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Demystifying Motor Oil: Your Guide to Keeping Your Car Happy

Oil getting poured in the tank

Have you ever wondered what that dark, mysterious fluid swirling under your car’s hood actually does? It’s motor oil, which is the lifeblood of your engine! At Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres, we specialize in keeping countless vehicles in top shape across Vancouver, Richmond, New Westminster, Langley, Surrey, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Salmon Arm, and Burnaby. Understanding the different types of motor oil is crucial for car maintenance, and this guide will help you navigate those options to ensure a smooth-running ride.

Why is Motor Oil Important?

Think of your engine as a high-performance athlete. Just like an athlete needs the right fuel and care to perform, your engine relies on motor oil for several crucial functions:

  • Friction Reduction: Metal parts in the engine constantly grind against each other, causing friction and wear and tear. Motor oil provides a slippery layer that reduces friction and minimizes damage.

  • Temperature Control: Engines generate a lot of heat. Motor oil absorbs and distributes this heat, preventing overheating and damage.

  • Engine Cleanliness: Motor oil captures and traps dirt and debris circulating within the engine to maintain its cleanliness and optimal function.

Types of Motor Oil & Choosing the Right One

Walk into any auto parts store, and a wall of motor oil options will greet you. Don’t panick! we’ll break down the main categories to simplify your choice:

  • The most basic type of oil is conventional oil, which is refined from crude oil. It is a reliable and affordable option for older vehicles or those driven less frequently.

  • Synthetic oil is engineered in a lab to offer superior performance. It provides better protection in extreme temperatures, resists breakdown longer, and improves fuel efficiency. Synthetic oil is ideal for newer vehicles, high-performance engines, or those driven in harsh conditions.

  • A synthetic blend oil is a combination of conventional and synthetic oil that offers better performance at a more moderate price point.

Read more about the difference between synthetic oil and convention oil.

Oil Viscosity

The numbers that you see on motor oil bottles, for instance, 5W-30, indicate the viscosity of the oil. Viscosity is a measure of how thick or thin the oil is. Here’s a simplified explanation:

The “W” in the number represents winter. The lower the number before the “W”, the better the oil flows at cold temperatures, making it easier to start your car in winter. The second number indicates the oil’s viscosity at operating temperature. A higher number indicates thicker oil, which provides better protection for hot engines.

Choosing the Right Oil Viscosity

Your car’s owner’s manual provides a recommendation for the oil viscosity suitable for your specific vehicle, taking into account factors such as engine type, climate, and driving habits. In case of doubt, our skilled technicians at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres can guide you based on your car’s specific needs.

Call Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres for An Oil Change

Having a basic understanding of motor oil is important to make informed decisions for your car’s maintenance. Selecting the appropriate oil type and viscosity, along with following a regular oil change schedule, can prolong your engine’s life and save you from expensive repairs in the future. Remember, Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres is always here to assist you with your oil change. Get in touch with us today to book your next oil change and ensure your vehicle stays in good shape!


Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres Address Common Issues

Here at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres in British Columbia, we’re always pleased to help our customers get the most out of their cars and trucks. To that end, we’ll add a relevant blog topic from time to time to keep you up to date and getting the most out of your vehicle.