What does the weight of motor oil mean

what does the weight of motor oil mean

Oil Viscosity and Weight Explained With Chart to Pick the Right One

Jul 09,  · How to know what motor oil weight to use in your car. If this sounds complicated, don’t fret. There’s an easy way to pick the right oil to put into your vehicle: Check your owner’s manual. Look up “oil” in the index, or check the reference section in the back of the manual. There you should find the oil the manufacturer recommends you Author: Stephen Fogel. Nov 02,  · Oil weight is a term used to describe the viscosity of an oil, which means how well it flows at a specific temperature. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) assigns a viscosity number, or weight, to oil based on its flow at degrees F, which is roughly the standard operating temperature for most motors.

Oil weight can be a confusing term. It does, however, have an important bearing on the life of your engine, and the type of oil you choose is intimately linked to manufacturer recommendations, the climate you live in and the type of driving that you do. Oil weight is a term used to describe the viscosity of an oil, which means how well it flows at a specific temperature.

The Society of Automotive Engineers SAE assigns a viscosity number, or weight, to oil based on its flow at degrees F, what does the weight of motor oil mean is roughly the standard operating temperature for most motors.

The higher the number, the thicker or slower flowing it is, which changes the nature of how it coats internal engine components and protects against heat and friction. For example, a 5w30 oil weight rating means that on cold start-up — even at subzero temperatures — the oil flows like a 5 weight oil. However, once warmed up to degrees F, it functions as a 30 weight oil. This is accomplished through the inclusion of unique additives in the mixture.

Why would you want a thinner oil that acts like a thicker oil once warmed up? If you used a straight oil weight of 30, then the lubricant would be too thick to shoot quickly through the engine when starting on a cold day, which means it would fail to properly protect crucial parts from damage.

A multigrade is truly the best of both worlds. Just be sure to consult your manual, and choose the oil what does the weight of motor oil mean that matches how you drive for the best possible engine protection. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Know How. Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at how to deal with haters on youtube shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States.

Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time.

I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Skip to content Oil weight can be a confusing term. Going With the Flow Oil weight is a what is a simple future tense used to describe the viscosity of an oil, which means how well it flows at a specific temperature. What About Winter? What Oil Should I Use? Categories Know How Tags engine oillubricationoiloil typesoil viscosity.

Related Articles. Benjamin Hunting View All Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at what is guilty by association shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States.

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Single Grade or Straight Weight Oil

May 20,  · According to the definition SAE J, there are 11 single-grade oil types available: 0W, 5W, 10W, 15W, 20W, 25W, 20, 30, 40, 50, and All the numerical values are correctly referred to as “weight” or “straight-weight” oils. It is correct to say 20 weight oil for 20; 5W shall be called 5 . Apr 01,  · Multi-weight oils (such as 10W) are a new invention made possible by adding polymers to oil. The polymers allow the oil to have different weights at different temperatures. The first number indicates the viscosity of the oil at a cold temperature, while the second number indicates the viscosity at operating temperature. Nov 07,  · What Do Oil Viscosity Numbers Mean Numbers you find on different oil cans, such as SAE 30 or SAE 10W, are viscosity or weight numbers that indicate the thickness of the oil. The higher the number, the thicker is the oil. As earlier mentioned, SAE stands for .

The viscosity grade for example, 5W tells you the oil's thickness, or viscosity. A thin oil has a lower number and flows more easily, while thick oils have a higher number and are more resistant to flow. Water has a very low viscosity -- it is thin and flows easily. Honey has a very high viscosity -- it is thick and gooey. The standard unit used to measure viscosity is the centistoke cSt.

Multi-weight oils such as 10W are a new invention made possible by adding polymers to oil. The polymers allow the oil to have different weights at different temperatures. The first number indicates the viscosity of the oil at a cold temperature, while the second number indicates the viscosity at operating temperature. This page from the Sci. Repair FAQ offers the following very interesting description of how the polymers work:.

Fuel Efficiency. Fuel Consumption. What does the weight mean on a can of motor oil? Using the right type of motor oil can prevent this from happening to you. See more car safety pictures. The higher the value, the more viscous the fluid.

Since viscosity varies inversely with temperature, its value is meaningless unless accompanied by the temperature at which it is determined. At cold temperatures, the polymers are coiled up and allow the oil to flow as their low numbers indicate. As the oil warms up, the polymers begin to unwind into long chains that prevent the oil from thinning as much as it normally would.

The result is that at degrees C, the oil has thinned only as much as the higher viscosity number indicates. Another way of looking at multi-vis oils is to think of a 20W as a 20 weight oil that will not thin more than a 50 weight would when hot. What are the different types of brake fluid? How Oil Refining Works. Cite This! More Awesome Stuff.

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