Fluids and Oils Buying Guide: Everything You Need To Know
Finding the right fluids and oils to maintain or repair your car can be a daunting task. With so many different types of products available on the market, it can be hard to know which one is best suited for your vehicle’s needs. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide outlining everything you need to know when shopping for fluids and oils to ensure you find exactly what you’re looking for. From understanding essential terms like viscosity grade and flash point, to deciding between synthetic and conventional oil, this guide will equip you with all the information necessary to make an informed purchasing decision.
What is viscosity grade?
Viscosity grade is a measure of how thick or thin a fluid or oil is and how it flows. This is typically expressed using two numbers; the first number indicates cold viscosity, which measures the fluid’s resistance to flow when it’s at a lower temperature, while the second number indicates hot viscosity, which measures its resistance to flow at higher temperatures. Lower numbers indicate thinner fluids, while higher numbers are indicative of thicker ones. The right viscosity grade for your vehicle depends on its age, make and model.
What is flash point?
Flash point is the lowest temperature at which a liquid will ignite or combust into a vapor if exposed to an open flame. Oils with a low flash point have a higher risk of combusting, so it’s important to choose one with the right flash point for your application. Generally speaking, engine oils should have a minimum flash point of 300°F, while transmission and other automotive fluids can operate at lower temperatures.
What is the difference between synthetic and conventional oil?
Synthetic oil is man-made and designed to provide superior performance compared to conventional oils by eliminating impurities and providing better protection against heat and wear. It also offers more reliable flow in cold weather conditions. Conventional oil is derived from crude oil found underground which has been refined into various grades depending on its intended use. It is generally cheaper than synthetic oil, but it tends to break down faster and provide less protection against heat and wear.
What is gear oil?
Gear oil is a type of lubricant used to reduce friction between moving parts in the transmission and other drivetrain components. It helps to cool the gears, prevent corrosion, and extend the life of your car’s components. There are a variety of gear oils available on the market with different viscosity grades and additives that offer improved performance in specific applications.
What is brake fluid?
Brake fluid is an essential component of any vehicle’s braking system. It serves two main functions; transferring pressure generated by the driver’s foot on the brake pedal to the brakes, and providing lubrication for moving parts in the braking system. Brake fluid is usually made from a combination of polyglycol ethers and mineral oils, with each type having its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to make sure you choose a brake fluid that is specifically designed for your particular vehicle.
What is coolant?
Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is used to keep an engine at its optimal working temperature by transferring heat away from it. Typically made from ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, coolants prevent corrosion by keeping metals free of moisture and acids while providing an additional layer of protection against freezing. Different types of coolants are available on the market and it’s important to choose one that is compatible with your particular vehicle.
What type of oil filter should I use?
The type of oil filter you need depends on the make, model, and year of your car. Generally speaking, oil filters come in two main types; paper or synthetic media filters. Paper filters are typically more affordable but have limited filtration capacity, while synthetic media filters offer better filtration performance but are more expensive. Whichever type you opt for, it’s important to ensure that the filter is rated for your specific engine and driving conditions.
What is the purpose of an oil catch can?
An oil catch can, also known as a crankcase ventilation system, is used to capture blow-by gases and prevent them from entering the engine. This helps to improve performance by preventing the build-up of sludge and reducing wear on internal engine components. Oil catch cans are available in various sizes and designs, so it’s important to make sure you choose one that fits your application correctly.
How often should I change my oil?
The frequency at which you should change your oil depends largely on how much you drive and what type of vehicle you own. Generally speaking, modern cars require oil changes every 5,000-10,000 miles. However, it’s important to refer to your manufacturer’s recommendations for specifics. If you’re unsure about the interval for your vehicle, you can consult an expert or check your car’s user manual.
What is the difference between a high mileage oil and a standard oil?
High mileage oils are specifically designed for vehicles that have covered more than 75,000 miles and typically contain additives that help to reduce wear on internal engine components. Standard oil, on the other hand, is designed for newer cars and doesn’t contain added ingredients. It’s important to make sure you use the right type of oil for your vehicle.