Motor Oil Facts: Viscosity

A quick look at the shelf in your local auto parts store will reveal a variety of motor oils with an even wider variety of specific purposes. From high-tech engine oils to higher-mileage vehicle oils. You are sure to see a wide selection of viscosities. In this article we are going to explain what motor oil viscosity is and how to read the difference between the grades. 

What is Viscosity

Viscosity is simply the measurement of how quickly the oil flows through your engine. Higher viscosities are thicker and therefore take longer to flow.

High Viscosity

A motor oil with a high viscosity will provide your engine with more lubrication and a higher level of protection to your engine. They do take longer to cover engine components.

Lower Viscosity

While motor oil with a lower viscosity provides a quicker flow, therefore taking less time to cover engine parts, they also provide less lubrication during normal running of the engine.

Reading the Label

So now that you know all about viscosity let’s look into how to read those labels and determine the best motor oil for your needs. The most common examples are 5W-30 or 10W-40. The number with the “W” represents how the oil will react in colder temperatures. The lower the number the lower the viscosity and the faster it will cover engine components.

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