Tips

Are You Using the Wrong Engine Oil?

The significance of motor oil to your car’s overall performance can’t be overstated. As the life source of every capability, your vehicle needs high-quality lubricant to function properly. However, with all the different oil types on the market today, it can be difficult knowing how to choose. Fortunately, if you get it wrong, your car will let you know. Should you notice any of the following issues, you might want to rethink your current motor oil.

Oil Leaks

If you drive a high-mileage or older model, you should avoid synthetic motor oil. More specifically, synthetics have different flow characteristics which make them more capable of fitting into tight spaces. In older engines, this can create opportunities for leaks. While the issue won’t cause lasting damage, it will mean more frequent top-offs and messy after-effects.

Cold Weather Issues

Cold temperatures can stress any vehicle, but if you use high-viscosity oil in an engine that doesn’t need it, the thick liquid won’t be able to adequately lubricate the engine, creating unnecessary resistance. In cold weather, this manifests itself as trouble starting the car.

Burning Smells

When oil breaks down too quickly, it likely means it lacks viscosity. As such, the moving parts won’t get properly lubricated, and excess friction and heat will emit a burning smell. This issue can’t be ignored, as doing so will make parts wear out prematurely. Once you begin using appropriate motor oil, the problem should right itself.

Strange Noises

Another sign of too little viscosity, if you hear a ticking noise when you start the engine, it likely means you need thicker oil. The sound comes from metal hitting metal (which indicates a lack of lubrication), and the fallout will be the same in every case–worn out engine components.

Diminished Fuel Efficiency

As your engine struggles to protect itself from high-heat conditions, it will demand more oil. With that, you will notice decreased fuel efficiency in the form of more frequent trips to the gas station.

For guidance about the best oil for your vehicle, look to your owner’s manual. For more customized advice that considers your climate and driving habits, you can also talk to a technician. Either way, getting the right kind of oil for your car is the best way to make the engine last.

For all your vehicle maintenance and repair needs, call University Auto Repair in Flagstaff at 928-433-0025 today!

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