Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Do I Need to Change My Motor Oil for Hot or Cold Weather?

Motor oil weather

Changing oil is critical for your car's longevity and performance, and provides maximum protection against engine part wear and excessive heat. Motor oil is measured in viscosity, which is the thickness of the oil. In the past, oils for cars used the term “weight,” such as a 10 Weight-30 oil, to define the same thing that the term viscosity means today.

Before the introduction of synthetic motor oil, vehicle owners had to rely on oil formulations with only one viscosity. This helped alleviate the problems associated with the difference in thickness between the colder winter months and warmer summer months. Mechanics used a lightweight oil, such as a 10-weight for colder weather. During the warmer months of the year, a 30- or 40-weight oil prevented the oil from breaking down in the increased heat.

Multiviscosity oils solved this problem by providing a better flowing oil that remained thin when the weather turned cold while also thickening as the temperature rose. This type of oil provides the same level of protection for vehicles year round. So, no, vehicle owners do not need to change their motor oil for hot or cold weather.

How multiviscosity oil works

Multiviscocity oils represent some of the best motor oil for cars, because it provides protection for engines in a variety of different temperatures. The multiviscosity oil uses special additives, called viscosity improvers, that expand as the oil heats up. This expansion helps provide the viscosity needed at higher temperatures.

Once the oil cools down, the viscosity improvers shrink. This ability to adapt the viscosity to the temperature of the oil makes multiviscosity oils more effective compared to older motor oils, which vehicle owners had to change out according to the season and temperature.

Signs that you need to change your motor oil

Castrol motor oils, especially Castrol EDGE synthetics, last longer and help protect engines from deposits and leaks no matter the temperature. Regardless of their longevity, the motor oil in a vehicle eventually needs to be changed. Look for the signs that a vehicle's motor oil needs changing to protect your engine, including:

  • An engine running louder than normal could indicate it needs an oil change. Engine parts rubbing together can cause excessive engine noise. Ask a mechanic check the oil level and change or add oil in this case, in addition to replacing the car oil filter if needed.

  • The Check Engine or Oil Light comes on and remains lit. This indicates a problem with the engine or oil level. Have a mechanic run a diagnostic and check the oil level when this happens.

  • When a mechanic reports that the oil looks black and gritty, it is definitely time to have the mechanic change the oil.

  • Smoke from the exhaust pipe when it is not cold outside can also indicate a low oil level. Ask a mechanic to check the level and either bring it up to the proper level or change it.

Most mechanics apply a sticker somewhere inside the driver-side door when changing oil to let vehicle owners know when to change it again. Following a regular maintenance schedule and changing your vehicle’s oil at regular intervals ensure that a vehicle engine continues to run in prime condition. By using a multiviscosity oil, vehicle owners ensure that they use the best car motor oil to protect their engine.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How Long Does a Vacuum Brake Booster Check Valve Last?
The braking system on your car requires a lot of pressure. The vacuum booster is one of the main sources of this pressure. This booster will take the pressure that...
How Long Does a Throttle Return Spring Last?
Not all vehicles on the road feature an electronic throttle control (ETC), which is also called drive-by-wire. For vehicles that don't offer this system, they have a throttle cable instead that...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...


Related questions

Q: Can you reset the oil life yourself or mechanic?

Yes you can. Using the controls on the steering wheel you can access and reset the oil life to 100%. It takes several steps and you should have the steps in the owners manual. If you do not have an...

Q: Water soaked carpets leaks

Hello there. A few different items can cause a leak when it rains for the 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva. The most common are a window seal, door seal, damaged door, or sunroof seal if equipped. Any of the seals should be...

Q: engine noise, sluggish, leaks

First off, the P0174 code is for the system to lean, the P1860 code is for the TCC solenoid electrical system. The P1860 code points to possible transmission issues. The acceleration issue could be due to many different items...