As every vehicle you drive is different, so too are the oils you should be using. It is important to check your oil regularly - preferably every couple of weeks, and definitely before you plan to set out on any longer trips - but it is also important to choose oil that is of the right grade and specification to begin with.
Oil provides lubrication for your vehicle, preventing moving internal components from seizing up or locking together and shutting down completely. There have been many improvements in the quality and durability of modern engine oil, helping protect drivers from corrosion and sludge formation, as well as preventing the by-products of combustion - such as soot particles - from clogging up your engine. Modern engine oils also have a higher grade, which means they have lower viscosity. This means the oil is thinner, which aids circulation and means the engine can start more quickly.
Differences in operating temperatures mean that some kinds of oil are known as 'multi-grade' - these are specially treated to give optimum performance from both a cold start in winter to regular driving conditions during the summer. Your oil container should clearly state both low and high temperature grades, while your car handbook will provide details of what grades of oil can be used for your vehicle.
Car manufacturers select oils of a particular grade and specification for each individual engine. Different countries hold different standards for the specifications of engine oil used, and car manufacturers are increasingly developing their own specifications to support their specific service intervals. Newer specification oils are generally backwards-compatible, but there are exceptions that a motorist should take care to notice. Drivers should also be careful not to use older specification oils in newer vehicles, as these are likely to be incompatible and might damage your car.
Our trained engineers at Lookers are happy to provide assistance for any concern or enquiry you might have regarding oil specifications, and are available for personally-tailored advice at your local dealership today.