5 Engine Oil Myths

engine-oilThere’s no doubt that a vehicle’s engine needs oil to operate smoothly. Apart from this, however, it’s difficult to separate reality from popular beliefs when it comes to engine oil. Below, Jiffy Lube of Southern California offers clarity for those who get bogged down in the murky depths of the following engine oil myths:

  • It’s best to change your vehicle’s oil every 3,000 miles regardless of your personal driving style, terrain, and manufacturer recommendations: not true. Jiffy Lube recommends consulting your vehicle owner’s manual for optimal oil change intervals noting that normal and severe driving maintenance schedules differ.
  • Modern Synthetic oil causes oil leaks: not true. Since the 1970’s, synthetic oil has been reformulated, so it no longer causes seals and gaskets to shrink and leak oil.
  • Engine oil additives are necessary for optimum engine performance: true. Engine oil additives improve viscosity, keep sludge from forming, prevent corrosion, and protect metal surfaces from wear. However, these additives are already present in most reputable brands of motor oil. Adding more may lessen the oil’s effectiveness and is not recommended.
  • Dark oil is dirty oil that needs changing: not always true. Many factors can affect the color of oil including additives and the presence of small suspended particles which keep sludge from forming—proof the oil is doing its job.
  • The “W” in 10W-30 oil stands for “weight”: not true. This is a multi-grade rating showing both warm and cold weather viscosities; the “W” stands for winter. Functioning in both summer and winter, this oil rates a 10 for viscosity in winter and a 30 in summer. The lower the viscosity rating, the thinner the oil.
  • Once you use synthetic oil, you can’t switch to conventional: not true. It will not harm your vehicle to switch to conventional oil after using synthetic. As long as the oil meets the viscosity and service requirements found in your owner’s manual, you can use either type of oil at any time.

When taking care of your vehicle, one thing is clear: regular oil change services are part of smart vehicle maintenance to ensure optimal performance. This is a fact your neighborhood Jiffy Lube can stand behind.

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