Oil is the lifeblood of your engine, just as important to healthy motoring as gasoline. Without it, your car’s power plant would overheat before grinding to a catastrophic (and expensive) halt. Quality engine oil keeps your engine in good health for longer so it’s extremely important to choose the right kind and make sure you know how long it’s going to last. There are many factors that determine how far you can drive between oil changes and this article will examine them all. Getting the maximum lifespan out of your engine oil while maintaining protection saves you money on oil changes and helps the environment too.
Engine oil. It’s the unsung hero of the internal combustion engine. Your vehicle’s engine contains hundreds of moving parts with very fine clearances between them. Lacking a protective layer of oil to lubricate everything can lead to grinding, overheating, and even total engine failure! Even the best designed, most efficient engines would grind to a catastrophic halt without a few quarts of the golden good stuff circulating around and keeping everything moving smoothly.
Despite performing the same duty, all engine oils are not created equal. In this article, we’ll look briefly at the ways in which oils can differ and then we’ll answer the question that the title asks: between 0W40 and 5W40, which is best?
More Reading on How to choose the best synthetic oil for your car.
A key consideration for engine care is selecting the right motor oil which will deliver the optimum results, in the form of reliable engine performance. Not all oil types will fit the vehicle and some may even impact the way the engine works. If you are more of a DIY person, who personally likes to take care of his own car, then knowing the right type of motor oil for your vehicle can be critical. Taking a stroll down the oil aisle will definitely overwhelm you, which is why we will be doing a thorough 5w30 vs 10w30 comparison since these two are the most common ones you will come across.
Read more about the difference between 5w30 vs 5w40.
Using the right type of motor oil for your car engine is imperative for keeping it up and running. You cannot get a good return on investment if you don’t take care of your engine. Sure, many car owners take their vehicles to a mechanic for an oil change instead of doing it themselves, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to not educate yourself about what goes on inside your vehicle and have some information regarding the best motor oils for your car. This information is not redundant, and can always come in handy if you find yourself stranded and can’t avail the service of a mechanic.
Changing oil is one of the key car care tasks, which is why we will be doing a thorough 5w20 vs 5w30 comparison since those motor oils work best in both hot and cold temperatures. The Society of Automotive Engineers has a statistical code for differentiating between motor oils based on their viscosity characteristics, starting from low and going high: 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, and 60. The term ‘viscosity’ refers to a liquid’s resistance to travel.
Liquids that are runny and have a watery consistency are given a lower viscosity value whereas thick and consistent liquids (like honey) are given a higher viscosity value. The numbers 0, 5, 10, 15 and 25 are post assigned with the alphabet W, which stands for “winter”, or low temperatures, not “weight”. Keep in mind that the viscosity measurements of an engine oil change when put under varying temperatures, i.e. the weather.
However, when it comes to kinematic viscosity, the numbers are assigned on the basis of the oil’s ability to travel through a regular orifice, at regular temperatures. The longer it takes for the oil to flow through, the higher the SAE numerical code is, owing to the higher viscosity, which means 5w30 has a higher viscosity than 5w20.
Read more about the difference between 5w30 vs 10w30.
In our modern 24/7 day to day life, our automobiles are put under great strain left and right. On average, our engines run 12,000 to 14,000 miles a year, and even more at times. You need to change regular oil every 3,000 miles or so, depending on the specifications of the manufacturer. On the other hand, synthetic engine oil can give you around 7,000 to 10,000 miles of optimal performance before you need to change it.
It is not so surprising that synthetic oil is superior to petroleum-based oils, which are refined from crude oil. The best synthetic oil is stronger, can withstand engine stress better and enhances engine performance and fuel economy. This special engine oil is also a great option for extending drain intervals and that is what makes it “green”. Besides being environmentally friendly, the best synthetic oils help reduce the demand on precious natural resources.
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Engine sludge is exactly what it sounds like: an accumulation of dark, greasy, and tarry deposits inside the engine crankcase.
It doesn’t sound pleasing, right? Engines are designed to run with clean motor oil. With the presence of engine sludge, the oil will be unable to lubricate and cool the engine.