Motor Oil Viscosity Ratings and What They Mean

When selecting the right motor oil for your next oil change, you may wonder what the numbers on the front of a motor oil bottle indicate. These numbers, like 5W-30 or 10W-40, indicate the viscosity rating of the oil, or the resistance of the oil to flowing easily.

Motor oil viscosity varies according to the temperature, and this is reflected in the rating. The number on the left indicates the viscosity in cold temperatures while the latter notes the viscosity at high temperatures. The "W" that divides the two numbers stands for "winter." This is helpful, because low viscosities are important for your car in cold temperatures, while high viscosities protect your engine parts during hot operation.

Drop into Ourisman Ford & Lincoln in Alexandria to learn more about motor oil choices and other maintenance options for your vehicle. Our experienced technicians can offer great advice and knowledgeable service.

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