Car Mechanics (UK)

JAR­GON BUSTER

- Belgium · Iceland · Austria · The American Petroleum Institute · United States of America

10W-40

How oil is graded, ac­cord­ing to its vis­cos­ity (flow). The first num­ber and the let­ter W rep­re­sent the grad­ing of oil for win­ter con­di­tions. The lower the first num­ber, the thin­ner the oil is, which can be bet­ter when the out­side tem­per­a­ture drops. An oil beginning with 0W is tested down to –35°C. For a 10W oil, just add 10 onto –35: thus it is –25°C. The sec­ond num­ber re­lates to how thin the oil is at 100°C. The lower the num­ber, the thin­ner it is at nor­mal op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­tures.

ACEA

As­so­ci­a­tion des Con­struc­teurs Européens d’au­to­mo­biles – the Euro­pean or­gan­i­sa­tion that clas­si­fies en­gine oil and de­ter­mines its suit­abil­ity. See www.oil­spec­i­fi­ca­tions.org/acea.php for more in­for­ma­tion.

API

Amer­i­can Pe­tro­leum In­sti­tute – the US or­gan­i­sa­tion that clas­si­fies en­gine oil and de­ter­mines its suit­abil­ity.

Syn­thetic

Semi- and fully-syn­thetic oils are used in mod­ern en­gines, re­plac­ing min­eral oils that are used in older en­gines. Syn­thetic oils con­tain chem­i­cals to help with lu­bri­ca­tion, which pro­tects the en­gine over a far wider range of tem­per­a­tures com­pared to a min­eral oil. They also have less im­pu­ri­ties, so they don’t de­grade as quickly, and they’re thin­ner. Semisyn­thetic oil con­tains some min­eral oil, whereas fully-syn­thetic does not. Con­se­quently, fully-syn­thetic is more ex­pen­sive.

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