Car engine oils can get confusing. There are literally “n” number of question on engine oils. What type of engine oil is the best for my car? Can I switch from the manufacture recommended engine oil? What are the different grades of car engine oil? Why is my car always low on engine oil level? The list is endless!
To help you stay informed and make the right choice, we have compiled a list of 7 crucial questions you should ask about your car engine oil. Know these before your next car service is due.
What are the types of engine oils?
While you’re selecting an engine oil for your car, you should know about the two broad categories of oils i.e. – mineral oils and synthetic oils.
- Mineral Engine Oil: Mineral oils are made from petroleum products and are preferred for older models of vehicles. The mineral oil has low oxidation stability due to which it requires frequent changes. Mineral oil is cheaper than its counterparts. Not the best quality.
- Synthetic Engine Oil: Made by mixing several synthetic components, these oils are suitable for high-performance vehicles. The oil change period is longer with synthetic oils for both diesel and petrol engines. Synthetic engine oil provides the best protection for Indian driving conditions.
- Semi Synthetic Engine Oil: The semi-synthetic oils give you the best of both worlds. The quality of synthetic oils and the good price of mineral oils. Performance and protection are subjective to the car make and model
Want to know, which engine oil is right for your car? Click here.
What are the different grades of engine oil?
The engine oils in India and all around the world have been given grades. Based upon their performance, quality, heating point, and their viscosity.
- 0W40: It is considered the most superior in the Indian market. Its efficient performance in both hot and cold climate with the least sludge. It makes it ideal for modern-day petrol and diesel-driven cars.
- 5W40: This oil is considered to be good for diesel cars. It can perform equally good as 0W40 albeit not in cold weather conditions.
- 5W30 or 10W30: Ideal for modern petrol engines. It is cost-effective and has a low viscosity which fits well with modern age petrol engines and gives good fuel efficiency.
- 10W40: Available in mineral and semi-synthetic variants and is suitable for the Indian climate. Cost-effective option with efficient performance.
- 15W40 or 20W50: It is usually recommended for older engines and is a lot thicker than its counterparts.
When should you change your engine oil?
The engine of a car varies from brand to brand. In some cases, the driving conditions also play a big role in deciding the period of when you change your car engine oil. Taking into consideration, the Indian driving conditions and the road conditions. It can surely be said that our driving conditions are quite different from countries like the USA or some European nations. Traffic, stop and go, potholes, etc. puts a lot of stress on the engine.
Most engine oil experts recommend changing your car’s oil at the 7,500 kms-10,000 kms mark which is the right spot. If you use a mineral-based lubricant you should adhere to the 5,000 kms – 5,500 kms mark.
Which engine oil is better for high mileage or best fuel efficiency?
Many people don’t believe in the high mileage engine oil concept and just think of it as a marketing fad. A high mileage synthetic engine oil usually has certain additives and synthetic engine oil which make sure that the longevity of the engine is maintained.
A high mileage engine oil contains some detergents which clean up the gunk and sludge that accumulate inside the engine due to the long use of the engine. It is usually recommended that after 75,000 kilometres one should switch to a high mileage engine oil. Anything before that might not prove more beneficial than your normal oil.
Should you mix mineral and synthetic engine oils?
Well, the answer to this is yes.
It won’t harm your engine in the short run and oil being a miscible component won’t leave any sort of residue. The only negative effect of mixing both the oils might be that you might not get the proper and up to the mark benefits of synthetic oil when you mix it with the conventional one.
Although, if you’re running low on oil and just have a conventional engine oil handy you should always refill it. Some oil is better than no oil, isn’t it?
Why does my engine oil turn black?
The primary job of engine oil is to reduce friction among the parts of the engine by acting as an agent of lubrication. Now over time while doing its job, the engine oil loses its lubricating abilities and becomes dark in colour.
This change in colour might be due to a variety of reasons – heat, metal particles, combustion process, and even the engine oil’s detergent abilities might affect its colour. Most of the modern-day engine oils are amber in colour and while you check it by dipping the stick, it should adhere to that thumb rule.
How to dispose of used engine oil?
Have you ever wondered what happens with your used engine oil after you refill your car engine with a new fresh batch of engine oil?
The used motor oil industry is a multi-crore parallel business that is harming the environment as well as human health. There is still very little knowledge about the recycling of used motor oil in our country. The least you can do with the used motor oil is either you can collect it and take it to the local garage who might take it forward for disposal.
One can also contact the customer care numbers of the brand you’re using and they usually assist the consumers with these queries.