Just when you think you have it all figured out…
Newer cars are calling for a newer type of motor oil. This new motor oil is 5W30. The 5W-30 has additives which reduce friction, and more importantly are better able to lubricate cars from a cold start. Most engine damage occurs directly after a cold start; which is starting the car in cold weather. The newer oil is not as thick and therefore can move throughout the engine at a quicker rate, reducing damage to the engine.
The 10W weights are still around, but are mostly recommended for cars driven in hot weather and pulling large loads. In fact, the 10W-30 and the 10W-40 are perfect for just that scenario. However, if you will be driving in a variety of weather situations, the lower weight motor oils will be best.
Much of the country has cold weather seasons, to one degree or another. It is more convenient and economical to have one oil weight that can handle both types of weather. Cold weather, as mentioned above, does the most damage to vehicles. Synthetic oils are said to be much better for the car overall. 5W-30 oil handles higher operating temperatures better than the 10W-30 or 10W-40. The synthetic oil (5W-30) also handles cold weather driving better. Even in sub-zero temperatures, the synthetic moves through the engine at a much quicker rate.
Synthetics are said to improve general engine performance. It is more slippery than its counterpart and helps the engine to run more smoothly. Using the synthetic oil normally means you can go longer without an oil change. Synthetic oils do not sludge or break down as easily, so some experts estimate oil changes can be done every 25,000 miles! That’s a pretty big difference; 3,000 miles or 25,000 miles. Therefore, the synthetic can save money in that way as well.
If you have a newer car, it probably came with the synthetic oil. If so, you may want to stick with it. If you have an older car, you may want to consider the synthetic oils as opposed to the older version. Of course, there are many, many people who never will switch to the synthetic, and that seems to work fine for them. Synthetic oil is just another option to consider when budgeting out what will be best for you.
Synthetic motor oil was first introduced into the consumer market around the 1960’s. Since that time, more research and studies have been done to improve the performance of the oils. Since that time, most motor oils were still the 10W30 and 10W40, but had some synthetic properties added. It is only the newer 5W oils that are mainly synthetic and are said to improve engine performance. This is why most new cars are sold with the new synthetic oils. The newest synthetic oils are even touting better fuel consumption, but studies are still being done on that front. Synthetic oils seem to be the wave of the future, so soon, the 10W-30 and 10W-40 may be obsolete.