How Do I Choose the Engine Oil for my Car?

With the multitude of references available for engine oils, it is not always easy to know which engine lubricant to adopt for your vehicle.

If in doubt, the easiest way is to refer to your car’s maintenance booklet which contains all of the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding viscosity, as well as the specific standards and requirements of the ideal oil for your engine.

Choose the type of engine lubricant recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle

The easiest way to determine which motor oil is ideal for your car is to refer to its service book. It provides information on the characteristics of the lubricant recommended by the manufacturer for your car model.

There you will find all the information on the appropriate standards, the viscosity index, as well as the special requirements of the oil to be chosen. With all these details, you just need to compare them with those on the labels of the cans available on the shelves to choose the oil corresponding to your vehicle.

Choose the ideal motor oil according to the grade

If you do not have the maintenance log, you will have to base your choice on the viscosity index of the lubricant and your driving habits. It is useful for this purpose to know the different types of oil and their particularities. If in doubt, do not hesitate to seek professional advice.

Know the different types of motor oil

There are generally 3 main types of motor oils with specific characteristics:

  • Mineral motor oils: obtained from crude oil, it can be identified by the index 15W40
  • Synthetic motor oils more refined and often enriched with additives, it is referenced under grades 5W30 and 5W40
  • Semi-synthetic motor oils which are a kind of mixture between the two previous categories. They are available in grade 10W40.

Choose the oil with the right grade

The grade determines the viscosity index or fluidity of the oil. It should ideally be adapted to the engine of your car and the nature of your journeys. There are 2 main categories:

  • Monograde oils: they are available in 2 winter grades (SAE 0W, 5W, 10W, 15W, 20W, 30W) and summer (SAE W20, W30, W40, W50)
  • Multigrade oils which are distinguished by two series of numbers located before and after the letter W. They combine the attributes of the 2 winter and summer grades, namely good viscosity at low temperature and optimum fluidity at high temperature.
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