Changing your car’s oil can present quite the task for a beginner. This is why so many people enlist professional help to get the job done. Over time, you may have heard your mechanic talk about oil grades. You may be wondering what oil grades are, and which is best for your vehicle. Here’s a little information about oil grades to help you navigate your next oil change in stride.

What are oil grades?

The first thing we all should know is that there are a variety of oil grades. Oil grades help identify oil by its viscosity at different temperatures. Oil operating temperatures can range from a cold start in the winter to normal conditions in the summer. These days, engine oils are created to be “multi-grade.” This means they contain preservatives and additives, giving the oil a certain viscosity when it’s cold, and another when it’s hot out.

Which oil grade is best for me?

To single out the best grade for your vehicle, you’ll need to know what the letter and numbers mean. Let’s begin with the letter. All grades will have the letter “W” in it, which stands for Winter. The numbers will tell you the low and high temperatures at which the oil in the bottle can protect your vehicle’s engine. We’ll take the grade 10W-30 for example. The 10 in front of the W is the cold temperature grade. The 30 is the high-temperature grade so to read it in total would be to say that the oil has an average low above 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Still kind of fuzzy on the whole idea? It’s okay. Here is another example. If your vehicle requires motor oil with a 5W-30 marking that means that the oil is best used for an average low of below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

I hope this cleared the air so that you can have a better understanding of what the oil grade tells you as well as knowing what it provides to your vehicle’s engine. If you have any questions feel free to leave us a comment, and we’ll have it answered as soon as possible!

If you’re in need of an oil change, or even a new vehicle, we can help! Your local Payne Auto Group dealerships are located throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Our extensive range of vehicles is among the biggest in South Texas. Stop by one of our dealerships to test drive a new or used model today.