The Types of Car Engine Oil to Choose From

Types of Car Engine Oil

If you had to choose amongst the variety types of car engine oil, how would you differentiate amongst them? Oil is an essential part of the car’s fluids. It plays various roles including protection, lubrication and cooling. If your car doesn’t have sufficient oil, there is a possibility that the engine block will suffer from friction wear and tear.

Car engine oil usually varies depending on the method of creation. Further the method of creation usually affects the oil’s viscosity. There are different grades of oil that are all manufactured from mineral oil.

If you check the oil containers, you will notice that there is a different rating for each oil. The ratings are based on how viscous an oil is during the start of the engine. Further that rating shows how the engine reacts during extreme temperatures of heat or cold.

Engine temperatures can reach up to 400°C hence the reason why you need to check the rating of the oil on the container.

Oil Container Rating

The oil container is usually written a ratting that has to have a letter W in between. For example;


The number in front of the letter W represents the level of oil viscosity when the engine isn’t running. Right before you start the engine. The lower the number, the higher the viscosity.

The number after the letter W represents the level of the viscosity when the engine is at operational temperature. The lower the number the lower the oil’s viscosity. While the higher the number the more the oil is viscous.

Types of Oil

According to the production process of oil, they are divided into three classes. But a common denominator amongst them all is the mineral oil.

1. Mineral Oil

This type of oil is made from the same process that leads to the making of petroleum. This type of oil is not preferred by car owners who have high performance engines. A distinguishing characteristic of this type of oil is that it is very viscous when compared to the others. When you’re about to store the car for sometime and this is the oil in your engine, ensure that you drain it after storage. Because this oil has low viscosity especially if the car hasn’t been in use for a while.

Further, because of the viscosity characteristic, this type of oil does not fit cars that are driven in areas that experience extreme temperatures. Mineral oil does not favor extreme heat or cold, hence making it perfect for temperate regions. Further mineral oil has low oxidation properties which requires it to be changed more regularly than the others. An advantage of the mineral oil is that it is the most affordable oil amongst the others.

2. Semi-synthetic Oil

This is a combination of two types of oil. It undergoes chemical enhancement in order to get its unique characteristics. Semi-synthetic oil is a combination of mineral oil and fully synthetic oil. Meaning that it is a balance of both their characteristics. That means that it offers a little more viscosity in comparison to mineral oil. When the car’s sensors detect that there is an oil leakage of the synthetic oil, it displays a warning on the dashboard.

Semi-synthetic oil is an improvement of the mineral oil. It offers the affordability of mineral oil. While at the same time it gives the performance of fully synthetic oil. Further, this oil doesn’t need regular oil changes like the mineral oil.

3. Full Synthetic Oil

This is one of the most costly oil amongst all of them. It has undergone chemical alterations in the lab to offer optimum performance and increased viscosity. It is recommendable for all the types of engines including the performance based engines.

When there is extreme temperature conditions, this doesn’t prevent it from performing as per its specifications. In fact, if your car is a high performance type, this is the best oil for you to use. This type of car engine oil usually offers engine protection properties that are not present in other oils. That’s because it has been made using the latest technology.