What do the numbers on the Engine Oil Bottles mean?

Whenever we go to purchase engine oil, we notice some strange signs and markings printed on the bottle. If we are to understand those signs, it will allow us to use the best oil that is most suitable for our cars. When we purchase a car, the car manufacturer will recommend us to use a certain type of engine oil.

You can look for the number in the car manual. You will most probably notice a number of the engine oil marked 10W-40 or something similar. The number written on the left denotes the temperature that the oil can withstand in the summer months, whereas the number on the right is the temperature the oil can withstand in the winters.[irp]

Hence the number stated below means that the oil can withstand up to 40 degrees in the summers and negative 15 degrees in the winters. The first number denoted will usually range in 20 – 30 – 40 – 50 etc. whereas the winter number will be ranging in 5 – 10 – 15 – 20 etc.

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is recommended that car owners use 5W – 50 or 10W – 50 as the temperatures can reach scorching high temperatures of 55 degrees, whereas the winter temperatures in the Kingdom rarely fall below zero.

Most of the oils that are being sold today have one type of additive in them or another, which vary in their concentration from 25 percent to 15 percent. These additives will either enhance certain qualities which are present in the engine oil and/or add some new qualities to the oil to make it better.

In accordance with various studies, every car engine can consume somewhere around 0.2 liters of engine oil for every 1000 kilometers traveled. This is especially more so during braking; hence the oil consumption varies from one car to the other. If the oil level of the engine goes too low, the engine may very well suffer from irreparable damage.

However, if the level of the engine oil is too high, it can also be equally bad, hence all car owners should take their car to a serviced center regularly and have it checked for optimal performance of the car engine.

If you have to refill the engine oil in your engine after every 1000 kilometers, then there is definitely something wrong in your engine, and you must have it checked out before there is any irreparable damage to the engine.

Timely, periodic maintenance is vital for the reliability record of your vehicle. You need to also check the engine oil in your vehicle after around 2000 kilometers and/or before long trips. Keep the car level and make sure it is not slanting or standing on a slope, whenever you are measuring the oil and make sure you work on a cool engine.

We hope these tips help some motorists out there if you know somebody who could use this information, spread it.

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Steve has vast experience in writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures.