While you may know that you need to get an oil change for your car regularly, you may be stumped as to why oil is such an important part of a functioning car. Too embarrassed to ask your local mechanic to explain it to you? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn some basic points about engine oil and car maintenance.
What It Does
You can probably guess that engine oil acts as a lubricant in your car’s engine. However, it does a lot more than prevent metal-on-metal friction. Engine oil also prevents “blow-by,” which is what we call harmful soot, exhaust gases, and unused fuel that, without the presence of oil, often gets past the piston rings and enters the crankcase. Oil also fights against metal’s natural tendency to bend, melt, and burn, keeping your car’s engine in one functioning piece.
How It’s Classified
In the old days, there were only a few different types of oil available, making the choice of which oil to buy a lot simpler. Nowadays, there are enough oil options to make your head spin. This is good in the long run, of course, as more complex engines require different qualities from their oil. When purchasing oil, first look at the numbers on the front of the oil container. These indicate the oil’s viscosity rating—in other words, how thick the oil is. Most modern vehicles require multigrade oils, which have multiple numbers (such as 5W-30). This series of numbers will usually be preceded by a series of letters. One such combination is “SAE,” otherwise known as the Society of Automotive Engineers. Another is “API,” which stands for the American Petroleum Institute, an organization that rates the performance level of engine oil.
Are you looking for a mechanic in Silver Spring, MD to conduct your oil change? Murray’s Auto Clinics can take care of all your car maintenance needs, whether you need an oil change, muffler repair, or car alignment. Call 301-585-7557 today for more information about our featured services and auto offers.