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What oil do I need for my car?

9th November 2020

Oil light appeared on your dashboard? Or perhaps you're looking to give your car a bit of maintenance TLC before a long journey? Often, it can be difficult to know which engine oil to use for your vehicle - that's why we've put together this handy guide detailing the different types of engine oil, and identifying what oil your car may need.

What engine oil do I need?

Ultimately, the type of oil you need for your vehicle will depend on the engine. A modern vehicle is likely to have a recommended oil grade and manufacturer, which you can usually find in the vehicle manual. This will be shown in numbers, and separated by the letter 'w' - and is also known as the oil viscosity.

However, it should be noted that many car makers actually have their own grades of oil, intended to be used in specific models. As a rule though, if you are unsure what type of oil you should use in your vehicle, consult your owner's manual - or get in touch with a member of our specialist team.

Ensuring you get the right oil for your vehicle is vital - as you may subject your engine to excess component wear if you use the wrong oil for your car. It might not show immediate damaging effects - however, long term, your vehicle may experience effects, such as extreme operational issues.

Different types of engine oil

With various changes to regulations on vehicle emissions, oil production has significantly expanded over the last few decades - meaning there is more choice than ever. So, what are the different types of engine oil that your car might need?

When you come to buy the oil for your vehicle, there are three core types of engine oil on the market:

  • Mineral oil - this is typically the cheapest type of oil, as it is one of the by-products of crude oil after it has been refined. However, it's unlikely your car manufacturer will recommend mineral oil - as it doesn't come with engine-cleaning properties which are essential in most modern cars.
  • Synthetic oil - the most expensive, this type of oil has been designed by scientists over different conditions and temperatures to ensure that not only fuel consumption is reduced, but the drag of the engine is also reduced. This type of oil also cleans the engine after its pumped - which makes it a popular choice for car owners due to its benefits and performance.
  • Semi-synthetic oil - this oil is a combination of both synthetic and mineral oil. Therefore, by choosing this oil, you'll receive some of the benefits - but at a more affordable price.

Locate your nearest Merityre centre have your engine oil changed by a specialist. Alternatively, get in touch with a member of our team for further information on what oil your car needs.

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