As something that’s not often talked about, oil viscosity is an important aspect more motorists should consider when looking for the right motor oil for their vehicle. Oil viscosity is how easily the oil pours at specific temperatures. During colder months, regular oil may have increased viscosity and have a harder time pouring out. During warmer months, the opposite is true, as oil may have reduced oil viscosity and pour a little easier.
Outside of determining how quickly the oil cycles through the engine in a variety of weather conditions, oil viscosity provides additional benefits. Thinner oils that pour more easily help increases lubrication throughout the engine and reduce the amount of friction the parts will experience. Along with that, the thinner oil will help engines start quicker during the colder seasons and in colder areas in general. Thicker oils with high viscosity are able to better maintain film strength and pressure at higher temperatures and loads, which is ideal during the summer and in areas that are traditionally hotter.
When looking for viscosity in motor oil, it will typically be displayed on containers with an “XW-XX” classification. The first number in this sequence represents the oil’s viscosity at zero degrees Fahrenheit. The lower the number, the less it thickens in colder weather, which is good for use in the winter. The numbers found after the “XW” represent viscosity at 100 degrees Celsius. The higher that number, the less likely the motor oil will thin out, which is good for hotter temperatures.
Along with looking at these indicators, also think about the weather conditions your vehicle experiences. Are you in a traditionally colder area? Then your vehicle will probably require thinner motor oil. Or maybe you’re in a hotter part of the world? If so, your vehicle will need thicker oil.
By keeping this aspect of motor oil in mind, you’re ensuring that your vehicle is filled with the very best oil for its specific situation. As a by-product, your vehicle will be performing at its best for years to come!