What Do Motor Oil Viscosity Ratings Mean?

With so many things to remember about the maintenance of your vehicle, motor oil shouldn’t be a mystery. The word viscosity is often used when referring to its weight. All viscosity means is the thickness of a fluid. Following your manufacturer’s guidelines for the appropriate oil to use according to temperature conditions will save you headaches down the road.

A bottle of multi-grade oil is labeled with a number followed by a W and another number. In a 10W40 weight of oil, for example, you have viscosity rating for cold and warm temperatures. The 10 tells you that’s the highest viscosity it will reach when either the engine or weather is cold. A thinner fluid, lower viscosity, flows more easily through the engine when it’s cold. The W means winter. The 40 here indicates the range that the viscosity should fall in when the temperature or engine is warm. A higher viscosity, or thicker fluid, perform better under warm conditions.

Stop by Tony Hyundai in Waipahu and speak with one or our knowledgeable service technicians. We’re here to answer your questions.

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