Almost every modern engine requires more than one type of oil to function smoothly. Though an engine may require gearbox oil, transmission oil, etc., engine oil remains as the most vital oil for an engine. Most of us would never bother to know more about what 10W-30, SAE40 and multi grade that are mentioned on the engine oil packages mean. But, it is always better to know your engine oil if you really care enough about your car.
Viscosity is nothing but the thickness of engine oil under a given pressure. Manufacturer of most of the modern vehicles that we use today recommend oils that are approved by the Society of Automotive Engineer, or simply SAE. This is the reason you see SAE before a number in most engine oils, meaning that the viscosity of that particular oil has been tested and identified by SAE.
Mono and Multi Grades
Many of the cars that we use today can work well with multi grade engine oils, whereas some old type cars require a certain type of mono grade. So, what’s the difference?
Mono grade oils are created to have only a fixed viscosity and it will never fit any other engine that requires a different viscosity in the engine oil. For example, an engine oil pack that says SAE40 on its label can only work with engines that require a viscosity of 40 and it cannot be used in engines that may require SAE30, which is thinner than the former.
In the contrary, oil with a reading like 10W – 30 has two types of viscosity that works both in cooler and hotter engine conditions. These types of oils are called multi grades and many modern day cars can do well with these oils.
The best choice always it to know your engine type and use the oil recommended by your car’s manufacturer.
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