Motor Oil Viscosity Ratings Explained

You know which motor oil your car needs, but have you ever wondered what those letter-number combinations are on the bottle? They are motor oil viscosity ratings, and knowing their meaning can help you take better care of your vehicle.

When you see 10W-30 or another combination on a bottle of oil, the number before the W stands for viscosity at low temperatures. The number after the letter is viscosity when the car's engine is hot. Viscosity determines how fast or slow oil flows to the engine to keep it lubricated so that metal parts don't make contact with each other and wear out. When it's cold, oil thickens, so a lower viscosity works better because it's thinner and flows faster. Heat makes oil thinner, so a higher viscosity is better for hotter temperatures.

Want to know more? Stop by our car service and repair shop conveniently located in Pocatello, and we'll happily explain things.

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