There used to be only a few engine oil options to choose from, and you got a heavier weight oil in the summer and lighter weight oil in the winter. Well, that is no longer the case. Now, there is a mind-boggling number of options when you go to buy oil for your car. Synthetic oils, conventional oils, varying weights, oils that the manufacturer claims will lubricate your car's engine for extended lengths of time. Much like expensive oil and basement bargain oil are all right there on the shelf for you. Where do you even begin? We're busting the myths and giving you the facts. Soon you will know exactly which engine oil is best for your car.
It doesn't make any difference which oil you use as long as you change it every 3,000 miles.
The oil you use can make all the difference in how well your car runs and how long it runs. Car engines are designed differently these days. Some of them need a certain type of oil to prevent friction, wear and tear and keep them running like a top.
You have to use lighter oil in the winter and heavier oil in the summer.
Car manufacturers no longer recommend changing the oil weight according to the seasons. These days, car engine oil is formulated to provide the right lubrication in cold and hot weather.
How thick or thin the oil is doesn't make any difference.
False. The thickness or weight of the oil is crucial to proper engine lubrication. Motor oil is formulated to have a certain viscosity so that you can give your engine exactly what it needs for optimum performance. Oil weights are listed as a number, a letter and another number. 10W40 or 5W30, for example. The first number and letter represent the oil's "winter weight" or the viscosity of the oil under cooler temperatures. The second number represents the oil's viscosity under hot summer temperatures. Your car's engine is designed to run best with a certain oil viscosity or weight. If you use the wrong oil, you could be putting excessive stress, wear and tear on your engine.
High mileage oil is a waste of money.
No, it really isn't. Vehicle engines are designed to last longer today than ever before. With the right care, you could reasonably expect to get hundreds of thousands of miles of use from your car. The trick is to care for it properly, which means you should use a high mileage oil in vehicles with more than 75,000 miles on them.
High mileage oils are formulated to give your mature engine better lubrication. They are also designed to rejuvenate aging seals and gaskets, infusing them with compounds that make them soft and flexible again. The seals and gaskets actually swell back up, which can stop that annoying little oil drip that's staining your driveway or garage floor. It only costs a couple dollars more per quart, anyway. That's a small price to pay for all the added benefits.
You only need to change your oil twice a year.
You need to change your vehicle engine oil at least twice a year, and that's only if you don't put more than 4,000 miles on your car every six months. The engine oil and oil filter should be changed at least every 4,000 miles or four months if you use conventional motor oil and even many synthetic blends.
The oil filter doesn't really have to be replaced every time you change the oil.
Yes, it does. If you don't change the filter, your engine oil will not be cleaned and filtered as it cycles through the engine and it will pull the dirt and gunk that has built up in the filter back into the engine. That dirt and gunk circulating throughout your engine will shorten its life. A new oil filter only costs about $10. All things considered, it is well worth the price.
Synthetic oils are a waste of money.
While synthetic oils are more expensive than conventional oils and synthetic blends, they aren't necessarily a waste of money. In some vehicles, a synthetic oil might be a waste of money and could even cause damage, if the engine is designed to use conventional oil. However, in most vehicles, a synthetic oil is fine and in some cases even required. Yes, synthetics are more expensive, but they last longer so you don't have to pay for an oil change as often. Synthetics commonly last 7,500 to 15,000 miles and in some cases even up to 25,000 miles.
The best oil to use in your engine is whatever is on sale.
False. The best oil to use in your engine is the oil recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer. All you need to do is look in your owner's manual. It will list exactly which type of oil and oil weight should be used in your car's engine for peak performance. It will also tell you exactly how many quarts you need to put in your engine each time you change the oil.