Understanding Engine Oil Viscosity

engine oil viscosity

Engine oil is necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the engine’s intricate components. Aside from lubrication, engine oils are also required for dissipating heat and removing contaminants. Within the realm of engine oil lies a critical factor – viscosity. Engine oil’s viscosity influences how effectively the oil lubricates the engine. That said, using oil with inappropriate viscosity can lead to significant damage. 

Here we have mentioned complete details regarding engine oil viscosity and how to choose the appropriate one for your vehicle. 

Viscosity is defined as the liquid’s resistance to flow or simply its thickness. The engine oil’s viscosity can affect multiple aspects including fuel efficiency, driving comfort, contaminants cleanliness and the overall performance.

Using engine oil with suitable viscosity not only excludes the above-mentioned issues but also aids in increasing the vehicle’s lifespan. Moreover, it also helps in maintaining the optimal engine performance.  

Besides choosing the right engine oil viscosity, here are some other maintenance services that increase a vehicle’s lifespan. 

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International classifies engine oils into different categories as per their viscosity. Each category is labelled with a code that helps in identifying the oil’s viscosity when purchasing it. 

In the engine oil viscosity classification, SAE uses a combination of words and numbers. 

The first number is accompanied by the letter ‘W’ which means ‘Winter’. This number explains the oil’s viscosity when it is cold like at the engine start-up. The lower the value of this number, the lower the viscosity of oil. 

The second number represents oil’s viscosity at high temperatures when the engine is working properly. For instance; if an oil has a label of 5W-30, it means that the viscosity of the oil is low and it can flow easily at different temperatures making it ideal for the vehicle. 

Read through our blog on engine oil numbers for detailed information. 

The monograde engine oils are formulated for a fixed temperature range and can’t change viscosity as per the requirement. That said, their viscosity index (ability to change viscosity) is less. 

On the contrary, multi-grade engine oils have a high viscosity index and can be used in regions with varied temperatures. The higher the viscosity index of an oil, the greater the quality. Monograde engine oils can be identified from their only numeric labels. Whereas, multi-grade oils have general numeric and alphabet labels. 

The first place to check for the engine oil viscosity details is the car owner’s manual. The manual features complete information regarding the type and viscosity of engine oil that should be used in a vehicle. 

For instance, if your vehicle is compatible with 0W50 engine oil, you can’t use 5W30 in it. Browse through the detailed difference between 0W30 Vs 5W30 engine oil to understand how each oil is different from another one. 

Besides oil viscosity, here are a few other things to consider when choosing the engine oil’s viscosity. 

Environment is a significant factor that should be considered when selecting car oil viscosity. If you are living in a hot and arid climate like the UAE, high-viscosity engine oils are usually recommended. 

Private vehicles that are used less frequently can operate on low-viscosity engine oils. However, the recommended oil viscosity for heavy-duty vehicles and mini-trucks is of high grade. 

Different types of engine oils are available in the market including synthetic and conventional ones. Generally, professionals recommend synthetic oils as they are efficient and can increase engine performance. For more details, read through our blog on engine oil working.

Using the wrong viscosity engine oil can lead to lower fuel efficiency, and reduced engine performance and in extreme cases it can also cause significant damage to the car. 

Consult with the owner’s manual, as it mentions complete details regarding the type of engine oil that should be used. 

No, 5W30 is thinner than 10W30, but it will have better circulation leading to a well-lubricated engine. 

The 5W30 is suitable for many cars including Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Volkswagen Golf. 

The 20W40 is used in heavy-duty and light commercial vehicles. 

This was all about engine oil viscosity. The engine oil plays a crucial role in the engine’s performance and increasing its lifespan. Using unsuitable engine oil or irregular maintenance of engine oil can cause serious damage to the engine that can cost fortunes to repairs. Therefore, when buying used cars for sale in the UAE, make sure it has a properly maintained engine. 

To exclude the hassle, you can opt for inspection services by dubizzle cars. 

Stay tuned to dubizzle’s auto blog for more information on engine oil.

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