Selecting the right kind of oil is vital to ensuring the continued health of your car. Whether you're changing your own oil or having it changed at a lube shop, you'll likely be presented with a few different options for oil. Your manufacturer has probably already made some recommendations as to the viscosity rating of the oil, such as 5W-20 or 10W-30. However, with the exception of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, owner's manuals don't typically specify which type of oil is required.
Below you'll learn all about the different types of motor oil and you'll be able to select the right type of oil when the time comes.
Which Type of Oil is Right for Your Car?
You already know the viscosity rating from the owner's manual, now you're standing in the oil aisle at your auto parts start and notice you have another decision to make. What type of oil? Below are some of the common options you'll find:
- Conventional oil. This is the standard oil that's used by most dealerships. It's also going to be the cheapest option at the auto parts store. It's ideal for low-mileage vehicles and owners who are strict about getting an oil change every 3,000 miles.
- Premium conventional oil. This type of oil is commonly used in brand-new cars. This comes in most viscosity ratings so it fits almost every type of car, other than heavy duty trucks. As engines become increasingly reliant on specific viscosity ratings, premium conventional oil will likely continually be developed for new ratings.
- Full-synthetic oil. Synthetic oils are made to be used for engines with cutting edge technology. The guidelines for synthetic oil are generally higher and are listed on their labels. They're designed to perform longer than other oils and to protect the engine from build up. This type of oil is much more expensive than conventional oil, so it's usually reserved for engines that require it.
- High-mileage oil. A significant amount of cars on the road classify as high mileage vehicles. This number only grows with every passing year. High mileage oil is specifically developed for older vehicles. They have seal conditioners mixed with the oil which helps maintain seals throughout the engine.
It's an Important Decision
Take time to read your owner's manual to see if it dictates which type of oil you should use as well as the viscosity rating. If there's no specification, you can probably use conventional oil or high mileage motor oil as a cost effective way of maintaining your oil levels. Consult a professional like Bradenton Fuel Oil for assistance.