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


Next Step

Schedule Oil Change

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Change. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Oil Change reviews

Excellent Rating

(21,607)

Rating Summary
20,295
844
177
86
205
20,295
844
177
86
205

Kenneth

20 years of experience
649 reviews
Kenneth
20 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Oil Change - Venice, California
Kenneth was engaging, informative, and knowledgeable. He didn't perform one of the requested services because he said it was unnecessary, saving me money and time. 10/10 would and will hire him again.
Land Rover Discovery Sport - Oil Change - Los Angeles, California
Kenneth was on time (on Thanksgiving no less!) and got the work done in a timely fashion. Highly recommended.

Pierre

9 years of experience
183 reviews
Pierre
9 years of experience
Honda Civic - Oil Change - Boston, Massachusetts
My first time using this service and Pierre was awesome! He put my mind at ease and I will definitely be a repeat customer!
Toyota Highlander - Oil Change - Auburndale, Massachusetts
Great mechanic. Made everything easy - showed up right on time, was nice and polite, and did exactly what I needed on the car. Will keep working with Pierre in the future for sure.

Josh

16 years of experience
60 reviews
Josh
16 years of experience
Dodge Grand Caravan - Oil Change - Naples, Florida
He came, did the job quickly and let me know what is needed to keep my van running at its optimal level.
Ford Thunderbird - Oil Change - Naples, Florida
Josh was on time, stayed until he completed the job, very knowledgable. He pointed out that the also need a oil change, came back and completed that job. Very nice young man.

Rodney

36 years of experience
442 reviews
Rodney
36 years of experience
Porsche 718 Boxster - Oil Change - Rancho Cordova, California
Rodney was knowledgeable and professional! Changed the oil in my 2019 Porsche (which is not an easy task.) I am already recommending him to others.

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

Related articles

How to Buy Good Quality Floor Mats
Car floor mats prevent stains, odors, and rust from forming in your car. Buy high quality floor mats that are tough and custom-fitted to your vehicle.
What Are the Risks of Switching to Synthetic Oil in Older Cars?
Older cars usually have to use conventional motor oil instead of synthetic motor oil. Switching to synthetic can cause engine leaks or engine damage.
How to Buy a Good Quality Universal Car Cover
Your Your car is a big investment and you want to protect it from the ravages of time and exposure to the elements. Parking it in the garage is a good first step, but even here you’ll want to take...

Related questions

How do I reset the oil change due Warning Light?

The oil change due Warning Light will be displayed on your electronic vehicle information center (EVIC) display screen. The indicator is cycle-based, so it may not go off even when you have your oil changed. Resetting the oil change due...

'98 VW Bug endless oil leak

Hi there. The valve cover gaskets are probably worn and need replaced. If all of the gaskets are replaced and there is still oil coming out of the engine, then replace the positive crank case vent valve (PCV). If the...

My car is leaking black fluid from underneath

Hello. Most likely, due to the make and model of your vehicle, the fluid you are leaking is engine oil. A majority of other fluids are not black unless something is seriously wrong with the vehicle. Even so, at that...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com