Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Question About Oil and Filling

asked by on

Hi, I recently bought a pickup a couple of months ago and have some question about the oil. So I checked the oil, after letting the truck sit for an hour, and it was at the bottom of the operating range. I went out bought some synthetic 5w-30. This leads to my first question. I do not know if the oil in the truck is synthetic, or regular. Does it produce harm if i use synthetic and the oil already in the engine is regular? Anyways, Then i checked the oil again, after letting the truck sit for about half an hour, the oil was a little above the operating range.

Going off of what I saw before, i decided to put about half a quart in to make sure. Went back out a half an hour later, and the oil level was still a little above operating range. Did i do something wrong at all? Will this hurt the engine/ is it safe to drive without causing harm to the engine? And last question, what is the wrong that can happen if the oil is below or over the designated oil level range?

Thanks!

My car has 235000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

As you may know, there are a multitude of engine oils on the market all claiming to be the "best" and prolonging the life of your car’s engine. One of the main questions you will be asked when changing your oil is whether or not you want a conventional oil or a synthetic oil. Synthetic vs conventional oil is one of the most debated myths surrounding the topic of oil changes. Contrary to popular belief, it will not hurt your engine when switching from synthetic to conventional or vice versa. In fact, Synthetic blend oils are actually a mix of conventional oils and synthetic oils. It is recommended that you use the same oil to top off when needed, giving you the best protection from the oil you have chosen to use in your vehicle. Many synthetic oils are made up of a base oil of approximately 80%, with other additives making up the remaining 20%. The main difference between the molecules in synthetically engineered oils and conventional oils are the uniformity of the molecules. The molecules found in most conventional oils differ in shape, size and impurity. The type of oil that should be used for a specific application depends largely on the driver’s driving habits, the environment in which the car is driven, the mileage on the car’s engine and the limits that the engine may be pushed to.

The other question you will need to answer when changing your oil is the kind of viscosity your engine requires. Viscosity is the thickness of the oil at certain temperatures. Generally, when the weather is colder outside you will want a thinner oil to allow the oil to flow easier through the motor allowing it to properly lubricate parts. When the weather is hotter outside, you will want a thicker oil to prevent it from what is called “thermal breakdown” and to keep it layering the internal engine parts with the proper lubrication. I would recommend having an expert from Your Mechanic come to your home to perform an oil change service on your car to determine the best option for your vehicle.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Headlights just stopped working

If manipulating the original switch caused the lights to turn on and off, that would suggest that the rest of the headlight circuit is OK. If you replaced the switch and yet you have the same symptom that you had...

Q: Problems shifting into gears

Greetings. Tahoes for that year commonly encounter this issue due to shifter cables becoming faulty overtime. The cables will usually unravel and lose its ability to move the shift lever on the transmission properly. If you need further assistance, I...

Q: Check Engine Light is on. Codes are Bank 1 Sensor 1 Low-voltage, and Bank 2 Sensor 1 Low-voltage. . .

Hi there. What seems to be the issue is the fuel pump is not plugged in. The Oxygen Sensors are working and telling you that the system is too lean with having a low voltage reading. If it was just...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.