Why is engine oil viscosity so crucial?

Viscosity, or the thickness or flow of the oil, is the most crucial factor to take into account when selecting engine oil. Different factors, including driving comfort, fuel economy, engine cleanliness, and the car's overall performance, can all be impacted by the viscosity of the engine oil used in a vehicle. Choosing the right engine oil is important for any car owner because it can reduce fuel consumption and increase the lifespan of the vehicle by having a viscosity that is appropriate for the driver's driving habits and the environment. Here are some recommendations to aid in your decision-making.

What category does the viscosity of engine oil fall under?

Here are some engine oil grades that have been explained to help you comprehend the significance of the mystery codes written on the labels of engine oils. Engine oil classification is set by SAE International, formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers. The SAE oil grades, which are printed on the oil container and are 5W-30 and 10W-40, provide indications of the product's performance in your engine. The oil will flow more quickly at low temperatures if the number immediately before the letter "W," which stands for winter, is closer to 0. This indicates that the oil is thinner or has a lower viscosity. The viscosity of the oil at high temperatures is indicated by the number after the letter "W." This number increases viscosity, which leads to better engine protection as it increases in weight or thickness.

What distinguishes the viscosity from the viscosity index?

The internal frictional forces that obstruct liquid flow are referred to as viscosity. Viscosity, in other words, determines the thickness of a liquid. On the other hand, the viscosity index is a measure of the degree to which viscosity changes with temperature. Generally speaking, viscosity decreases and vice versa as the temperature rises. It is said to have a high viscosity index when the temperature difference's slight viscous change is present. An oil's ability to provide better stability at low temperatures and maintain the oil film well at high temperatures increases with the viscosity index. As a result, one of the primary factors influencing the quality of engine oil is thought to be the viscosity index.

What distinguishes monograde from multi-grade engine oil?

Monograde engine oils are those with a single numerical grade, such as SAE 10W, SE30, and SE40, while multi-grade oil oils have two numerical grades spaced apart, like 5W-30 and 15W-40. The viscosity of a multi-grade oil has been designed to work in both low- and high-temperature environments. Therefore, using a multi-grade engine oil is more appropriate in nations with distinct seasons and varying temperatures.

Let's examine an illustration by dissecting the qualities of 10W-30 engine oil. Multi-grade oils starting at 10W have a viscosity of 7, 000 mPa.s, according to the table or less at 25 degrees Celsius, with a minimum temperature of 30 degrees or lower for boundary pumping.

At 100 degrees Celsius, oils with SAE viscosity grades ranging from 9.3 to 12.5 m2/ s and an HTHS shear of 2.9 mPa.s are viscous or less at 150 degrees Celsius. In order to improve startability in cold weather, the engine oil will be relatively thin at low temperatures. Similarly, it will not be overly thick at high temperatures to create a lubricating oil film. 10W- 30-grade oil is appropriate for use in locations where the temperature difference is significant because its viscosity can be adjusted based on temperature.

What viscosity of engine oil should you use?

It is best to consult your owner's manual or seek advice from a mechanic first because choosing the right viscosity for the car depends on countless environmental factors, engine conditions, and driving habits. The most widely used engine oils are typically 5W-30, 5W-40, 10W-30, and 10W-40W grade oils. However, it is advised to use low-viscosity engine oil, such as 0W-30 or 0W-40, if you reside in a region with harsh winters or sub-zero temperatures.

Engine oil can handle a wider temperature range the greater the difference in viscosity between low and high temperatures. The efficiency, driving comfort, and engine cleanliness of the vehicle, however, may suffer if the viscosity value at high temperatures is higher than necessary. 

What happens if you use an engine oil grade that is not what the owner's manual suggests?

The engine oil viscosity needed for each type of engine varies depending on the speed, temperature, and load capacity of the engines in each car model. Power loss from overuse could result from using engine oil with a viscosity higher than what the manual suggests. On the other hand, a sufficient oil film might not form if engine oil is used that is viscous below the recommended level. As a result, the engine may experience wear or scratches, which could eventually cause it to break.