How to Choose the Right Oil for Your Vehicle


Motor oil is essential for keeping your car's engine running smoothly. It lubricates hardworking internal parts and minimizes wear on critical components. It's vital to change your oil frequently, based on the manufacturer's recommended service plan. But which oil is right for your car? With so many varieties on the shelf, it can be a puzzling decision. Read on to learn more about choosing the right oil for your vehicle.


Start your oil search by looking for the right viscosity. Engine oil comes labeled with a code such as 5W-30. This designation refers to the oil's properties. Is it thin enough to flow when it's cold outside and thick enough to work well when the engine is hot?

The first number (5 in this instance) is the oil's viscosity in low temperatures. The "W" stands for winter when you cold-start your car. The next number represents the thickness of the oil at the vehicle's normal operating temperature. Oil that's labeled 10W-30 has less viscosity during extreme temperatures than one labeled 20W-50. Some oil viscosity grades are only available in synthetic engine lubricants; for instance, 0W-20. Your owner's manual will indicate which viscosity is right for your particular engine.

Conventional Oil

The next step is to determine whether you want a conventional oil or a synthetic formula. Traditional motor oil works well for many drivers and most cars. Crude petroleum pumped from the ground is refined into the final product. Once processed, it has the necessary properties to protect moving parts and is quite inexpensive to purchase.

Conventional oil is an excellent choice for most daily driving conditions like commuting to the office or the grocery store in your Chrysler 300. However, even the best oil on the shelves will eventually pick up contaminants and break down from heat and friction.

Synthetic Oil

Many automotive experts highly regard full-synthetic engine oil. This type of engine fluid is manufactured from petrochemicals to the manufacturer's exact molecular formula, resulting in a higher cost for this product. Synthetics typically last longer and work particularly well for vehicles — such as a RAM work truck or an off-roading Jeep — that tend to be driven hard. However, it lacks that noticeable performance boost you get with conventional oil.

A quality synthetic oil protects your engine in a wide range of conditions and may hold up better over the life of your vehicle, especially if it has a few miles on it. It's readily available in any automotive retail outlet and is as safe a bet as you can make when it comes to lubricating your car's moving parts.

Synthetic Blends

A synthetic blend of engine oil is just what it sounds like — a combination of conventional and synthetic oils. This option is less costly than full synthetics and gives car owner's a winning compromise between price and performance. A custom blend of oil offers the specific properties your vehicle needs based on the driving you do.

It matters which engine oil you choose. Use this guide to keep your engine running like new with the right oil or visit Crosstown Chrysler Jeep Dodge for assistance.

Categories: Service


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