What Oil Does My Car Take?

What Oil Does My Car Take?
March 9, 2024
What Oil Does My Car Take?

As mechanics, we get asked all the time: "What oil does my car take?" It's a great question, and choosing the right oil is crucial for keeping your engine running smoothly and efficiently. Walking down the oil change aisle at the store can be overwhelming with all the different car oil types available. Don't worry, we're here to break it down for you and help you find the perfect oil for your vehicle.

Here at PartsHawk.com, we stock a wide variety of motor oils from trusted brands to fit any car's needs. Whether you drive a high-performance sports car, a fuel-efficient hybrid, or a reliable family sedan, we have the oil you need to keep your engine running like new.

Understanding Car Oil Types

There are two main factors to consider when choosing car oil: viscosity and API service rating.

  • Viscosity: This refers to the oil's thickness and its ability to flow at different temperatures. Viscosity is denoted by a two-number code, such as 5W-30. The first number (e.g., 5W) indicates the oil's cold-flow performance, how easily it pumps through the engine during startup. The second number (e.g., 30) represents the oil's viscosity at operating temperature and its ability to protect engine components.
  • API Service Rating: The American Petroleum Institute (API) classifies motor oils based on their suitability for gasoline or diesel engines and their performance characteristics. Common API service ratings include SM, SN, and GF (for gasoline engines) and CI (for diesel engines). Your car's owner's manual will specify the recommended API service rating for your vehicle.

Finding the Best Oil for Your Car

Here's how to find the perfect oil for your car:

  • Consult your owner's manual: This is the most important resource! Your car's manufacturer specifies the recommended viscosity grade and API service rating for your engine. Don't deviate from these recommendations unless you have a specific reason to do so (e.g., high-performance driving).
  • Consider your climate: If you live in a cold climate, you'll need a lower viscosity oil (e.g., 5W-30) that flows easily at low temperatures. Conversely, hotter climates benefit from higher viscosity oils (e.g., 10W-40) that maintain their protective qualities at high engine temperatures.
  • Think about your driving habits: Do you frequently tow heavy loads or engage in stop-and-go traffic? These conditions put extra stress on your engine, and you may benefit from a full-synthetic oil that provides superior protection compared to conventional or synthetic blend oils.

Finding the Right Oil on PartsHawk.com

Once you know the recommended viscosity and API service rating for your car, you can easily find the perfect oil on PartsHawk.com. Simply enter your car's year, make, and model on our website, and our user-friendly search tool will show you compatible oils. We offer a wide selection of brands and weights to meet your needs and budget.

Here are some additional tips for your next oil change:

  • Oil filters: Don't forget to replace your oil filter at the same time as your oil change. A clogged filter can restrict oil flow and reduce engine protection. PartsHawk.com carries a variety of oil filters to fit your specific vehicle.
  • DIY vs. Professional: Changing your oil is a relatively simple task that you can do yourself at home. However, if you're not comfortable doing so, there are plenty of reputable repair shops that can handle the job for you. 

By following these tips and shopping on PartsHawk.com, you can ensure you're using the best oil for your car and keeping your engine running smoothly for miles to come.

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