Best Motor Oil Products For Your Car
All motor oils are intended to keep your engine running efficiently. Along with lubricating moving parts inside the engine, it’s also meant to reduce friction, create a barrier between metal surfaces, prevent corrosion, clean deposits from internal parts, and it even performs up to 40% of the cooling duties. But there’s no question that some are better than others, and the best motor oil and related products can extend your engine life when it’s changed regularly.
At around $6 to $25 per quart, there’s a wide range of prices for engine oil, and most drivers need to change it two to four times per year. Choosing the least expensive options can be tempting rather than using the best oil for cars today. Here’s what you should think about when selecting your motor oil, and how each type of product benefits your engine.
What to Consider When Choosing Motor Oil
There are hundreds of products to sift through when you’re looking for engine oil, and it can be tough to narrow it down. When choosing motor oil, you should consider the following factors:
- API rating – The American Petroleum Institute (API) assigns ratings to motor oils based on their performance characteristics. Look for the API starburst symbol on the oil container, and choose an oil with a rating appropriate for your vehicle’s age and type. Look for motor oil with a high API rating, such as “API SP” or “API SN Plus,” which indicates that it meets the latest industry standards for performance and protection.
- Viscosity – Choose the right viscosity grade for your vehicle’s engine and the climate in which you drive. A common viscosity grade for most vehicles is 5W-30, but yours might need 5W-20, 0W-20, 5W-40, or something else. Check your owner’s manual or the engine oil filler cap for the correct viscosity to use.
- Synthetic or conventional – Synthetic motor oil is generally more expensive but lasts longer and performs better in extreme temperatures. Conventional motor oil is less expensive but may need to be changed more frequently. And some vehicles require synthetic oil only, so be sure to check your car’s literature for the correct oil specification.
- Additives – Look for motor oil with additives that meet your vehicle’s specific needs, such as those that provide extra wear protection, improve fuel efficiency, or clean the engine.
To assist with narrowing down the oil options for your vehicle, enter the year, make, model, and engine size to view oils that may be appropriate for use in your engine.
Conventional Oil Products
Conventional engine oil, also known as mineral oil, is a lubricant made from naturally occurring hydrocarbons, which are refined from crude oil. It is the most common type of motor oil used in vehicles and has been used for decades.
It’s made up of base oils and additives that are mixed together to create the final product. The base oils are refined from crude oil and are responsible for lubricating the engine, while the additives provide additional benefits such as improved engine cleanliness, better wear protection, and increased high-temperature stability. Conventional oils are inexpensive and are appropriate for most vehicles with naturally aspirated engines.
Some of the Best Conventional Oils Available Include:
Synthetic Oil Products
Synthetic engine oil has a more uniform molecular structure and better performance in extreme temperatures and high-stress conditions. It’s made by further refining the base crude oil and can also contain different chemically-made compounds.
It has better thermal stability, which means it can perform better at high temperatures and maintain its viscosity better than conventional oil. Synthetic oils also last longer, meaning they can go longer between oil changes, although it’s not recommended to exceed the manufacturer’s prescribed interval. They are also more resistant to breaking down under high engine loads and high temperatures, which leads to better engine protection.
However, synthetic oil is also more expensive than conventional oil, and not all vehicles require synthetic oil. It’s recommended to check the owner’s manual or consult with the vehicle’s manufacturer to determine if synthetic oil is recommended for your vehicle.
Top Performers Among the Best Synthetic Oils Include:
Are Oil Additives Worth It?
Engine oil additives are designed to reduce friction, promote cleaning, prevent foaming, and protect against wear, among other things. Some additive products are intended to stop leaks while others treat high-mileage engines that already have higher amounts of wear. But are they worth it?
Most engine oils already contain additives like anti-foaming agents, detergents, and friction modifiers, but the best synthetic motor oil products contain higher-quality additives. Still, if you have a specialty vehicle or a specific use or condition you want to address, oil additives are a great choice to make your engine operate at its best.
Find motor oil products for your car at AutoZone. With competitive prices and Trustworthy Advice from our associates, you can keep your vehicle running its best and lasting its longest with the right brand and grade of oil for you. If the job is too big for you, seek out one of our Preferred Shops to help you do the job.
FAQ/People Also Ask
One of the highest-rated oil additive products is Lucas Oil Synthetic Oil Stabilizer which eliminates noise associated with dry starts, promotes easier cranking in cold weather, and slows oil consumption.
While it’s a matter of preference as well as application compatibility, Mobil 1 tends to offer the broadest spectrum of synthetic oil products and could be considered the best.
Since it has a more consistent molecular structure, synthetic oil can protect your engine better than conventional oil. However, on engines that are compatible with conventional oil, there might be little to no noticeable benefit.
Generally, you need to match the oil weight and the certifications to ensure the oil you use is correct. The brand you choose might tailor the blend to what you need a little better than another, but it’s not as important.
All engine oils contain a blend of additives to help them perform their best. If you’re trying to address a specific concern or problem, a separate additive can be of benefit.