How To Choose The Right Oil For Your Vehicle

By: Ryan McCain
how to choose the right oil for your car

Engine oil enables your vehicle to run smoothly, and choosing the oil for your engine may seem a challenging task. There is a lot of information regarding various engine oil choices, but the first thing you need to do is check your vehicle’s manual. It lists the recommended oil weight, standard format, and viscosity grade.

You need to have a proper understanding of the importance of engine oil to enable you to choose the type of oil for your engine. This article breaks down various choices to assist you in the expedition to change your oil.

How to Choose the Right Oil for Your Vehicle

You need to consider the following factors while choosing the right engine oil for your car.

Viscosity Grade

Viscosity is the resistance of a fluid to flow. While comparing different oil products, you might notice various confusing codes with letters and numbers on the product packaging. This is the viscosity grade that measures the fluid’s resistance to flow. This is a significant factor to consider when looking for the correct engine oil.

Viscosity is denoted with XW-XX, and the number that precedes the letter “W” stands for the viscosity at low temperature ( oil flow rate at -18 ℃). “W” stands for winter, but not weight as most people always think. The number after W reveals the viscosity at high temperature. The higher this number, the thicker your oil will get in hot weather. Oils with thick and high viscosity are perfect for maintaining oil’s film strength to protect the engine parts at high temperatures.

It is important to use the correct viscosity engine oil specified for your car. There are two types of viscosity grades, one for summer conditions and another for winter conditions. If you want to find the appropriate viscosity grade, check the car’s manual or you can find it on the oil cap.


Did you know engine oil also requires certification? For instance, most manufacturers formulate their engine oils to meet the industry-standard certifications.

Certification Certification

Many of them develop their oils to surpass the stringent criteria set by different high-performance engine oil auto-makers groups like:

  • API (American Petroleum Institute) Certification: This group classifies engine oil products according to various criteria, such as protection against corrosion, wear, and oxidations, as well as dispersive power. API standard comprises two fundamental letters: C for diesel engines and S denotes petroleum engines. If you want to know the standard your vehicle requires, check the vehicles’ handbook or seek advice from a professional mechanic.
  • ACEA (Association of Certified European Automakers): A number and a letter determine its quality indicator. The number shows the particular performance the oil needs to offer, while the letter denotes the type of vehicle’s engine.
  • SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers): This certification describes the oil viscosity grade as shown on the container.

So always refer to the engine oil certification because this enables you to know the performance level and type of oil specifically designed for your car engine. It also allows you to see that the oil meets the recommendations of the automotive manufacturer.

Engine Oil Type

The last aspect to consider when choosing the right oil for your vehicle is the type of engine oil. However, if you understand the model and make of your car, it is easy to make an oil type selection decision. Check your vehicle’s manual for proper guidance to know what your engine requires.

It is also essential to understand the primary differences between different engine oil such as mineral oil, full and semi-synthetic oils:

  • Mineral Oils: This type of oil has a comparatively low resistance to oxidation and heat. It can sustain your vehicle for approximately 5000 kilometers without the need to change it regularly, thus saving you extra money. If your car engine is old and always uses mineral oil, it will give it additional protection and performance.
  • Synthetic oil is modified chemically to enhance engine performance and contain very few impurities. Synthetic oils are of high quality because they have high resistance to oxidation and heat. Your car can last approximately 10000 kilometers before changing the oil. Synthetic oils enhance engine performance and prolong its life. This type of oil economies on fuel and has perfect anti-friction.
  • Semi-synthetic oil: This mixture of both full synthetic and mineral oils gives you both their benefits. Using it in your engine improves both performance and protection against heat, corrosion, and oxidation.

It can be relatively challenging to make the correct choice for your vehicle’s engine oil. But choosing the appropriate engine oil can prolong its life and performance. Focus on the viscosity grade, the certifications, and engine oil type to make an informed decision. Get 10% off your engine oil at Halfords instore via this link.

Check your vehicle’s manual for the relevant oil specifications. Be very vigilant and keen while looking for the best oil for the engine to avoid problems. Most importantly, keep these three aspects into considerations while looking for the right engine oil for your vehicle to optimize its performance and prolong its life.

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