What Oil Does My Car Need?

As a responsible car owner, one essential maintenance task you need to perform regularly is changing your engine oil. Among so many options and types available, picking up the right oil for your car without guidance can be a daunting task.

Engine oil serves as the life and blood of your vehicle, lubricating moving parts to reduce friction and prevent premature wear and tear. It also helps to cool the engine by dissipating heat and protects against corrosion.

To learn more about the repair and service of your car, speak with our mechanics at 020 8460 6666. Questions about your vehicle? Need impartial advice you can rely on? Whether you simply need our professional guidance or are ready to book with our team, we’re ready when you are.

However, not all engine oils are created equal, and choosing the right one is vital for good performance. To determine the right oil for your car, you will need to consult your vehicle’s manual. Understand your vehicle specifications and then choose the high-quality oil accordingly.

Here are some of the things that can help you in making wise decisions:

1. Consult Your Vehicle’s Manual

Every car comes with a manual containing important information about how to maintain when to refill oil, how to check the oil level, and special instructions for your particular vehicle model.

This manual can also specify the oil viscosity and type suitable for your engine. It is essential to follow these recommendations closely for high performance.

2. Oil Viscosity

Oil viscosity refers to its resistance to flow at different temperatures. It is denoted by numeric values such as 5W-30 or 10W-40. The “W” stands for winter or cold start viscosity, while the second number indicates high-temperature viscosity.

Understanding viscosity is crucial because it determines how effectively the oil lubricates engine components under varying conditions. Your vehicle manual will specify the recommended viscosity range for your engine based on factors like climate and operating temperature range.

3. Oil Type

There are different types of engine oil available, including conventional, synthetic, and synthetic blends. Conventional oils, also known as mineral oil, are derived from crude oil and are suitable for older vehicles with simple engine designs and moderate driving conditions.

Synthetic oil is formulated from chemically modified compounds and offers superior performance and protection compared to conventional oil. It is ideal for modern engines, high-performance vehicles, and extreme driving conditions.

Synthetic blend oil combines synthetic and conventional oils, balancing performance and affordability. The type of oil your car needs depends on factors like engine design, driving conditions, and manufacturer recommendations.

4. Expert Advice

If you are not sure about which oil to use, then seek advice from automotive experts or trusted mechanics. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your vehicle’s specifications, driving habits, and environmental factors.

An expert can address your specific concerns and general questions related to oil and vehicle. Speak to an expert now by calling 020 8460 6666. Ensure that you make an informed decision that best suits your needs and preferences.

4. Choosing Right Oil

Follow manufacturer recommendations and choose a trusted oil brand to safeguard your engine. Look for oils that meet or exceed industry standards set by organizations such as the American Petroleum Institute and the Society of Automotive Engineers.

By choosing the right oil for your car and following proper maintenance procedures, you can ensure that your engine will remain protected and perform best.

Top Engine Oil Brands

With countless brands available in the market, it is necessary to choose a trustworthy brand. Some of the top engine brands are Castrol, Mobil 1, Pennzoil, Valvoline, and Shell. Consider factors such as price and customer reviews when selecting the right brand for your car.

When to Change Oil

Knowing when to change your car’s oil is crucial for maintaining engine health and performance. Here are several indicators to help you determine when to change:

1. Follow Manufacturer Recommendations

The best way to know when to change oil is to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual. It will specify the oil change intervals based on factors such as mileage, driving conditions, and oil type. Following these guidelines ensures that you change your oil at optimal times to maintain engine health.

2. Monitor Oil Change Indicator

Many modern vehicles are equipped with an oil change indicator light that alerts you when it is time for an oil change. This light is based on factors such as mileage, engine operating conditions, and driving habits.

3. Check Oil Level and Condition

Regularly checking for your car oil level and conditions can help you in determining when it is time for a change. Use the dipstick to check the oil level and inspect the oil’s colour and consistency. Fresh oil is typically amber or light brown and has a smooth texture.

4. Listen for Engine Noise

Old and degraded oil can increase engine noise, such as knocking or ticking sounds. If you notice any unusual sound coming from your engine, it can be an indicator that oil is overdue for a change. Address this promptly or this can result in costly repairs.


Selecting the right oil for your vehicle maintenance is very important for its lifespan and engine health. You need to under various types of engine oil, viscosity grades, and specifications before making any decision regarding your vehicle. Remember to consult your owner’s manual and consider factors and budget before choosing the right oil.

Is your car not running smoothly? Discuss this with our professionals at 020 8460 6666 or email us at . Bromley Vehicle Test Centre is your local, completely independent garage and MOT station in Bromley.