Engine Oil Shopping – Know What You’re Paying For!

February 17th, 2022 by

Engine Oil Shopping - Know What You're Paying For!

So, you’ve just bought a new car. Congratulations! But now you have to figure out what kind of engine oil to put in it. Do you go with the cheap stuff at Walmart, or do you shell out for the more expensive brand? Do you need synthetic or conventional? What weight? 10W-30 or 5W-30?

If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry; your trusted Toyota of Fort Walton Beach has got you covered.

Why Do You Even Need Engine Oil?

Engine oil is a lubricant that coats the moving parts of a car engine, preventing them from coming into direct contact with each other. It reduces friction and helps to prevent wear and tear on the engine. Engine oils also help to cool the engine by transferring heat away from the moving parts.

There are two types of engine oils: synthetic and conventional. Most customers will be satisfied with conventional oil, although there are advantages to both.

Conventional Oil – It is made from crude oil.


  • Lower cost than synthetic oil
  • Works well in most vehicles


  • The protection level isn’t as strong as synthetic oil.
  • It degrades more quickly in high-temperature situations, requiring it to be replaced at regular intervals to keep your car’s engine purring.

Synthetic Oil – It is a chemical product.


  • Provides superior protection against wear and tear
  • It can last twice as long as conventional oil in certain situations.


  • It is more expensive than conventional oil.
  • It may not be compatible with all engines.

What Weight Oil Do You Need?

Viscosity or thickness determines oil weight. The lower the number (e.g., 0W-30), the thinner the oil. Lighter oil flows better through your engine, which means it provides less protection against wear and tear than thicker oils (e.g., 20W-50).

Lower weight oils are ideal for vehicles that operate under hotter conditions or at higher speeds for more extended periods. For example:

Gasoline-powered cars with turbochargers or superchargers – these engines are designed to run on thinner oil because their exhaust gases produce extra heat that can break down thicker oils faster than expected.

High-performance race cars – these vehicles require a lower viscosity oil, so they don’t overheat due to friction caused by moving parts inside the engine block (pistons, crankshaft bearings, etc.).

Details to Look Out For:

When looking for motor oil, always be sure to read the product specifications on the bottle. There is a viscosity number established by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to categorize each kind of engine oil. The thinner the oil, the lower the number. For instance:

  • 0W-20 is lighter than 20W-50
  • 30 weight is thinner than 50 weight

The SAE ratings are also printed on every motor oil container as “SAE Viscosity.” You can use this number to help you choose an appropriate weight for your vehicle. But don’t forget – consult your car’s owner’s manual too! Many automakers have recommendations for what type of engine oil to use in their vehicles.

Wrap Up:

Toyota of Fort Walton Beach, serving Seminole, FL, has professional experts who can assist you in selecting the correct engine oil for your vehicle and answer any additional questions you may have about car maintenance. Give us a call today!

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