What Motor Oil Is Best For Hot Summers and Cold Winters?

mechanic adding oil with funnel

Summer is here and that might bring up the question of “What motor oil should I use when getting my oil changed?”

motor oil

Oil weight, or “viscosity,” is important to understand when deciding what kind of oil to put in your vehicle during the hotter summer months. The weight of a motor oil determines how well it operates in hotter temperatures. 


The higher weight means that the oil is thicker so it doesn’t move or flow as quickly. Each kind of oil, like synthetic and conventional, has different levels of weights. So beyond knowing what type of oil your car takes- synthetic, blend, or conventional – you want to understand which weight of oil you need and most manufacturers indicate this in your manual. 


There are two numbers that indicate the weight of the oil and how it’ll interact in different temperatures. The first number has a W at the end that stands for ‘Winter.’ This will tell you how well the oil flows in winter. If the number is low it means the oil flows well at low temperatures. If the numbers are larger it’s better for warmer temperatures. The number that comes after the W indicates how well the oil flows in hot temperatures. Higher numbers flow better because it doesn’t get too thin in really hot temperatures. 


So if you’re looking to change your oil for the summer, you’ll want to pick something that has a higher second number like 30. Once the cooler weather hits be sure to switch to an oil that has a lower number before the W. If you have more questions about what type of motor oil to get, reach out to a CarAdvise ASE Tech! They’re here to answer any questions you might need!


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