Oil Change Information

Base Oil

Your vehicle's lubricating oil has two main ingredients: the base oil and the additives. The base oil is what lubricates your engine's moving parts, which reduces the friction that leads to excessive wear. The additives are there to prevent the heat from the engine's operation from breaking down the oil.

The base oil is refined from crude oil. Crude oil is refined, or made more pure, to remove contaminants like wax, nitrogen compounds and sulfur, and to take out the unsaturated hydrocarbons. Refining involves the following processes: extraction of solvents, hydrofinishing, hydrotreating, and sometimes hydrocracking and hydroisomerization. When you combine all of these steps, it makes the oil more pure, therefore making it better for your engine.

"A more important thing for the vehicle owner to consider is the 'additives' in the engine oil. The base oil alone isn't strong enough to protect the engine properly. Motor oil needs work for many different functions, and under big difference in operating conditions."

Detergent/dispersant, rust and corrosion inhibitors, antioxidants and anti-wear additives are all added to help the oil work more efficiently in the engine. Many oils also have viscosity modifiers added to help the motor oil pour and lubricate better.
Oil Grades and Viscosity

Oil gets thinner when heated and thicker when cooled. Motor oil, in order to lubricate your engine correctly through the changing seasons, needs to be the proper viscosity (thickness) to match the ambient temperature in your region.

The viscosity of single-grade, or mono-grade, oil is ideal in only one temperature range, either cold or hot. However, multi-grade oil must be able to meet both high and low temperature viscosity requirements at the same time. Multi-grade oil is the best year-round choice for drivers who experience both hot summers and cold, harsh winters. You can distinguish multi-grade oil by its dual viscosity designation (Example: 10W-40 where the 10W is the low temperature and the 40 is the high temperature rating).

The viscosity modifiers we discussed above will help to make the oil thicker at high temperatures, but will not work at low temperatures.
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