Motor oil is the most important component of your engine. Without it, your engine dies. With the wrong oil, your engine dies slowly. Getting it right really does matter. Use this guide to help you make the best selection possible so that you can get as much life as possible out of your engine.
Motor Oil Type
First and foremost, do not overlook the fact that viscosity is not the only criteria critical to proper motor oil selection. You must choose an oil that is matched to your application with regards to it’s formulation and design, specifically basestocks and additives used. For example, if you are running a diesel engine, then you had better be sure the oil you choose is rated for diesel engines. Similarly, if you are running a gas engine, then the oil should be formulated for use in gasoline engines.
Of course, sometimes, an oil can be rated for both gas and diesel use. However, your oil should meet at least the minimum API specifications required for YOUR vehicle. For instance, if your vehicle manual calls for an API SL oil (which is a gas engine oil specification), then your oil should specify that it meets/exceeds that minimum standarad (in other words, is should be rated for API SL, SM, …). It MAY meet other specifications as well, but it MUST, at a minimum, meet the API SL specification.