What Do Motor Oil Viscosity Ratings Mean?

An explanation of viscosity might be a good place to start. It just means the thickness of a liquid. It’s recommended to follow the manufacturer’s specifications for the most suitable motor oil for your vehicle.

The numbers on a multi-grade bottle of motor oil indicate its viscosity at cold or hot temperatures. For instance, if it’s a 10W40 weight, the first number represents the highest viscosity, or thickness, the oil will reach in cold weather or when the engine is cold. This should be a low number so that it can move through a cold engine quicker. The W means winter. The second number, which is a 40 here, stands for the thickness, or viscosity, the oil will reach at 212 degrees. In this case, oil should be thicker for a warm engine or weather.

We’re here at Auto Park Ford Bremen in Bremen, IN to answer your questions. Stop by our service center and speak with one of our knowledgeable technicians.

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