Viscosity – What to consider when selecting the best oil for you

Viscosity – What to consider when selecting the best oil for you

Viscosity is the resistance of a liquid to flow and, in the case of lubricants, it is an important characteristic to take into account when selecting which is the best product for your engine. 

Vehicle manufacturers are responsible for establishing the most adequate viscosity for their different models, which is included in their manuals. Usually, several viscosities are recommended since it may be necessary to adapt the viscosity to the vehicle’s usage conditions and the weather conditions.

Viscosity is not indicative of the quality or suitability of the oil. It is just one of the properties to take into account when choosing a lubricant. However, the quality level is what sets one lubricant’s properties apart from another. These quality levels are usually indicated on the label.

It is not advisable to mix lubricants with different viscosity levels. You should only do this in situations of urgency such as refilling when the oil level is low. You should use an oil with the same quality level as the one used in the vehicle and, if possible, from the same manufacturer.

How can I know the viscosity of a lubricant when buying it?

The SAE organization has established an internationally accepted standard based on the differentiation of viscosity at different temperatures.

Monograde vs Multigrade 

Oils designated with a numerical grade followed by the letter W (such as SAE 10W) or simply with a number (such as SAE40) are called “monograde” oils. On the contrary, those which are designated by the two types of grades (such as SAE 10W-40) are called “multigrade” because they are capable of simultaneously bringing together viscometrical properties at both low and high temperatures.

How important is the lubricant viscosity? 

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