Motor Oil and Your Car – Does it Matter?

Motor Oil and Your Car – Does it Matter?


Today, oil is very important to the world. We use oil in a variety of industries, and our rate of consumption has been increasing while our supply has been decreasing. There are many different types of oils and many different usages for each oil. Aside from the world’s oil needs, you vehicle’s engine needs oil. In fact, an engine cannot run properly without this dark lubricant.

Motor Oil

Importance of Motor Oil

Oil serves as a lubricating barrier between parts that can wear each other out over time. In an engine, oil absorbs heat and protects metal parts from grinding together, increasing an engine’s lifespan. As motor oil cycles through an engine, it also cleans parts and removes carbon deposits. Through its cooling abilities, motor oil may be able to offer engines a minor increase in performance, but oil’s main task is to keep parts lubricated and operating smoothly. It is very rare than the average driver will experience the “power benefits” that oil has to offer engines. As an oil ages it will become more viscous and turn into sludge. For this reason, most manufacturers recommend that an engine’s oil be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

Types of Motor Oil

Oil is differentiated by a few factors such as weight and blend. In an owner’s manual, a manufacturer usually specifies the weight and blend of oil that an owner should use in their vehicle, sometimes even specifying the brand of oil as well.

Crude Oil

Crude oil is actually not used in engines, but is the base oil that leaves the ground of the Earth. Crude oil is used to make products such as gasoline, plastics, and the other types of oil listed below.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is a step up from crude oil and is refined for usage in vehicles. Most vehicles use mineral oil and can operate properly without any upgrades. Mineral oil is the cheapest oil option out of all of the oils used in engines.

Synthetic Blend Oil

Synthetic blend oil is a blend between synthetic oil and mineral oil. There are variations in the amount of the blend, and this blend does matter in engines. The engines of most luxury cars and sports cars utilize synthetic blend oil due to its lubricating properties.

Fully Synthetic Oil

Fully synthetic oil is used by engines that require extremely high performance. Oil that is fully synthetic will not contain any mineral oil and will provide an engine with more than enough lubrication. As the most expensive oil on this list, most vehicles on the road will never need an oil that is as refined as fully synthetic.

The Right Oil

There is really no right or wrong oil to use in an engine, but there are oils that are far less effective than their competitors. High quality oil will have updated grades and ratings. Grades such as SA through SJ, are grades for older types of oils that are not used on modern vehicles. These older grade oils usually lack new and improved technology, such as oil additives. Without the new technology, these oils tend to not serve their purposes and go bad quicker than more modern oils; turning to sludge and leaving deposits in an engine. The “right” oil for an engine will remain clean throughout a manufacturer’s specified interval and will serve its purpose in helping an engine stay cool and lubricated.

Motor Oil and Your Car

You should change your motor oil as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Changing oil too early will result in a waste of money, and changing oil to late can result in engine failure, at worst. Using the improper oil can also result in premature engine failure, as the parts will not be able to receive adequate lubrication. However, if you change your oil as recommended, you should have no worries about your engine failing as a result of poor lubrication.

Clean oil serves as a great lubricant to the metal parts, in your vehicle’s engine, that frequently come in contact with one another. Dirty oil, containing various debris such as dirt and carbon, is unable to lubricate your vehicle’s engine effectively and may lead to increased wear on the internal parts of your engine. Dirty oil, much like honey compared to water, is thicker and unable to move around an engine as quickly as clean oil. This sludge will also absorb an engine’s heat without being able to dissipate it quickly enough, resulting in an engine retaining more heat than necessary. As can be expected, an engine that retains too much heat is also prone to damage due to the fact that internal parts can warp or crack over time.


There is far more to oil than meets the eye. This article was a sort of brief description on oil, but there are many more factors that are in play when oil is concerned. The weight of oil is a factor that many do not understand, in addition to the refining process that oil goes through. However, if a vehicle owner follows the instructions given by the manufacturer of their vehicles, then they should never have to worry about oil’s different factors. Oil that is changed properly will lead to a long-lasting, well-maintained, and well-lubricated engine.