Deciphering The Motor Oil Grade – A Guide!


Motor oil is the most critical fluid in your car. It protects the engine from wear and tear and helps it run smoothly. Oil also plays a role in cooling the engine. As with all automotive fluids, it's necessary to ensure you're using the right grade of motor oil for your vehicle. This post will explain how to read the grade of motor oil to be sure you're using the right stuff!


Get Your Owner's Manual


Locate the owner's manual for your vehicle. Every automobile is distinct, and the manufacturer will have specific recommendations for what type of oil to use. Once you've located the owner's manual, look for a section on motor oil. This section will explain the different oil grades and what type of oil is best for your car.


What is a 'Grade' in Motor Oil?


The 'grade' of motor oil is simply a measure of its viscosity. Viscosity is the scientific term for 'thickness,' and it's important because thicker oil can provide better protection for your engine. In comparison, thinner oil flows more easily and can help improve fuel economy. The grade of motor oil is expressed as two numbers, with the first number always being a 'W.'


For example, a common grade of motor oil is '0W-20'. The '0W' part of this grade means that the oil has a low viscosity when it's cold. The '20' part of the grade means that the oil has a high viscosity when it's hot.


Most motor oils today are 'multi-grade' oils, which means they have a viscosity suitable for cold and hot temperatures. The 'W' in the grade of motor oil stands for 'winter,' so a '0W-20' oil can be used in both winter and summer.


If you're not sure what grade of motor oil to use in your car, consult your owner's manual or ask a qualified mechanic. Using the wrong grade can damage your engine and void your warranty.


Which Oil is Better? Thicker or Thinner?


The viscosity of motor oil is important because it affects how well the oil can flow and how well it can protect your engine. Thicker oil will provide better protection at high temperatures, but it will also flow more slowly and may cause your engine to use more fuel. Thinner oil will flow more easily and improve your fuel economy, but it may not provide as much protection at high temperatures.


Can You Switch Grades of Motor Oil?


Yes, you can switch grades of motor oil, but it's not recommended unless you're having trouble with your car. For example, if you're using synthetic oil and your vehicle is still having engine trouble, you might want to switch to a higher grade.

However, if you're using the correct grade of motor oil and your car is running fine, there's no need to switch. You must never mix different grades or types of motor oil unless you want your engine to pass over to the 'other' side!


Stevens Jersey City Ford, serving Edison, NJ, is a great option if you need a reliable and affordable dealership service center. Our experienced car technicians are dedicated to providing quality car care services, and our prices are fair. Whether you need an oil change or a new set of tires, we can help. 


Schedule a service appointment.