Different Types of car oil

June 12, 2024

What Are the Different Types of Motor Oil?

Understanding the different types of motor oil can help you make the best choice for your vehicle to keep it operating in prime condition.

Despite the rise in electric vehicle sales, combustion engines remain a popular choice for many drivers. Electric vehicles and hybrids made up only 16% of light vehicle sales in the second quarter of 2023, according to the U.S. Energy Administration. Yet, most people don’t understand the different types of car oil. Milex Complete Auto Care can help you choose the right motor oil to ensure your engine runs smoothly and efficiently.

Four Main Types of Oil
The motor oil you use depends on your vehicle's requirements and operating conditions. Using the wrong type of motor oil can cause the oil to break down faster, which may lead to increased wear and tear on the engine. In some cases, an incorrect oil choice can lead to severe issues like clogging the oil filter, reducing oil pressure, or causing engine sludge, which significantly impacts the engine's performance and lifespan.

To make the right choice for your vehicle, let’s take a closer look at the four main types of motor oil:

  1. Conventional oil: Also known as mineral oil, conventional oil is derived directly from crude oil. It has been the standard choice for many years, and it’s a budget-friendly option for owners of older vehicles. Conventional oil does have some drawbacks. It breaks down faster under extreme temperatures and may require more frequent oil changes. It also offers less protection against wear and tear when compared with synthetic oils, especially in severe driving conditions.
  2. Synthetic oil: This type of oil is engineered in laboratories to have more consistent molecules, which means it can provide superior mechanical and chemical properties. It is designed for high-performance and newer engines and for vehicles that operate in extreme conditions. It offers better viscosity at high and low temperatures and improved chemical stability. Synthetic oil degrades more slowly than conventional oil, allowing for longer intervals between oil changes. In an earlier study conducted by AAA, synthetic oil outperformed conventional oil by 47%. Unfortunately, synthetic oil is more expensive than conventional oil and might not be cost-effective for older vehicles.
  3. Synthetic blend oil: By combining the characteristics of conventional and synthetic oils, synthetic blend oil is formulated to provide some of the resilience of synthetic oil while maintaining the economic aspects of conventional oil.
  4. High mileage oil: Designed for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles on their odometers. As vehicles age, their engine components can wear down, seals may shrink or become brittle, and leaks can become more common. High-mileage oil addresses these issues and can extend the life of an older engine. It can be costly and might not be necessary if the car’s engine is in good condition.

What You Need to Know About Oil Additives
In addition to choosing the best oil, you’ll also need to consider the type of oil additives you need for your vehicle. Oil additives are compounds added to oil to improve their lubrication performance. They can enhance the oil's ability to protect against wear, corrosion, and oxidation. Additives can also improve the oil's viscosity index, ensuring it remains thick enough to protect the engine at high temperatures but fluid enough to flow at low temperatures.

Get Road Ready at Milex!
At Milex, we know what it takes to keep a car running in tip-top condition. We can provide expert advice and services to help you understand the different types of car oils and determine the best choice for your vehicle. Our technicians can guide you based on your vehicle’s specific requirements, usage patterns, and manufacturer recommendations.

By trusting your oil change needs to Milex, you ensure your vehicle has the appropriate oil for optimal protection and performance. Get road ready at Milex.

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