Signs You’re Using the Wrong Oil

With so much information available about motor oil and its importance, it can be hard to know which one works for your vehicle. While no one can overstate the significance of using high-quality oil to protect your engine, there are ways your car lets you know when it’s unhappy. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign you’re using the wrong oil.

It Struggles to Start in Cold Weather

If the oil is too thick (aka, the viscosity is high), your car may not start in cold temperatures (cold weather places more strain on a vehicle in any case). When this happens, the thick liquid can’t properly lubricate every part, and it creates enough resistance to impair the most important function–ignition.

It Leaks Oil

Using synthetic oil in high-mileage or older vehicles can be damaging, creating small oil leaks you wouldn’t experience with conventional lubricant. This happens because variant flow characteristics exist in synthetic oils, which make it squeeze into tight spaces more easily than regular types.

Although this circumstance won’t cause lasting damage, oil leaks can still create a mess, not to mention a burning smell. Also, you’ll need to stay on top of the oil level, since leaking can create a need for more frequent top-offs.

It Smells

If your motor oil’s viscosity is low, it can break down in extreme conditions, failing to lubricate your engine effectively. This creates excess heat and friction which reveals itself in a burned smell coming from the engine. With time and use, the damage will increase and engine parts will wear out prematurely. Fortunately, switching oil can right the problem if you get to it early enough.

It Loses Fuel Efficiency

When the oil is too thick, your engine will demand more lubrication and your mileage will suffer. Your engine will ultimately protect itself but at the expense of more motor oil than normal. Consequently, you’ll hit the gas stations more frequently.

It Gets Noisy

When motor oil is too thin, your engine might start to tick. This noise generally happens after you start the engine and decreases gradually as you drive. What you’re hearing is the sound of metal parts hitting each other, as they’re not adequately lubricated. Switching to an oil with higher viscosity should eliminate the issue.

For all your car’s maintenance and repair needs, remember to call the experts at Doc Motor Works in Sherwood, Illinois at 815-201-5122 today.