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Motor Oil for Dummies

It’s become a general rule of good automotive preventive maintenance to have your oil changed every 3,000 miles. But did you ever wonder what those numbers in the different types of oil really mean? What exactly makes a 5W30 oil different from 10W40, or SAE 30, for that matter?

The NYE Automotive Group is here to help you understand all things auto-related. We will assist you in making the perfect choice for your own vehicle from all of the different kinds in motor oil out there.

Using that 5W30 oil for example, the first number (5, in this instance) followed by the “W” designates how it flows in the central New York winter. It indicates the oil’s ability to help crank the engine on cold mornings and pump through the engine. The second number (30) tells how the motor oil will flow once the engine reaches its operating temperature. These numbers indicate the motor oil’s viscosity, or thickness — the lower the number, the thinner the substance is. Water is thin, so it has a low viscosity, while syrup is thicker and has a higher viscosity.

Since there are two numbers, these are known as multi-viscosity motor oils. Most vehicles on the road today use these multi-viscosity oils. The SAE 30 is a single viscosity oil, most often used in smaller engines like those found in lawn mowers with separate gas and oil reservoirs. Multi-viscosity oils also has a number of additives, including special detergents. These are added to help keep your engine running clean and free from corrosion even as the oil flows through the mechanisms.

Why is it important to make sure you use the proper kind of oil, as recommended by your manufacturer? The motor oil might seem like a simple part of the overall mechanical process, but in reality it is one of the most important aspects in operating your vehicle. Try running the engine with no lubrication for a while and you’ll see what we mean. Plus, if your vehicle is still under warranty, the use of an oil other than what is recommended by the manufacturer might void that warranty.

Confused yet? There are many types of motor oil to consider for your vehicle, but with your knowledgeable NYE technician’s help we will make sure you have the perfect one for both your vehicle and your driving situation. Give us a call to schedule an oil change today, and be sure to ask about our frequent customer discount.

The NYE Automotive Group is located at 1479 Genesee St. in Oneida, N.Y. 13421. For more info on any of our vehicles and services, call (315) 363-0600 or email sales@nyeauto.com.

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