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

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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-20 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 20- 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.


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Joseph

31 years of experience
540 reviews
Joseph
31 years of experience
Toyota 4Runner - Oil Change - Dallas, Texas
Very professional job. Showed up on time and completed the work as requested in a timely manner. Very happy with the job done by Joseph.
Cadillac CTS - Oil Change - Dallas, Texas
Joseph was very professional. He made sure to communicate with me about everything. He worked quickly and answered all my questions. Will use him again!

Ryan

6 years of experience
8 reviews
Ryan
6 years of experience
Audi S4 - Oil Change - Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
Showed up on time and completed the oil change in a timely manner without any problems, went very smooth, would recommend.
Volvo V90 Cross Country - Oil Change - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I did an oil change with him. Ryan showed up even little earlier and was very thorough and detail-oriented. He did every step very carefully and even wiped off the area. I appreciate his professionalism.

Jerimiah

17 years of experience
324 reviews
Jerimiah
17 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Oil Change - Las Vegas, Nevada
Jerimiah is always friendly and professional. He is quick, efficient and always goes above and beyond!
BMW 328is - Oil Change - Las Vegas, Nevada
Jerimiah, as in the past I felt confident that you would give me your professional advise should you find it necessary to point out a potential need for other services. As I pointed out to you I feel that with the competence of a mechanic there should also be a trust to make the owner save for her/him and others while driving...Thank you

Peter

23 years of experience
227 reviews
Peter
23 years of experience
Porsche Cayenne - Oil Change - Tarzana, California
Peter was great. Performed oil change fairly quickly, very professional and provided a few good tips about my vehicles.

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