You do not always have the luxury of time to stop any wait for an oil change when you discover your vehicle is in need of oil. Having the time, at best, to run into an automotive part store, or running into a gas station to grab some oil to get back on the road, you instantly see the overwhelming options. Engine oil has selections such as synthetic or conventional and then a range of numbers and letters such as 5w-30, 10w-40 and SAE 40. Speedway Towing and Roadside Assistance would like to discuss the different Viscosity Grades and what they mean to help you get the right oil.
What Does Motor Oil Do in a Car Engine?
Motor oil lubricates engine components to help cut down on friction and wear. Without the oil coating parts and reducing friction, the excessive heating and deterioration causes the engine parts to slow down. The motor oil creates a small barrier or film between them and allows them to slide past one another. The slippery components increase the efficiency, power, and performance and a well lubricated motor with the right oil reduces the fuel consumption as well. When the engine isn’t running, oil continues to drip. From the startup, a lot of the engine’s wear occurs because the less lubricant on the engine, the more friction is produced.
Engine Oil Viscosity Grades Explained
The primary difference between basic oils is the viscosity grades. Viscosity is how quickly the oil flows through your engine. For example, SAE 30 moves faster than SAE 60 because the thicker or higher viscosity oils take longer to flow as it slowly coats through the engine components. A higher viscosity provides more lubrication to maximize the level of protection to your engine oils. These oils can take longer to cover the parts as they initially cover the engine components after vehicle start. The general running of the engine has a minor setback as start up will cause greater wear on your engine. To provide a quicker flow of oil to cover the engine components and to minimize the amount of dry running, oil with a lower viscosity during normal running of the engine lower viscosity oils provide less lubrication.
Effect of Temperature on Viscosity of Oil
Few oils react differently different temperatures and these oils are designed with two numbers in its viscosity grade. The viscosity grade includes 5W-30 or 10W-40 oils you sure have seen. Taking a closer look at 5W-30 the “W” represents the oils reaction to colder temperatures which is when the engine is running versus when it has been running awhile. A quick flow of oil when the vehicle is first started is a very low W viscosity grade. The components are quickly coated in the engine where there is less dry rubbing. As the temperature of the oil increase, it makes the oil thicker and more sufficient.
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When in doubt about which oil to use, consult your vehicle’s manual. It is important you do not operate your vehicle without any oil; you can cause costly damage or even destroy your engine. Call in the professionals at Speedway Towing and Roadside Assistance for fuel delivery or even a tow.