Car Maintenance Tips: Explaining Different Types of Engine Oil

March 26th, 2020 by

engine oil pouring from black plastic container

The staff at Thompson Sales wants you to get the most out of your new or used vehicle. That means keeping up with regular car maintenance schedules, including oil changes, fluid checks, and filter replacements according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. Today’s blog from Thompson Sales explains the different types of engine oil that you may encounter as you maintain your car.

Engine Oil Terms and Labeling

First, it’s essential to understand some common engine oil terms and labeling. 

  • Viscosity: The oil’s resistance to flow. Viscosity changes with the temperature of the liquid. Oil thickens as it cools and thins as it heats.
  • SAE: The Society of Automotive Engineers. This organization governs and creates oil standards for the industry.
  • API donut: The label on your car’s engine that tells you what kind of oil your vehicle requires. For car maintenance, it’s crucial to follow the API performance standard to obtain the best possible longevity of your car’s engine.
  • 5W-30: This indicates the temperature and viscosity ratings of motor oil. The 5 means the oil is rated to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. The second number indicates the oil’s resistance to thinning. The higher the number, the more the oil resists thinning.

Types of Engine Oil

There are four basic classes of engine oil when it comes to proper car maintenance. 

Conventional Motor Oil

Conventional motor oil is the most common type of motor oil. It comes from newly refined crude oil that recently came out of an underground oil well. This oil works best for light-duty, late-model cars with low mileage and a simple engine design.

High-Mileage Engine Oil

High-mileage engine oils have additives and ingredients that help take care of older engines with 75,000 miles or more. Conditioners, seal swells, antioxidants, detergents, and wear friction additives help prevent major engine breakdowns and car maintenance problems in older cars. High-mileage motor oil may help reduce oil consumption, minimize oil leaks, and reduce smoke and emissions.

Synthetic Motor Oil

Synthetic engine oil costs two to four times as much as conventional oil, but it’s better in the long run for your engine. In terms of the life of your car, the money you spend on synthetic motor oil could pay for itself in lower maintenance costs by preventing major problems later on. Synthetic oil starts with a base of highly refined conventional oil combined with powder additives and a carrier oil that distributes the additives evenly throughout your engine.

Synthetic Blend Motor Oil

Synthetic blend motor oil combines conventional oil with a synthetic type. This gives drivers a lower-cost alternative to full synthetic motor oils while having a higher grade than conventional varieties.

Car Maintenance From Thompson Sales

Regular car maintenance helps your vehicle last longer and prevent major problems later. The quick lube department at Thompson Sales can take care of your oil changes in short order and without an appointment. Contact Thompson Sales’ service department or call (417) 763-6811 for more details.

Posted in Car Maintenance