Providing Automotive Repair Service and Maintenance Monday-Friday 7AM-5PM

What is the Right Oil for My Vehicle?

Choosing the right engine oil for your vehicle is essential for its performance, longevity, and overall well-being. Engine oil lubricates and protects the internal components of your engine, ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently. However, with various types and viscosities of motor oil available, selecting the right one can be confusing. Here is what you need to consider when determining the right oil for your vehicle.

What is the Right Oil for My Vehicle

Refer to Your Vehicle’s Owner’s Manual

Your vehicle’s manufacturer provides specific recommendations for the type and viscosity of oil to use. The owner’s manual will typically specify the correct oil grade, such as 5W-30 or 10W-40, and the oil specifications that meet your engine’s requirements. Following these recommendations is crucial to maintaining your warranty and ensuring optimal engine performance.

Consider Your Climate

Climate plays a significant role in choosing the right oil viscosity. Engine oils are classified by a two-number system, such as 5W-30. The first number (5W) indicates the oil’s cold-weather performance, while the second number (30) represents its high-temperature performance. Lower numbers before the “W” (winter) are suitable for cold climates, while higher numbers provide better high-temperature protection. If you live in a region with extreme temperatures, you may need a different oil viscosity for winter and summer.

Check for Oil Specifications

Oil specifications, such as API (American Petroleum Institute) and ILSAC (International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee) ratings, are important to consider. These ratings indicate the oil’s quality and performance characteristics. Look for oils that meet or exceed the specifications recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.

Synthetic vs. Conventional Oil

Synthetic oils offer improved performance and protection compared to conventional oils. They provide better temperature stability, reduce friction, and offer longer-lasting protection. While synthetic oils tend to be more expensive, they can be a wise investment for high-performance vehicles or for those looking to extend oil change intervals.

High-Mileage Oil

If your vehicle has a high mileage (typically over 75,000 miles), consider using a high-mileage motor oil. These oils contain additives designed to rejuvenate aging engine seals and reduce oil consumption in older vehicles.

Diesel vs. Gasoline Engine Oil

Diesel engines have different requirements than gasoline engines, so be sure to choose the correct oil type for your engine. Diesel engine oils are formulated to handle the higher heat and stress levels found in diesel engines.

Consult a Professional

If you’re uncertain about the right oil for your vehicle or if you have a unique driving situation, consider consulting with a professional mechanic or an automotive technician. They can provide guidance based on your vehicle’s specific needs and usage.

Regular Oil Changes

Regardless of the oil type you choose, regular oil changes are crucial for maintaining engine health. Follow the recommended oil change intervals provided in your owner’s manual to ensure your engine operates smoothly.

Professional Oil Changes in Phoenix, AZ

If you want professional, dependable advice for the best oil for your vehicle, bring it to Thunderbird Automotive Specialists. With over 45 years of experience, we can help you select the best oil for your vehicle and provide quick and easy oil changes. Contact us now to schedule an appointment.

Trusted Auto Repair by
Top Trained Techs


Thunderbird Automotive Specialists will be closed on Friday, October 20th.

During this time, our team will be attending the memorial service for our late General Manager, Brock Lohman.

We appreciate your understanding and support as we gather as a Thunderbird Automotive Specialist family to honor Brock’s life and legacy.

We will be back open to serve you on Monday, October 23rd. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.