Do You Need an Engine Oil Top Off or Change?
Synthetic, blend, conventional or high mileage, find out which kind of oil is best for your car. Schedule your oil change today!
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Determining the best motor oil for your vehicle whether synthetic, synthetic blend, high-mileage or conventional oil, depends on several factors. Some are external factors, such as the climate you live in, your driving habits, or even the age of your engine. Other factors are fixed based on your vehicle's engine type and the manufacturer's specifications. This may be more than you wanted to know about the types of oil used in cars, but leave it to Firestone Complete Auto Care to give you complete information about your car. You don't have to be an expert on motor oil. that's why we're here. Visit or make an appointment at your neighborhood Firestone Complete Auto Care store today. Our tire and auto service professionals are always ready to serve you!
There are four general motor oil types:
Full synthetic oil is ideal for vehicles that demand peak level performance and high levels of lubrication. Full synthetic oil provides higher viscosity levels, resistance to oxidation and thermal breakdown, and helps fight against oil sludge. Plus, it helps improve fuel efficiency and can even increase a vehicle’s horsepower by reducing engine drag.
Because synthetic motor oil can cost two to four times more than regular oil, talk to your technician about whether it’s the right oil for your car. If you live in a climate with super cold winters or very hot summers, or use your vehicle for towing or hauling, synthetic oil may be the best type of oil for your vehicle. Older engines could also benefit from synthetic oil, as it can help prevent harmful sludge build-up that some older engines seem to be prone to.
Synthetic blend oil offers the best of both worlds. It has many of the characteristics of full synthetic oil, but at a much lower price. This type of oil is a mixture of synthetic and conventional base oils, plus some additives, for extra resistance to oxidation and excellent low-temperature properties. Synthetic blends make it easy for drivers to make the switch from conventional to synthetic oil, which is why this type of oil is becoming increasingly popular among today’s savviest drivers. It’s also a great middle ground for drivers who want the added protection and performance of a synthetic oil, but might not be ready to foot the bill for a total switch to full synthetic oil.
Conventional oil is the most commonly used type of oil. It is ideal for light-duty, late-model cars with low to average mileage and a simple engine design.
High mileage oil is specifically designed for cars with more than 75,000 miles. This type of oil can help reduce oil consumption, minimize leaks and oil seepage, and can also help reduce smoke and emissions in older engines.
Motor oils typically include a few additives which can make up between 5% and 30% of the oil. These additives help enhance the performance of the oil. Motor oils can include the following additives:
Antioxidants: Antioxidant additives work to slow oxidation and the forming of deposits in motor oil. They also help keep the engine clean and extend the life of the motor oil.
Anti-wear agents: Anti-wear agents help protect parts of the engine that are especially susceptible to damage from high temperatures, like cylinder walls, lifters, cams, and piston rings. This additive acts as a protective layer around these components to limit friction in metal-on-metal situations.
Detergents: This additive isn’t like your laundry detergent! It focuses on preventing deposits, rust, and corrosion from forming on the piston ring area, piston under-crown, and other surfaces that tend to overheat.
Dispersants: This is your oil’s magic ingredient. It gives your oil the ability to absorb and hold solid contaminants so that they don’t damage the engine.
Foam inhibitors: This additive does exactly what it sounds like. Foam inhibitors keep motor oil from forming foam and bubbles. If foam and bubbles were to form, the oil would be unable to coat the important parts of the engine and keep it cool.
Friction modifiers: Friction modifiers help reduce friction when your engine is operating under high temperatures and with heavy loads. This additive can also help you maximize your fuel efficiency.
Pour-point depressants: This additive has nothing to do the actual pouring of your oil. In fact, pour-point depressants help prevent the wax particles in the oil from hardening in cold conditions. As a result, the motor oil flows freely even in low, cold temperatures and the engine doesn’t need to work any harder to pump it.
Rust and corrosion inhibitors: Your engine’s internal parts can rust and corrode when exposed to acids and moisture. These additives create a protective film over your engine’s internal parts to help prevent such damage.
Viscosity-index improvers: These additives help your engine oil perform as intended despite temperature fluctuations.