What do those number-letter combinations stand for?
When you purchase an engine oil, you would always see those numbers and letters. For example, Valvoline 5w30. What does this represent and why do we need to be cautious of this? This is what we call oil viscosity. What is the best oil viscosity for a vehicle? It depends on two major things. Car manufacturer and climate. Let us start with the Car manufacturer. Every car has a specific oil that it requires. If you have read your manual, they include it on the lubrication section. You should, by all means, follow this because whoever designed the car knows the best for the car. They know what will be the best oil to use for longer engine life. Despite what other people may say or think, always rely on your manual.
How does climate affect the oil viscosity?
For starters, the letter “w” on that combination stands for winter. The lower the number before it, the better to use in cold areas. The number after it is on how thick your oil is. Here’s a good example, in cold countries, car manufacturers would set their default viscosity. Mostly, it’s recommended to use 5w30s in a colder area. That is the same reason why Valvoline 5w30 sells more on cold weather countries. Now, for tropical or hot countries, the recommended viscosity would be 10w40. They need a much fluid behavior from their oil on hotter countries to avoid engine damage. If you do not use the proper viscosity, the tendency is, you will have a lot of wear and tear parts getting destroyed early on your engine. It will take longer for the oil to travel around your engine and create more friction. This means, without the proper lubrication, your gears and parts will be grinding with each other resulting to damages inside the engine.