Engine Oil Myths
Engine oil is required in a car to lubricate parts, allowing smooth operation whilst also preventing rust and corosion. With some modern oils, the oil can prevent gunk and sludge build up in the engine, which is also important for a smooth operation. But for most of us, there are some engine oil facts we believe to be true - which are in fact engine oil myths.
Popular Engine Oil Myths Debunked
There are quite a few engine oil myths that are harmless, but the more you know the better. Some of the type myths about engine oil are:
The 'W' in 10W-30 is Short for 'Weight'
Before explaining our first engine oil myths, it's important to note that you must be aware of an oils viscosity, which roughly refers to the oils 'thickness'. The best engine oils have a viscosity that is not too high that it sticks and doesn't flow very well, nor too low that it will slip through your engine like water and barely lubricate the parts.
Oil viscosity is rated in as single-grade ratings and multi-grade ratings. An oil with the label SAE-30, for example, is a single-grade rated oil; the number refers to the amount of seconds (approximately) the oil takes to run through a tube when it is tested by the Society of Automative Engineers (SAE).
For multi-grade oils, the label is used to display the viscosity of the oil in both cold states and warm states. Using the example 10W-30, the '10' is the viscosity of the oil in cold temperatures, whereas the '30' refers to its viscosity in warm temperatures. So, technically, the 'W' stands for winter.
When engine oil turns dark, it becomes dirty it should be changed.
If you use a modern detergent oil and the oil becomes darker over time this is usually an indication that the opposite is occuring and the oil is doing its job; detergent oils are designed to prevent sludge and build-up in your system, so the oil collects tiny particles and suspends them in the oil, keeping them a part and preventing them from clumping together to cause dirt or build-up.
Oil should be changed everyone 3,000 miles.
One of the most popular engine oil myths is that you should change your oil every 3,000 miles, despite what the manual for your car states. Even an oil salesman will tell you that - but it's incorrect.
Newer oils are designed to last longer, due to better viscosity and their ability to seperate dirt particles in suspension to keep your engine smooth and clean. You can travel up to 7,500 miles on average now without having to change your oil.