Ik Soon's Super Basics #4: Engine Oil. A simple guide to engine oils.
Engine oil, the lifeblood of every vehicle you see on the road (Except for EVs). When its time for you to service your car, you should know what is being poured into your engine. This is a simple guide for you to the world of engine oil.
What is the purpose of Engine Oil?
To lubricate engine parts that is under constant friction. Your engine is made up of many different moving parts like the pistons, valves, camshaft which requires constant lubrication to protect it from excessive friction.
Cleans the engine. While the engine is hard at work making power to push you forward, it also produces sludge and carbon deposits from the combustion. Therefore, a good engine oil will keep the engine clean and running smooth. Some might recommend an engine flush every now and then but nothing beats servicing your car on time to keep it clean!
Cooling. A good engine oil distributes heat evenly throughout the engine to prevent "hot-spots" that will wear the engine out prematurely.
Sealing & protection against corrosion. High quality engine oils are able to seal gaps and prevents gases from escaping while protecting the engine from corrosion.
Type of engine oil
Mineral engine oil (normal)
Semi-synthetic engine oil (Semi)
Synthetic engine oil (Fully)
Oil changes every 5,000km used to be the norm, but with modern lubricants, most engines today recommend an oil change every 5,000km to 7,000km. Plus, if your car's engine requires full synthetic oil, you can go up to 10,000km between servicing. In our professional recommendation, regularly oil changes can better protect the engine and increase its lifespan. Mineral engine oil needs to be changed every 5,000km, while semi-synthetic engine oil needs to be changed every 7,000km and fully synthetic engine oil, every 10,000km.
Engine Oil grades
Current engine oils follows the multi-grading scheme of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). For example, engine oil that are graded 5W-30, the “W” reveals that the first number is the ranking “cold” or “winter” where the "5" meant how the oil flows when it is cold while the "30" refers to the flow of the oil at operating temperature.
5W-30 flows better than 10W-30 during cold start.
5W-40 can withstand higher operating temperature than 5W-30
Here is a video explanation.
*Please refer to your owner's manual to find the grade that is suitable for your car.
Single-grade oil VS multi-grade oil
Single-grade SAE oils are more common in the older days but they are either too dense to lubricate a motor properly when cold or becomes less effective when the engine reaches its working temperature.
Why the quality of engine oil is important?
- Ensures a longer engine lifespan
- Ensures proper running of the engine
- Improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emission.
We at Ik Soon Auto Supply take pride in every bottle of engine oil that leaves our store. We guarantee that every bottle is genuine and gives the best value and protection when it comes to protecting your engine. Feel free to contact us anytime to find out more about the engine oils available at our store.
This article is prepared by our interns, Ng Loong Joo & Ian Yap Qi Yuan, that are doing remarkable work.