In our previous blog, Motor Oil | The 3 Main Types Explained Part 1, we looked at the different motor oil types. In part 2, we will break down oil grades and explain oil viscosity & weight. We will also uncover the motor oil organizations working behind the scenes.

Reasons An Oil Change Is Critical

Maintenance costs on an automobile can get pretty pricey. The great thing about an oil change is that it’s relatively inexpensive and has numerous benefits for your engine. By following the factory-recommended oil change interval found in your owner’s manual, you are investing in your vehicle’s long-term performance and value. Fresh motor oil helps lessen wear and reduce deposit formation within your vehicle’s engine. However, oil doesn’t stay fresh and effective forever. Damages to your engine occur after motor oil becomes contaminated with particulates and depleted additives.

Maintenance costs on an automobile can get pretty pricey. The great thing about an oil change is that it’s relatively inexpensive and has numerous benefits for your engine. By following the factory-recommended oil change interval found in your owner’s manual, you are investing in your vehicle’s long-term performance and value. Fresh motor oil helps lessen wear and reduce deposit formation within your vehicle’s engine. However, oil doesn’t stay fresh and effective forever. Damages to your engine occur after motor oil becomes contaminated with particulates and depleted additives.

Motor Oil Grades

The SAE International developed a scale for motor oil grades, and all oil manufacturers use it. You’ve seen the number and letter combinations on motor oil containers that look like this: 10W or 10W-30. Here’s how to read the alpha-numeric code:

  • The first number is the viscosity flow at 0 degrees F. The smaller the number, the better the oil flows in cold temperatures.
  • The W stands for Winter (not weight).
  • The numbers after the W represent a multi-grade oil with viscosity flow at 100 degrees C. The higher the number, the thicker the oil is at high temperatures.

Always follow your auto manufacturers’ recommendations for motor oil types & grades. Consult your owner’s manual for the correct motor oil grade for your vehicle. Using a different grade may void your factory warranty. It can also cause extensive damages to your vehicle’s engine and other components.

MOTOR OIL VISCOSITY

The most important thing to remember about viscosity is that it is not a constant. Temperature and pressure affect the viscosity of your motor oil. Motor oil becomes more difficult to pump through the engine when temperatures drop. Think of a jar of honey. It’s much harder to squeeze the honey out of that little bear during the winter when it’s cold. Conversely, honey flows much faster during the summertime when it’s warm.

MOTOR OIL WEIGHT

Many people assume the motor oil grade is the same as the oil weight. Technically, that’s incorrect. In the beginning, motor oils came in single weight options or mono-grades, like 0W, 5W, 10W, etc. However, the W in the name never stood for weight. The behavior of the oil was graded and named based on its weight at cold (or Winter) temperatures. Mono-grade oils’ performance was inadequate in extreme temperature changes. So, in the 1950s, engineers developed multi-weight motor oils to offer more protection for vehicles.

Seasonal Motor Oil

Some auto manufacturers may recommend Seasonal Motor Oil under specific conditions. For example, engines that operate in climates with extremely high and low seasonal temperatures may benefit from seasonal motor oil. Check your owner’s manual or discuss it with your service technician to see if seasonal weight motor oil will work for your vehicle.

Motor Oil Organizations

Various organizations help streamline the automotive industry’s operational standards, consumer safety, and sustainability.

  • American Petroleum Institute – API, established in 1919, is a standards-setting organization for the oil and gas industry. In its first 100 years, API developed over 700 standards to enhance operational safety, environmental protection, and sustainability globally. Look for the API ‘donut’ stamp on the back of oil products that meet specific API guidelines.
  • International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee – ILSAC was formed in 1992 by AAMA (American Automobile Manufacturers Association) and JAMA (Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association). They strive to define the needs, parameters, licensing, and administration of lubricant specifications. Both ILSAC and API formed the ‘Starburst’ symbol, located on the front of oil products that meet their requirements.
  • SAE International – The Society of Automobile Engineers was established in 1905. Their mission: “To advance mobility knowledge and solutions for the benefit of humanity.” They strive to connect and educate mobility professionals to enable safe, clean, and accessible mobility solutions worldwide.
  • Petroleum Quality Institute of America – PQIA was founded in 2009. They are an independent resource for information and insights on the quality & integrity of lubricants in the marketplace. They hope to serve the consumer by testing and reporting the results of available lubricants. They expect wider quality visibility will lead to more comprehensive conformance by lubricant manufacturers.

Castrol Oil Change in Pomona, CA

Stop by Taylor Co’s Castrol Express Oil Change today for a 20-minute oil change featuring a digital 20-point inspection. You can make an appointment online or call us at (909) 316-6161.