I think you agree that choosing the best engine oil for petrol cars shouldn’t be such a daunting task. But the numerous amounts of oil brands in the shelves will have you stuck for a minute before making a choice. This does not matter whether you’re a grease monkey or not.
Here’s the deal;
After going through this guide, you won’t be doubting whether you have chosen the correct type of oil or how the car’s engine will react to that oil.
We are about to venture into everything that you need to know about car engine oil grades, viscosity, oil specifications amongst other things that will help you to identify the best oil for your car’s engine.
I know you have been advised before to look at the owners manual in order to find out the best oil for your car’s petrol engine. If you have the manual, that is the best place to look that information up. But, what if you lost it?
You could consult some online tools that will dispense this information to you. All you have to do is enter the vehicle’s details and get the feedback. The problem is that those tools aren’t totally correct.
So what else can you do?
Follow me through this literature and educate yourself about the ins and outs of car engine oil to an extent that you won’t doubt the oil that you choose for your car.
What are some of the factors that someone should consider when choosing the best engine oil for petrol cars?
- Corrosion inhibition.
- Viscosity Index.
- Mineral oil or Synthetic oil.
Oil is essential for you vehicle to run smoothly as it is part of car maintenance. Before going into the general knowledge concerning oil, lets look into some oil brands that could serve your petrol engine car.
Mobil 1 extended performance.
This oil is known for its cleaning capacity as well as engine protection capability. It is a synthetic oil which makes it a mixture of both mineral and synthetic oils. Manufacturers have fine tuned this oil to suit both cold engine starts and high engine RPM temperatures.
Further, the oil is created with additives that make it suitable for drives that take place in dirtier environments either off-road or within city setups. Additionally, it is suitable for SUVs, trucks, vans and cars. Another notable characteristic is that it is long lasting and has a lifespan of up to 20,000 miles between oil changes.
Castrol GTX Magnetic motor oil.
Second on our list is this synthetic motor oil which gives it unique capabilities and an affordable price tag. It’s viscosity gives it the ability to reduce engine wear by offering a film of protection around the engine parts. This attribute is due to the oil’s capability to produce molecules that stick onto the engine parts.
Further, these molecules leave the engine parts much more smoother. The oil’s molecules are able to remain in place when the engine is turned off. Meaning that it provides a smooth cold engine start. Additionally, this is an advantage when the engine is warming up before reaching high RPM.
Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full-Synthetic Motor Oil.
The fact that this oil is a full-synthetic oil shows that it has been created with the capabilities that are desirable for motor oils. It offers a longer performance life for more miles between oil changes. Pennzoil ultra platinum full synthetic motor oil has been created from natural gas rather than crude oil. Which makes it very unique.
Having been crafted from the lab, this oil offers high performance in extreme temperatures. This is based on the viscosity capacity of the oil to withstand high temperatures during fast engine RPM. Further it forms a protective layer over engine parts for wear and tear prevention.
Further, Pennzoil ultra platinum full-synthetic motor oil offers better fuel economy by an extra 550 miles when compared to other customary oils. It is suitable for trucks, SUVs, cars and vans. Further, it is suitable for every driving condition, for example, short or long trips and off-road or urban area drives.
Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil.
One of its greatest strength is the affordability of this full synthetic oil brand. Valvoline advanced full synthetic motor oil contains additives that give it unique viscosity and protection capabilities. Further the additives makes this motor oil adaptable to heat and low temperatures. Hence giving you engine a smooth cold start.
Additives include detergents that give the oil desirable engine cleaning capabilities. Meaning that it removes any accumulating particles from the engine parts. The oil carries the particles to the oil filter where they are easily removed due to the detergent’s advantage. Hence making it suitable for off-road or dirtier driving conditions. Further, the additives give the oil longer lifespan in between oil changes. The oil is able to provide engine protection as well as better fuel economy.
Quaker State All Mileage Motor Oil.
It is uniquely described as a synthetic blend motor oil. Meaning that when compared to conventional motor oil, the Quaker state All mileage motor oil provides added protection. That’s because of the additives that give it the capacity to form a protective layer onto moving engine parts.
This protective oil layer remains in place even when the engine is shut down. Hence offering protection during a cold start as the engine RPM picks up during a drive. It is highly commendable for high mileage vehicles because those engines require extra protection.
Further it offers the high mileage vehicles a better fuel economy. Beside this, the oil reduces the engine’s oil consumption by creating seals that prevent oil leakage through the moving engine parts. Further preventing engine damage from parts grinding against each other.
Choosing the best engine oil for petrol cars| Synthetic or Mineral oil.
No matter the type of motor oil you are using, it is important for you to regularly check your car’s oil level using a dipstick, just in case it needs topping up. Ensure that you check the engine oil levels before starting the engine for the day because the oil will not have drained from the oil pan to the engine parts.
The ability of the motor oil to flow is determined by the type of oil you choose.
1. Mineral engine oil.
This type of motor oil is obtained from petroleum products. It is best for older model car engines.
Mineral oil has poor oxidation stability. As a result of this, it requires more frequent oil changes than the other types of oil.
From that information you can guess that it is cheaper than the other types of oils.
2. Semi-synthetic oil.
It is blend of synthetic and mineral oil which gives it a mixture of properties. This is an improvement of the mineral oil properties in terms of its oxidation properties.
Further the oil possess better performance and protection properties. The mixture of synthetic and mineral oil makes it affordable in relation to the oil’s properties.
3. Synthetic Oil.
This oil is chemically modified to offer desired oil properties when it comes to oxidation, protection and flow.
Further, the oil contains fewer impurities when compared to mineral and semi-synthetic oil. This makes it of better quality.
The synthetic oil is designed for modern engines and motorsport cars. If your vehicle is a high performance engine it should use the synthetic oil. Basically because the oil is able to facilitate cold engine start as well as it can withstand high operating temperatures without loosing its properties.
What do we mean by cold engine start?
A cold engine start is the starting of a vehicle engine at a low temperature relative to its operating temperature.
Petrol car engine oil grade.
When we talk about oil grades we are referring to the car engine oil viscosity. This is affected by the method of oil production process and its properties.
Oil viscosity means the lubricant’s level of fluidity. Further it is the oil’s efficiency at cold engine starts and high engine operating temperatures during high RPM.
In some definitions, the oil viscosity can be defined as the oil’s resistance to flow within the engine block.
When choosing the best engine oil for petrol cars, you will notice some markings on the container which will be an indication of the oil’s viscosity. For example 5W30,10W40,15W40. We will get to interpret these in a few.
What is low viscosity oil and high viscosity oil?
Engine oil with low viscosity will have some unique flowing properties. It will be more liquid and more fluid hence giving it the ability to flow more easily.
Engine oil with high viscosity grade will be much thicker. Meaning it has low liquid and fluid viscosity properties. The higher the grade the slower the flow. This isn’t a total disadvantage because it allows for the formation of a protective film on engine parts.
What is engine oil grade?
Engine oil grade interprets the ability of the oil to flow which is its viscosity. The higher the grade the thicker the oil, with slower flowing capacity.
Alternatively the lower the grade the higher the flowing capacity and the more fluid the oil.
Further, oil grade gives information about it’s use and flow during high and low temperatures.
At low temperatures, you should choose oil that has low viscosity grade for you to have a better flow within the engine block.
Higher grade engine oil will have more resistance to relatively high temperatures hence forming protection for the engine parts. Engine protection is prevented by the protective layer which prevents friction. These are some of the essential functions of car engine oil.
What is the right oil viscosity grade for petrol engine cars?
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has developed a system of classifying car engine oil grades according to the engine oil’s viscosity grade at low and high temperatures.
1. Mono grade oils.
These were used in the past generation vehicles. Their viscosity was either high or low and they were favorable for a small temperature range as their regulation was limited.
Meaning that they can be used interchangeably depending on mother nature’s seasons. When the weather is hot or cold.
You had to have the know how of changing the oil incase the weather acted up for you to protect your engine.
Driving during summer would require high viscosity oil which SAE rated as either W 8, 12, 16, 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60.
2. Multi grade oils.
These have been developed with the current types of engines in mind. Their advantage over the monograde oils is that they are able to be used in varying temperatures without an oil change.
According Society of Automotive engineers, the multi-grade oils have a number on either side of the W which stands for ”Winter.” For example 5W30, 15W40, or 10W40.
This is a marking that is boldly indicated on the oil’s packaging container.
The number before the W indicates the oil’s viscosity grade (high or low) during winter. Meaning the oil’s capacity to flow during a cold engine start. The smaller the number, the easier it is for the oil to flow when the engine starts during the cold.
The number after the W indicates the engine’s oil viscosity during high temperatures. Going for oil with a higher number will offer your car’s engine more protection during high engine temperatures.
This is because a higher oil grade will provide a protection by creating a layer that seals the hot engine areas during high RPM.
Here is the twist!
Slightly lower high grade engine oil will be more effective in providing protection against friction on those hot engine parts. This is because it will have a better viscosity (flow) that carries heat away from those parts hence bringing cooling effect.
Further, these slightly lower high grade oils provide a sustainable fuel economy for your engine. Additionally, their cleaning capabilities are higher as they carry particles away from the engine at a higher rate due to their viscosity.