Motor oil is used to lubricate, cool, and protect. It lubricates the moving parts and keeps your engine clean and cool by absorbing and dissipating some heat generated through friction and the combustion process. Its additive pack is also designed to collect particulates and other contaminants and transport them to the oil filter.
To understand the best motor oils for your car, you need to know different oils and what they can do for or to your engine. Quality of oil will mean other things to different people, but the better you know your engine and how it works, the easier it is for you to identify the best motor oil for your engine.
There are synthetic motor oils, synthetic blended motor oils, and regular motor oils. You need to know the difference and the attributes of all three.
Let’s have a look at synthetic motor oils. They can withstand greater temperatures while remaining stable. They are the best motor oils concerning protection and lubricity capability. They are generally better at reducing friction. They have one weakness – they can penetrate and leak more easily, but only on much older vehicles. They are also expensive, but on the upside, and depending on the quality of the additive pack, they have a longer change cycle. You can usually keep the oil in your engine for a more extended period before it needs changing. Being the best, they are widely used in performance vehicles and long-life service intervals, where the demands on oil are far greater.
Blended synthetic motor oils are blends of synthetic and regular mineral oils. This means that they have picked the best qualities of both oil types. They are usually a good compromise and the best motor oil for mid-range vehicles as they offer a good compromise between protection and cost. They can endure the more demanding driving conditions while not costing the earth. The fact that they are blended also brings down their price. Because of the mix with mineral-based oil, the risk of leakage you would get with synthetic motor oil is significantly reduced. Still, again, this only applies to older vehicles.
Lastly, we have regular mineral oil. This is considered the most inferior kind of engine oil on the market. They are, of course, the cheapest and are generally more suited for the much older or specialized vehicle. They are more susceptible to leaving the sludge behind in the crankcase. This is because they break down much easier than their synthetic counterparts.
When choosing the best motor oil, you’ll find many brands in the market. There are prominent stand-out brands as well as lesser-known ones. The key is ensuring that they satisfy the relevant SAE, API tests, etc., and are suitable for your vehicle. Check with the owner manual and choose a suitable oil based on its suitability (specification-wise), how often you change the oil (synthetic for more extended changes), and the type of driving you do.
As for the best, look for authentic, fully synthetic (PAO, Ester) base stocks with the latest nano additive packs.