Whether it’s a commuter car or the fleet truck you drive for work, oil is the life-blood of the engine. Sadly, too many people neglect their engines by not taking care of the oil via changing it frequently or adjusting the type of oil they use based on the age of their vehicle. Here are a few things to consider when changing your oil.

Oil Type

Oil is typically labeled by their viscosity type, which matters depending on operating conditions. If you’ve seen a bottle of 5W-20, the 5 means the rate of the oil’s flow at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The “W” stands for winter, not for weight like many people believe. The second number is the viscosity at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that a 10w-30 will thin out faster at high temperature than a 10w-40 oil.

To know what type of oil your vehicle needs, please refer to the owner’s manual as it will tell you the type of oil that will work best. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, you may need oil drain valves and parts to get the job done right.

Conventional And Synthetic

Conventional oil is the cheapest of the oil selection. It adheres to API and SAE standards but doesn’t have other additives that may be helpful to your engine. If you change your oil religiously, conventional oil may be just fine as you probably don’t need any additives to clean your engine.

Synthetic oil on the other hand is made for high-tech engines. This oil passes a myriad of tests to ensure it has long-lasting performance qualities and protects against engine deposits. These types of oils flow better at low temperatures but are about three times as expensive as their conventional counterparts. Based on the price, you will have to decide what works best for you.