What is the ideal oil weight for a vehicle?

By Product Expert | Posted in Service and Repair, Tips and Info on Saturday, July 11th, 2020 at 11:19 pm
Oil splashes from a bottle and across a white void

Ideal Oil Viscosity for Your Car

A trip to the oil section of your local parts store may result in a bit of shock. There are, after all, just so many oils out there. How do you know which one you should choose? What’s the ideal oil weight for your vehicle?


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Two mechanics enjoy the sight of oil on a dipstick

To find out the best oil weight for your specific vehicle, check your Owner’s Manual. One standard weight often recommended is 10W-30, but some vehicles require more unusual variations. As ideal oils differ between rides, there’s no single desired oil weight for every vehicle.

What if I don’t have my Owner’s Manual?

These days, Owner’s Manuals for vehicles can often be found online. This is good news if yours has been misplaced. Simply try Googling the Owner’s Manual for your particular vehicle’s year, make and model. If you can’t track anything down, you may have to order one.

What brand of oil should I buy?

When buying engine oil, choose one with your desired weight that comes from a brand that displays the starburst symbol of the American Petroleum Institute (API). This symbol indicates that the oil has been tested by the institute and found to be up to standard.

What is an oil grade?

An oil grade is a number/letter designation that relates to how an oil performs at operating temperature (which, if you were wondering, is about 212 degrees Fahrenheit in an engine). 30-weight, or 10W-30, would be an example of a grade. The higher the grade, the thicker the oil, and vice versa. Thinner oil flows faster, while thicker flows slower. Each engine is designed to work with a certain grade of oil.

What is the difference between engine oil grade, weight and viscosity?

Grade, weight and viscosity are three terms basically used interchangeably to describe the thickness of an engine oil. When describing liquid, viscosity refers to how thick the liquid is, and thus how much ability it has to resist flow.

Ever Wonder: Can a bad battery make a car already in motion stop moving?

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