auto repair December 14, 2017

What is Motor Oil Viscosity — and What Does it Have to Do with Your Car's Oil Change?

Motor oil viscosity refers to how easily that oil pours at a specified temperature, or how thick or thin that oil is. Engines need oil that is thin enough for cold starts and thick enough when the engine is already hot. Just like the frequency of your car's oil changes, the viscosity of your motor oil determines the health of your car's engine.

Motor oilís viscosity is determined by a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) test. The lower the viscosity rating, the thinner the oil; the higher the viscosity rating, the thicker the oil. Thinner oils have a water-like consistency and pour more easily at low temperatures, while thicker oils pour more easily at high temperatures. Thin oils are better equipped for reducing friction at low temperatures, while thick oil is better at maintaining film strength and pressure at high temperatures and loads.

Most motor oils are formulated from various oil grades so it has the best characteristics of both low and high viscosity oils. If the motor oil's viscosity is too low, a car will experience increased friction and wear as well as increased oil consumption. If a car's motor oil viscosity is too high, the car will experience increased fluid friction, reduced energy efficiency, and equipment starting difficulties.

For more information on motor oil and to schedule your car for an oil change, contact Wiygul Automotive Clinic. Serving the Burke, Virginia and surrounding area since 1996, Wiygul Automotive Clinic performs a wide range of maintenance and services to keep your vehicle running at its best. Wiygul Automotive Clinic serves such areas as Fairfax Station, Clifton, Fairfax City, and Springfield.

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