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An Oil for All Seasons (Engine Oil Selection)

January 20, 2020

You swap your winter boots for flip-flops in the summer.  Why not change your winter engine oil for summer, hot-weather oil?  While it may seem like it makes sense, there's some good news.  Most drivers don't have to, and here's why.

Engine oil can be made in different thicknesses.  That thickness is called viscosity, how easily it flows.  Now, it makes sense that the hotter it gets, oil gets a little thinner and doesn't lubricate as well.  So if you used a thicker oil in the summer, it's logical that it would protect better in the hotter weather. 

While there was a time when oils could be only made in one viscosity, times have changed.  Using an ingenious formula, oil can now be created that changes its viscosity (called "multi-viscosity") as the temperature rises and falls.  It self-adjusts to match the conditions.  Now that's what I call a great invention.

In most temperate climates, you don't have to swap out the type of oil you use in your vehicle each season. There are exceptions in extreme climates, but your service advisor can advise you on that.  Your vehicle's owner's manual recommends the proper viscosity oil to use.

Remember that even though you may not have to switch to a different type of oil, you DO have to CHANGE the oil at certain intervals.  That's because oil eventually breaks down and picks up contaminants, and if you have old, dirty oil in your engine, it can cause damaging friction and heat. Regular maintenance at your vehicle service facility will ensure that your vehicle is running like a well-oiled machine. 

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