How to Choose the Right Motor Oil

Buying the right motor oil for your vehicle can be a difficult thing to do. When you invest as much as you do in your car, motorcycle, and motorized toys, you want to get the longest life and best performance. There is a wide range of options to choose from, so you’ll want to consider the type of vehicle you have, what you use your vehicle for, and how hard you are on your engine.

Luckily, Fleury Powersports is here to help you choose the right oil for you and your vehicle! Read our guide below to get information on what the viscosity ratings, labels, product type means.

Viscosity Ratings

Ratings for motor oil are based on viscosity, which is the oil’s ability to flow. Oil viscosity is important for ensuring that your engine runs properly at different temperatures. Displayed as variations of 10W, 10W-40, 5W-20, etc., these numbers indicate the temperature or temperature range at which the oil will offer the best performance and protection. When purchasing motor oil, you’ll want to make sure you get a viscosity appropriate to the climate in which you live.

The best way to think of these ratings is that they reflect the optimal temperature for the oil to be used at. A 5W-40 product has a much wider range than a 10W-30 product. Conversely, a product with a 20, 30, or 40 rating will function much better if running at that temperature, as it’s designed to perform best in those conditions. Using a 40 product in a hotter climate may be better suited to your engine than having a ranged product. Here in the Great White North, a multi-weight product will ensure that the oil gives you ideal performance in both cold and hot temperatures.

If you live in a climate where the temperature fluctuates a lot, you’ll want to have a product that accommodates this range. However, if you live in a climate that doesn’t get as cold, using a single-weight product may be better for your engine over the long term.

Single-Viscosity vs. Multi-Viscosity

Single-viscosity oils are designed for specific temperatures, and are often used in more controlled environments, such as performance sports and racing. Multi-viscosity oils are designed for more flexible use, including everyday car, truck, and motorcycle use. When purchasing for your car, boat, motorcycle, or truck, you’ll likely want a ranged product that will suit where you live.

Synthetic vs. Conventional

When choosing the best oil, you’ll also need to select between a conventionally or synthetically made product. The major difference is that a conventional oil is natural, containing elements that are not designed for running engines. When purchasing synthetic oil products, the motor oil is chemically engineered and designed to form a pure lubricant without contaminants.

Since everything in a synthetic oil is designed to run your engine, synthetic oils offer greater long-term protection, longer interval changes, and enhanced performance. This means you’ll have less wear and tear on your vehicle, your engine can run at higher temperatures, and you will have to change oil less frequently.

Rating Authorities: The SAE, API, and ISLAC

When choosing motor oil, you want to make sure that it is a quality product, and that it stands up to the protection and performance standards that you deserve. Checking for - and understanding - oil ratings from the groups that test products and establish ratings is one of the best ways to make sure you get a quality motor oil.

SAE International, begun as the Society of Automotive Engineers, is an international organization that establishes standards for engineering professions and applications in a range of automotive industries. The International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC) and American Petroleum Institute (API) are the other two most common rating systems you’ll come across. The ILSAC is another international standard that motor oils are tested against, while the API is a United States standard. When it comes to motor oils, an SAE rating means that the motor oil you’re looking at has been tested and adheres to the SAE standards.

Oil Additives

Many motor oils use oil additives. These chemical compounds offer a range of different features, performance enhancements, and protection benefits depending on the additive, or combination of additives, you choose. Depending on the product you get, these oil additives can offer a range of different targeted solutions for your vehicle.

Some oil additives help with viscosity, controlling the breakdown of chemicals, controlling the level and effects of contaminants, or lubrication. Depending on what your engine needs most, you can choose the combination of additives that will give you the best vehicle protection and performance.

Conclusion: Things to Consider

When trying to choose the best oil, make sure that you consider the needs of you and your vehicle. Purchase an oil that will suit your climate, you

r engine, and the overall wear that your engine is likely to receive. Make sure that if you need an oil suited to a range of temperatures, like us here in Canada, you purchase a multi-weight product.

In general, it’s a good idea to follow the recommendations in your vehicle manual for oil change frequency. This is the best way to get ideal performance out of your vehicle, as well as ensure that you meet warranty standards. In general, higher performance motor oils should greater longevity, while also giving you greater protection and performance.

To help you get the product that’s best for you, we at Fleury Powersports help you search oils in a variety of ways so that you can pick the ideal product. Go to our website to Search by Vehicle type or to Shop by Product, Equipment, or Category.

If you want to hear it straight from the horse's mouth, come meet us, email to ask, or call to talk!

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