What Kind Of Oil Is Best For Winter?

A stock photo of oil being poured into an engine.

Should You Use Different Motor Oil In The Winter?

A vehicle owner doesn’t need to be a master mechanic to understand the importance of motor oil. This seemingly humble liquid is beyond essential to the proper and safe operation of a car’s engine. Every manufacturer has designed each engine to use a specific type of engine oil. That is the kind of oil that will be used when someone comes to the Budds’ Chevy Service Department for an oil change. However, this is about the time of the year when we’ll see an uptick in people asking, ‘Should you use different motor oil in the winter?’ For the most part, the answer is to just use what is recommended by the manufacturer. Let Budds’ Chevy show you some other things you might need to know.

READ MORE: Should You Already Have Winter Tires On Your Car?

Is Synthetic Motor Good For Cold Weather?

Synthetic oil is a marvel of modern engineering. It’s better at protecting engines across a wider range of temperatures than conventional oil. Extremely hot temperatures will essentially make oil too runny and less effective. Extremely cold temperatures will cause the oil to gel and make it too thick to be useful. 

The Society of Automotive Engineers evaluates motor oil based on how it performs in the cold. That’s what the ‘W’ means on the bottle of motor oil. A common type of conventional motor is 5W30. It performs well in the cold. Many, if not most synthetic oils, have 0W rating, making them even better at lubricating an automotive engine, regardless of ambient temperature.

Should You Switch to Synthetic Motor Oil?

Most automakers have made the switch to synthetic oil, so it’s entirely likely that it’s already being used in your car, truck or SUV. Even if someone owns a vehicle that is using conventional oil, it might be worth making the switch. The technicians working at the Budds’ Chevy Service Department will be able to walk people through their available options. 

There is a persisting myth that switching from conventional to synthetic oil causes engine seals to leak. Like any automotive myth, there is a kernel of truth to be found. Early versions of synthetic oils did cause some seals to break down. That problem has long since been fixed. Now, if a vehicle owner notices some leaks after making the switch, it’s because the synthetic oil has actually cleared out engine dirt that has been acting as a seal on its own.

Make an appointment with the Budds’ Chevy Service Department, today, if you need some help getting your vehicle back into peak condition.