How can you compare the qualities of synthetic motor oils for cars and light trucks?


Quick Answer

Nearly every motor oil maker touts their product as superior to their competitors. Comparing brands is difficult because all oils that carry the American Petroleum Institute (API) logo have met the same minimum standards to be sold in the United States.

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Full Answer

When choosing a motor oil, the first step is to read the owner's manual for the car in order to determine if the manufacturer has specific recommendations for a type of oil to use. In addition to specifying the viscosity that is required, manufacturers may state that the oil used in the car needs to have certain certifications to meet the engine's specifications. While the API seal signifies the oil has met only the minimum standards to be sold on US shelves, the motor oil may have seals from other organizations as well.

Automakers agree that the brand of oil is not as important as the oil meeting the specifications set forth in the owner's manual. While there is not a clear cut answer for which synthetic oil has the highest quality, selecting a well-known brand name is worth the extra money compared to a generic type of oil. Rather than comparing synthetic oil qualities between brands, it is recommended to select a synthetic oil that meets the qualities set forth in the owner's manual of the vehicle.

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