Best Motor Oil For Your Car [Ultimate Guide 2020]

Many people are conscious about the choice of motor oil for their car’s engine just like they are conscious about the food for their stomachs. Well, if you know what important role car oil plays for the health and performance of the car engine then being conscious about it is obvious. Here is a complete guide on how to choose the best motor oil for high mileage and performance of your car.

What is motor oil used for?

Motor oil plays an important role by maintaining the temperature, lubrication, and keeping the engine clean. Without it the engine can’t work even for a minute it’ll heat up and cause wear and tear of the parts. So keeping its usage in mind we must have to check it regularly and change it after some intervals. 

What oil does my car take?

What oil does my car take

Car oil comes in various viscosities. It should be thin enough to cold starts and thick enough to deal with hot engines. Automakers recommend different motor oil types for different cars. Every engine demands motor oil with different thickness and thinness. Motor oil gets thin when heated and it gets thick when cooled. Read below to know what type of motor oil your car engine may need.

Oils for modern cars

If your car is a modern one, the engine may use a 5W-30 or 5W-40 oil. These car oils are thinner and turn over the car engine more conveniently. Thinner motor oil aids fuel consumption too. The oil circulates around the engine more quickly. 

Old car

If you own an older car, these oils are not for your car. The engines of these cars work with 10W-30 or 10W-40 motor oil.

 A high mileage car

So do you run a high mileage car? Has your car had over 100,000 miles? If so, then go with 20W-50 motor oil.

What is synthetic oil?

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Synthetic oil is a lubricant. It is made up of artificially made chemical compounds. The base material that creates synthetic oil is always distilled crude oil. For example, it could be petroleum components. Synthetic motor oil is man-made. It contains fewer contaminants. So this lowers the risks of engine sludge and buildup. It is actually more expensive than conventional engine oil. Synthetic oil gives more protection to your car. Hence the life of the engine is prolonged.

Benefits of Synthetic oil:

  • It flows swiftly and quickly even in chilly and snowy weather
  • It prevents loss of prime when oil gets cool
  • Synthetic oil decreases evaporative loss
  • In some engines it improves fuel economy
  • Also it prolongs engine life

Drawbacks of Synthetic oil:

  • It is not suitable for high mileage engines
  • It is slippery so it doesn’t work best with new engines
  • Synthetic oil bounds the wearing of new mating parts
  • It is expensive
  • It may cause problem with racecar engines
  • It’s disposal methods are different

Semi-synthetic oil:

As we know, synthetic oils are much expensive. Semi synthetic oils are cheaper than them. This is made from a mixture of synthetic oil and mineral oil. 

How to check engine oil level?

One should check engine oil weekly. Make sure that there is enough non-contaminated oil. Oil smells of gasoline and car oil color seems dirty on check, time to change! Follow these basic steps to check the level of engine oil (use dipstick).

  • When engine is cooled, pull out the dip stick,
    clean it on a rag
  • If it doesn’t come out and stuck, insert it back
    in the pipe
  • Now, take dip stick out again
  • Note how high the oil film reaches on dipstick
  • Check the condition of oil
  • Put the dip stick back. Okay you did that!

Note: you don’t add oil in this tube, this is just to check!

When to check engine oil?

You can check it once a month, but if you drive a lot then check it weekly. It is recommended to check motor oil in cool engine. But always consult Owner’s Manual to know the features and conditions of your car engine. 

If one adds too much motor oil in the car engine, what would happen? Engine damage. Oil capacity in an engine is limited. Too much oil in car would increase pressure on crankshaft. Motor oil can enter into the combustion chamber and it would block the suction house. So, be concise and careful about oil capacity.

Car oil change should remain in process time to time.

Synthetic Engine oil vs Conventional Engine oil

Let’s go through the differences and similarities of these! Synthetic motor oil is way much better than conventional. But it would be no harm to engine while switching off and on between these oils.

Synthetic oil gives better protection to engine. It also has few impurities. 


  • Both of these oils are derived from refining oil. 
  • Main source of these oils is refined crude oil
  • These are pumped from deep underground


  • The level of refinement; synthetic oil is more refined
  • Different molecular size
  • Conventional oil breaks down more quickly than Synthetic oil

In a nutshell, synthetic motor oil is better than conventional oil. Synthetic oil flows better and lowers the risk of sludge and buildup. Now, many modern vehicles have a feature that requires synthetic oil. 

What motor oil type should you use?

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Motor oil cools down your engine. It provides lubrication. So it is important to choose good motor oil types and high-class motor oil brands. It affects overall performance of engine. Cheap and old motor oil will not do that wonder. Dirty motor oil would lead your car towards damage. So, the good the quality, the better would be the outcome.

What does the “w mean?

W means winter. This ‘w’ defines the viscosity or flow of oil at colder temperatures. So, the first number deals with cold-weather oil viscosity. Hence, if the number is low, oil viscosity is low too. It means that cold start performance would be up to the mark.

Let’s jump into an example for further understanding. It is written as 10W-30 or 10W-40. The second part tells about the oil thickness or oil viscosity. Therefore, 10W-40 would have high oil viscosity than 10W-30. For more examples, see below:

Engine oil 5W-30 vs 10W-30 oil

We can see that the second parts of both are the same. The only difference is that their cold flow abilities are different. 10W-30 would move slower than 5W-30. It is so because 5W-30 is a multigrade oil.

Engine oil 5W-20 vs 5W-30 oil

5W-20 is thicker and less viscous than 5W-30. The more viscous motor oil, the more it would resist the heat. Therefore, 5W-30 provides good overall protection.

Engine oil 10W-30

This 10W-30 is used in vehicles that carry heavy luggage or loads. This works as an all-rounder. It helps in starting engines in cold weather as well as it works best in hot temperature. Its viscosity is 10W when engine is cold and 30W in hot engine. 

15W-40 diesel Engine oil

It is made for over-the-road diesel trucks, farm tractors, light trucks, high-way diesel equipment. It meets the requirements of diesel engine manufacturers. 15W-40 works for older engines and high sulfur fuels.

Top Motor Oil Brands That I Recommend:

Mobil, Liqui Moly, Castrol, Silver Hook, and Comma are some top brands famous worldwide for their motor oil products. They deliver high-quality engine oil, suspension oil, and many other lubricants used in a vehicle.  

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