The Importance of Having the Right Oil in Your Vehicle

March 7, 2023

What Oil Should You Use In Your Ride? 

By Mitchel Ross – Service Manager

Auto House Tempe


Motor oil is just motor oil, right? Wrong! Different brands of motor oils are actually not created equally. Imagine the hot Arizona summer sun beating down on you all day and never hydrating in any way. If you kept that up for too long, the inside of your body would start to fail. Similar to how the human body needs water to continue functioning properly, vehicles with conventional gas powered engines need motor oil so that their internal parts stay lubricated too. Just like the large selection of brands and types of water you can choose from at the grocery store, there are many types of oil to choose from as well. Whether you change your own oil or have the professionals take care of it, the question of “what is the right oil for my car” arises.

With technology and science continuing to advance into the future, there are new formulas of motor oils being introduced into the market often. When selecting the best choice of oil that is available for your vehicle, you must first find out if your vehicle requires conventional or synthetic oil. Your local service shop or owner’s manual will be able to tell you what’s best for your ride. After you have determined that, you may want to consider the cost. As a rule of thumb, synthetic oil is generally better than conventional oil, but can cost up to four times as much as conventional oil depending on the brand that you choose. If you own a vehicle that regularly operates under harsher conditions than usual such as off-road trails, race track driving, heavy-duty towing, extreme summer heat, or extreme winter cold – then you might want to consider using synthetic oil, even if it’s not required by the manufacturer. Synthetic oil’s extra protection and longevity make it a no brainer under these circumstances, despite the difference in cost.

What is the main difference between synthetic and conventional oil, you ask? Essentially, conventional motor oil is crude oil that is extracted out of the ground and then refined at a factory before it gets packaged as to where synthetic motor oil is scientifically engineered in a lab. Both conventional and synthetic oils contain chemical additives that improve viscosity, function as detergents and help resist corrosion. It’s also possible to purchase a blended oil (semi-synthetic) which combines the two oil types and is usually more cost effective than full synthetic.

Once you have chosen between conventional or synthetic oil, the weight/viscosity of the oil needs to be selected. Again, your service advisor or owner’s manual will provide you with the best recommendation. A higher or lower weight of oil may be chosen outside of the OEM recommendation when you live in a climate where more extreme temperatures are a factor. Once all those variables are taken into consideration and the proper oil is selected, all that is left is to drain the old oil out, replace the engine oil filter and fill the oil reservoir with your new oil. 

Why do cars need oil changes?

Even though cars are becoming more and more sophisticated, oil is still a requirement for all gas powered engines. Engine oil has a limited lifespan which is determined by driving habits, environmental conditions, age of vehicle, mileage and quality of the oil itself. Motor oil needs to be changed out when it degrades due to pressure, heat and even when a vehicle has just been parked for a long time. Oil is essential to keep all of the fast moving internal engine components well lubricated and as oil degrades over time, engine parts become more at risk to prematurely wear and fail if it is not changed at the proper intervals. Without oil, your engine will more than likely overheat and even seize up, costing you thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs.


Need to get an oil change for your vehicle? Contact one of our service advisors today to schedule an appointment and give your ride the love it deserves!

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