enhance Engine Efficiency?
Whether to mix two oils or not is a prevalent question among new-vehicle owners. A car engine is not a human body. You cannot mix two or more protein sources together and expect great health. Mixing two or more oils together from different brands and different viscosity can be disastrous rather than fruitful for your engine.
The additives in the oil may show limitation or have absolutely no effect when they are mixed together with regular oil. In other cases, it is crucial to know what kind of oil you are mixing. If your vehicle already has synthetic oil and you add mineral oil to it, your engine will experience a reduction in oxidation. In addition to this, if you have mineral oil added to your engine and you add synthetic oil, it will provide a synthetic blend that is better than mineral. However, it will not have all the properties of synthetic oil but will continue to have the shortcomings of mineral oil.
Besides this, oil manufacturing brands often change the formulation of the oil additives. Hence, if there are some major changes, it could weaken your engine instead of strengthening it.
Though you might have seen many people mixing oils and having vehicles in proper working conditions, it is not advisable to mix two or more oils from different brands and with different formulations. In case you are not sure how to improve the efficiency of your vehicle, you can talk to our experts.