What Do Motor Oil Viscosity Ratings Mean?

Viscosity simply refers to the thickness of fluid. Oil that is too thin, or not viscous enough, isn’t able to properly coat the moving parts well. If it’s too thick, or too viscous, it creates more work for the parts to move and wears them out quicker.

When you look at a bottle of multi-grade oil, you’ll notice two numbers with a letter in between, for instance, 10W40. The first number indicates the maximum viscosity of the oil in cold weather or with a could engine. This is appropriate to have less thickness in this case, so that it will be able to move more quickly to coat the parts. The W represents winter. The second number tells you that the oil’s viscosity must fall within this range when either the engine or weather is hot. It should be thicker.

We are here at our service center here at Bill Alexander Ford L-M in Yuma to answer your questions.

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