4 Facts You Should Know About Your Car's Motor Oil

by Ernest Perez

When you need to get your car's oil changed, do you know which brand and type is the best choice? You may tell the mechanic to use the cheapest option or just go by their recommendations, but using the right motor oil for your car is very important for its overall longevity and maintenance. Consider some surprising facts about your car's motor oil so you know the best choice for your vehicle.

1. Poor-quality motor oils can cause sludge

Sludge is a combination of dirt, soot, leaked coolant fluids, water, and burned oils. This sludge is removed by higher-quality oils that separate them and then allow them to drain when the oil is changed. A poor-quality oil will cause this sludge since it may be too thin to capture this debris, so in turn the sludge forms and clings to your engine.

2. The numbers on the oil containers refer to its viscosity

An oil's viscosity refers to how easily it pours in cold temperature. The numbers you see on the oil containers can help you figure out if the oil is ideal for your car based on the current season.

For example, the W after the number refers to Winter, or an oil that is meant for cold temperatures. For cold weather you want a lower number with the W after it; a thinner oil is better for cold weather as it will thicken on its own during winter months. For warmer weather and an engine that runs hotter, you want a higher number. This means a thicker oil that protects against heat.

3. Your warranty is not voided by the brand you choose, but by the quality

Your car manufacturer typically cannot void your warranty according to the brand of motor oil you choose, however, they may be able to do so if you choose a poor-quality oil. When you read over the warranty paperwork for your car you will notice certain specifications for the motor oil you should use and this may include the viscosity according to the weather. Using something other than those recommendations may void your warranty, but you are typically free to choose any brand you want.

4. Paraffin oils do not cause sludge or waxy buildup

Despite its name, paraffin does not mean the same wax used to make candles and it won't cause a buildup or any type of sludge in your engine. Paraffin is simply a base that is used to keep the oil more stable and less prone to chemical changes. Don't allow this misconception to keep you from choosing the right motor oil for your car. Talk to resources like Lubes Direct to further find out which oil is most ideal for your vehicle.