Choosing The Right Motor Oil For Your Vehicle

Many people don’t know that there are distinct and vital differences between engine motor oils. Many of them are loaded up with additives most petroleum base mineral oils are, and these oils can cause all kinds of complications for operators of gas-powered equipment, cars and machinery. Often, synthetic oils or synthetic blends are a better option, and, even better still: refined oils for a greener alternative.

According to the folks at Machinery Lubrication magazine (ML), there are several things to look out for, and for starters here’s their top four:

The presence of waxes, which can lead to poor lubrication at low temperature.
Poor oxidation stability at always high temperatures that may result in sludge and acid buildup.

The dependence of viscosity on temperature, which could result in the base oil to thin too much at high temperature.

A natural high temperature application limit of about 320C (608F), above which the base oil decomposes and begins to coke (turns to a sooty substance).

Under severe operating situation, like very high temperatures, or in very cold operating climates, the difficulties noted on top are essential points in the choice of lubricants, says ML. Very often, the only solution is the selection of synthetic oil.

motor oil 5w 30 fully synthetic

But which is best? There’s conventional motor oil, synthetic motor oil, and synthetic blend motor oil, and each have different qualities. Here’s what the people at have to say about choosing one that claims to cover the basis for all categories and gas-powered machinery. They recommend you look for API Service GF4, on top of the can or bottle, meaning that this motor oil has met the requirements of the latest round of tests by API, that is authorized for use in many gas engines. The middle of the donut should say SAE, and is followed with a code for example 5W-30.SAE means Society of Automotive Engineers, and the number code refers to the motor oil’s viscosity.

OK, so what is viscosity? Viscosity measures the motor oil’s flow characteristics at different temperatures. And temperatures are important. Viscosity is also referred to as the motor oil’s weight, which is usually indicated by the W in the oil’s code. According to ML the first number indicates how well an engine will start in cold weather, and, the lower the number, the more likely the engine is to start up in cold, wintery weather. It also indicates how good engine parts are going to be lubricated of these cold conditions “very important! People who live in northern states may require lower viscosity numbers than folks living in warmer areas.

Likewise, people living in warmer areas may want higher second number in the 5W-30 formula. This second number indicates the high-temperature viscosity. The number tells drivers just how much thickness or body the oil has at high temperatures, according to ML. The bottom half of the doughnut shows customers whether the oil has met or surpassed certain standards that are considered to be energy-conserving.

Now, what about green oil options? We’re glad you asked. We all want to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint, right? Well, when it comes to putting engine oil in your car or machinery there are some very simple things you can do to help, and one of them is choosing recycled oil as a contribution to ensuring a safer, greener environment.

Did you know that there are many companies out there that recycle motor oil to reintroduce clean, green oil back into the marketplace? Using state-of-the-art cleaning processes allows the recyclers to realize oil’s capacity to be re-refined and reused indefinitely, with absolutely no loss of quality or performance capacity. Oil re-refining is one of the key reducers of greenhouse gases and heavy metal emissions. Stacked up against burning used oil as fuel, re-refining oil is simply a much more eco-friendly way transform used oil into a renewable resource.