Oil Viscosity Nomenclature Broken Down

We all have to take our vehicle in for an oil change with some regularity. In between those oil changes you may need to add oil to your engine if it starts to get low. In order to do this, you will need to know what oil "weight" you need. That information is printed on the front of the can of oil. But many drivers do not know how to decipher this code of letters and numbers. It really isn't all that difficult once you break it down.

As an example, if you had an oil rated as 5W-30 that would break down as:

  • 5 - The viscosity of the oil in low temperatures. The lower this number goes, the thinner the oil will be.
  • W - Stands for winter (referencing the low temperature in the first digit of the code).
  • 30 - The thickness of the oil under high temperatures such as during normal engine operation.

As you can see, there is not too much to it once you get a handle on it. If you need any more information on oil viscosity then ask one of the service experts here at Bergstrom Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Oshkosh in Oshkosh, WI.

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