When it comes to engine oils, all of them aren’t the same. The engine oil you were using for your previous car might not be suitable for your current vehicle. You should ensure using the correct grade and spec of the engine oil if you need to top up.
Choosing Engine Oil for Your Vehicle
How do you know which engine oil is suitable? Your car’s handbook will contain all engine oil the grades and specs appropriate for your vehicle. See that you check it before top up or purchase engine oil to ensure you are using the right engine oil for your car.
If you are having trouble finding suitable engine oil, consult the parts department of the manufacturer’s dealer.
Common Engine Oil Types: 5W-30 &5W-40
These two are the most common engine oils types. The 5 in the 5W denotes the viscosity during winter. The W in the names stand for winter. 30 and 40 indicate the flow of oil when the engine temperature is high. Normally, people use 30 for fresh petrol engines whereas 40 suits diesel or older petrol engines.
You can use both 5W-30 & 40 can easily be used for common car models, such as Ford Ka, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, & Volkswagen Golf. Some common cars recommend using 0W-30 oil, engine oil similar to the 5W-30. However, 0W-30 is less thick at a lower temp.
Again, it is recommended to consult your car’s handbook for a particular car make and car model to know about the suitable engine oil because the recommended one could be different.
Specifications of Engine Oil
Since all engines differ from each other, so do the engine oils. The specifications of engine oils vary as well. Automobile manufacturers and engine oil companies collaborate to agree on performance specifications for car engine oils. All over the world, there are numerous standards including API, ACEA, ILSAC, and JATO.
When it comes to modern cars, they need durable engine oils that can perform for couple of thousand miles. Modern oils prevent corrosion and sludge on engines. Moreover, they contain additives that facilitate engine cleaning.
Usually, later specifications oils are ideal for older car models. And it is better not to use older specification oils in new vehicles.
Specifications by the Car Manufacturer
Many car manufacturers come up with their own engine oil specifications. The most popular are Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen. Cars like BMW, GM, Porsche, and PSA have their engine oil specifications as well. Most of the time, these oils are specialized long-life oils that are designed to allow for very long intervals between services.
- If you find the manufacturer’s specification on the car’s handbook, look for it on the container.
- The car manufacturer may give an acceptable equivalent ACEA or API specification. However, it could be applicable in cases of only emergency top-space specifications
ACEA stands for the French acronym for European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association. In 1996, ACEA took over the earlier CCMC. The association is responsible for setting certain standards for car engine oils.