What Do Motor Oil Viscosity Ratings Mean?

A word you frequently hear used with motor oil is viscosity. Viscosity simply means the thickness of a liquid. It’s very important to your engine’s performance to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding your vehicle’s oil and temperature. If oil is too thin, it doesn’t lubricate the parts sufficiently. If it’s too thick, oil wear the engine out.

The numbers on a bottle of multi-grade oil represent the viscosity limits for a hot or cold engine. A bottle that says 5W30, for instance, means that the maximum viscosity when the weather or engine is cold should be no more than 5. The W stands for winter. The number following the W indicates the viscosity range when the engine is fully warmed up or in hot weather. The lower viscosity oil works better in cold weather because it’s thinner.

One of our knowledgeable service technicians at Team Mazda in Caldwell is here to help you with your questions. Our goal is to help you get the most out of your vehicle.

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