Summer means hot weather and road trips, which can be an expensive combination due to gas prices but also based on the motor oil you use. Changing the oil is often overlooked as part of vehicle maintenance, but it plays a huge role in keeping your vehicle running safely and fuel efficiently. Some experts recommend using a heavier motor oil during the summer when the heat can thin out the oil and thus provide less protection for the engine parts. Liberty Auto Centers experts with locations in both Redland and Flower Hill Maryland will help you determine exactly what kind of oil is best for your car this summer.
What is Heavy Oil?
The weight of motor oil is based on its viscosity at certain temperatures. In high hot temperatures the oil becomes thinner versus cooler months when it retains its gooier thickness. In the summer oil that has thinned out can lead to excessive metal to metal contact between the engine’s moving parts. Thick gummy oil without enough fluidity increases drag and makes cold starts difficult in the winter. To protect the engine there should be a certain level of motor oil viscosity throughout the year.
Oil Grades and the W
Oil is classified by two numbers indicating its viscosity level at different temperatures. The lower the first number is, the thinner the oil will be at low temperatures. The higher the second number is, the thicker it will be at high temperatures. (The numbers are separated by the letter “W” which stands for winter!). Therefore a 5W-30 oil will stay thicker in the hot summer than a 5W-20 oil, providing protection and sealing for the engine parts and also preserves good gas mileage.
Oil Change Answers and Service
In addition to the oil grades there are different types of oil – conventional, high mileage, synthetic blend, full synthetic – each with their own guidelines and specifications. It can be confusing knowing which oil to use during what weather, much less how often it needs changing. Experienced technicians at Liberty Auto Centers in Flower Hill and Redland Maryland will answer any questions you have and ensure that you get the correct oil this summer based on your vehicle’s engine type, mileage, and usage, all as part of its top quality, affordable service.