Car Care:    Tips , Tricks and Maintenance

Motor Oil And Filter For Your Car or Truck :
                              The Right Quality, Quantity and Viscosity


Motor Oil / Engine Oil is critical to the longevity of your car or truck's engine.
While its primary function is to lubricate all the moving parts of the engine, it's also vital in that it helps to cool the engine by transferring heat away from the engine parts. Another function of motor oil is to clean the engine of build-up and chemicals as you drive, it also keeps the engine's parts coated in oil to prevent internal rusting.

Determining the right quality and quantity: If you're new to changing your own oil, your first step is to simply pop open the glove box and pull out your owner's manual. Your manual will likely have a section labeled "Capacities and Specifications" as well as a section called "Maintenance Schedule".

Under "Capacities and Specifications", run down the page until you find the section listing "motor oil' and you will find the quantity of oil you will need to buy. For example the quantity might look like this:
Motor Oil And Filter For Your Car or Truck :


Next you'll need to find the quality standard that the manufacturer requires, you will need to purchase this quality at the "minimum" but the oil on the shelves will likely be of better quality than this minimum requirement. Ask your parts counter person if you are unsure.
Example of quality requirement may look like this:
Engine Oil
Engine oil which meets GM Standard GM6094M and displays
the American Petroleum Institute Certified for Gasoline Engines
starburst symbol.  see Engine Oil on page 5-13.


Viscosity refers to how thick or thin the oil is. You can see (above) it is telling you to go to another page (5-13 in this case) where you will consider what temperatures you'll be driving in. In this case the manufacturer only recommends one viscosity choice for hot and cold weather driving; some vehicles will have more arrows representing different viscosities and temperature extremes. You can see how the black arrow covers all temperatures and has an "SAE 5W-30" label printed below the arrow. "SAE 5W-30" represents the oil viscosity you are to choose for that temperature range.
SAE 5W-30
As shown in the viscosity chart, SAE 5W-30 is best for your vehicle. These numbers on an oil container show its viscosity, or thickness. Do not use other viscosity oils such as SAE 20W-50. Oils meeting these requirements should also have the starburst symbol on the container. This symbol indicates that the oil has been certified by the American Petroleum Institute (API).


Now you know the Quantity, Quality and Viscosity of the oil you need to purchase.
You will also need an oil filter:

Oil Filter
Your oil filter plays an extremely important role, in that it removes contaminants from the oil as you drive before they can harm your engine. The better the oil filter you purchase the more contaminants the filter can trap and retain. You will need to tell the person at the parts counter a few things about your car such as the make, model, engine size and year of your vehicle. He will give you two or three different choices concerning the quality and price of the filter - always choose the best oil filter you can buy. Auto parts stores such as NAPA are often the best place to buy quality filters at discounted prices, they're usually happy to assist a newbie  regarding quality; and buying several filters at a time will save you a special trip later.
Motor Oil And Filter For Your Car or Truck: The Right Quality, Quantity and Viscosity 


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