What engine oil do I need for my car?

Wednesday 3rd January 2024

what oil do i need for my car

Has your engine oil warning light appeared on your dashboard? Or are you looking to give your car a bit of maintenance before a long journey? If you’re unsure what engine oil your car needs, find out all you need to know in our guide.

Why is engine oil so important? 

Engine oil is crucial when ensuring your vehicle functions properly. It helps to keep the moving parts of your vehicle well lubricated. When your vehicle is low on engine oil, it will cause friction to those moving parts and can cause damage.

When do I know that my car needs an oil change? 

There are some signs to look out for that could indicate your car needs an oil change. These include:

  • Engine warning light appearing on the dashboard
  • Loud noises from the engine
  • Smoke appearing from your exhaust
  • Colour change of the oil
  • An oil smell when you drive

It is recommended to consult your owner’s manual to find out when you should change your engine oil, as every car manufacturer has a different suggested amount of miles.

How do I know what oil my car needs? 

The type of oil that your vehicle requires will all depend on the engine. If you have a modern vehicle, it will likely have a recommended oil grade and manufacturer, which is usually listed within the vehicle manual. This grade is also known as the oil viscosity and will be shown in numbers, separated by the letter ‘w’.

Most car manufacturers have their own grades of engine oil, that can be used in specific makes and models of cars. If you’re unsure  what type of oil you should use for your vehicle, your owner’s manual will be able to help you. If you have misplaced this or you’re still unsure which oil to choose, you can always get in touch with a member of our specialist team who can advise you on your required oil or even provide an oil upgrade to help improve engine performance.

Different types of engine oil 

What type of oil does my car need? 

When you come to buy the oil for your vehicle, you’ll likely be met with three different types of engine oil. These include:

  • Mineral oil – this is the most affordable oil and is the most natural product.
  • Synthetic oil – this type is the most expensive as it has a number of benefits, such as engine cleaning properties and can reduce fuel consumption.
  • Semi-synthetic oil – this is a combination of mineral and synthetic oil.

Still unsure on the difference? Learn everything you need to know about fully synthetic oil vs semi synthetic oil in our detailed guide.

What happens if wrong oil is put in my car? 

Putting the wrong oil into your vehicle will not show immediate damaging effects – like you would experience if you put diesel into a petrol vehicle, for example. However, long term effects will begin to show.

Using the wrong oil in your vehicle may expose your engine to excess component wear – and within a few thousand miles, your vehicle will display  operational issues. This can decrease the life of your vehicle’s engine.

It’s important to remember it’s best to comply with your oil grade and type of oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Need more help? Book in for your oil change and upgrade today, or take a look at our specialist oil supplement from your local Formula One Autocentre.

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