Motor Oil Viscosity Explained

May 29th, 2020 by

You know oil changes are essential to your car’s longevity, but you might not understand motor oil viscosity ratings. We want to help educate you about automobiles at Alfa Romeo of Minneapolis, so we’re happy to share our knowledge.

Viscosity represents a fluid’s resistance to flow. Water, which flows easily, has a low viscosity value. Syrup, raw honey, and wet cement have progressively higher viscosity values due to their flow resistance. Clearly, none of those substances will suitably lubricate an engine’s interior parts. Those parts experience friction and high heat, so they require motor oil.

Every vehicle’s maker recommends an oil viscosity rating for the vehicle. These ratings communicate a viscosity range. For example, when you see 5W-20 listed on a motor oil bottle, you’re seeing its cold-temperature viscosity to the left of the hyphen and its operating-temperature viscosity to the right. To keep your car operating on St. Louis Park, MN’s roadways as long as possible, only use its recommended oil viscosity.

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