How Much Do You Know About Motor Oil?

By: Annette
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Motor oil keeps everything running smoothly in your vehicle, but do you really know all the different kinds and which one is best for your situation? When it comes to your sweet ride, not just any motor oil will do. Let's explore.

Is motor oil just engine oil?

This is the biggest mistake. Motor oil is not simply engine oil. Other components, such as the transmission and brakes, use their own kind of oil, as well.

Does engine oil increase performance?

Here's another misconception. Engine oil is not going to increase the efficiency or performance of your vehicle. It simply protects the engine from extreme conditions​.

Do motor oils have different ratings and components?

This is so important to remember. Motor oils have different ratings and components that make them suitable for different uses in your car. Be careful when changing any oil yourself, because you don't want to get it wrong.

How many types of motor oil are there?

There are three types of motor oils. These include mineral oil, semi-synthetic and synthetic. Check manufacturer instructions for choosing the right oil.

Which puts more stress on your vehicle?

High speed definitely stresses your vehicle more than low speed. That's why it's important to always check the oil if you're running frequently at high speed.

Does dark oil mean it's time for a change?

The Dark Oil Myth is, indeed, a myth. It doesn't mean that it's time to change the oil, but still make sure that you're changing it at the right intervals.

You should gauge when it's time to change your oil by which of these?

Either of these are sufficient for knowing when it's time to change your oil. Set a specific number of miles or number of months to get it done.

Service intervals can be determined by which of these?

Service intervals can either be determined by your owner's manual or your mechanic. Both can be trusted.

When changing oil, it's a smart time to pay attention to what else?

Not only is the oil important, but also the filters are important. Be sure to replace the filters as needed, along with the oil.

The more frequently you change your oil, the better.

Changing your oil more frequently isn't going to make a huge difference. Only change the oil if it benefits your vehicle.

Non-synthetic oils should be changed about every ____ miles.

Non-synthetic oils should be changed just about every 3,000 miles. But keep in mind, this only applies to non-synthetic.

Changing oil at home is _____.

Changing oil at home is no easy task. Today's cars make it more difficult than ever, especially when it comes to changing the filter.

Is topping-off fluids in your vehicle easy to do at home?

Although changing oil is quite hard, topping off fluids and checking levels is easy. Be sure to watch for when levels drop down.

As vehicle engines have changed, motor oil has ______.

With the modern, fuel-efficient engines, oil formulations have evolved to suit their needs. Today's motor oil is ideal for higher heat and RPMs.

Do modern oils contain additives?

You bet that modern oils have additives. These are designed to reduce wear, maintain viscosity and suspend contaminants.

Changing intervals for modern oil are _______ in the past.

Modern oil has different changing intervals from the past. Although the 3,000-mile rule is a good thing to keep in mind, still, not all oil needs to be changed that frequently.

What is the bane of your motor oil's existence?

Sludge is the number-one reason to change your oil. Sludge formation can ruin the oil in your car.

Modern detergent oils _____ contaminant particles.

Basically, modern detergent oils simply wash contaminant particles, and then they suspend them in the oil. The particles are not removed until the oil is changed.

Sludge is a sign that _____.

When the oil becomes oversaturated with particles, some of these particles begin to settle on the engine parts. This is sludge formation.

Most contaminants in your engine come from the _____ stage.

The combustion stage is when most of the contaminants are formed in your engine. This is when air and gasoline are mixed, then ignited.

Do synthetic oils prevent contaminants?

No, synthetic oils do not prevent contaminants. They're a bit better at suspending particles, but they don't prolong oil changes all that much​.

If you have sludge, should you dislodge it at home?

If you have a lot of sludge buildup, you definitely don't want to dislodge it at home. It's not good for your engine to remove it all at once.

One precise way of gauging the need for an oil change is _____.

Oil analysis is probably the most precise way of gauging when it's time to get an oil change. This should always be done by a professional.

The automotive industry tells us to change oil ______ than is necessary.

You can consult a mechanic about this. But generally, the automotive industry is telling you to change your oil a bit sooner than is necessary​. That being said, there's nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution.

People who enjoy changing oil are called what?

Those who change their oil more frequently than necessary because they like to are known as recreational oil changers. It's understandable why a lot of guys find this process appealing.

Modern oils naturally do what?

Modern detergent oils naturally get dark in color, because they're sucking up those particles. Non-detergent oils stay lighter than detergent oils.

How do you keep gunk from depositing​ in your oil pan?

Dispersant is what you need to keep gunk from depositing in your oil pan. Other than that, when your oil gets dirty, it's a good sign.

In other countries, the recommended change interval is ______ than in the U.S.

In general, foreign countries have a longer changing interval. American manufacturers recommend that we change the oil in U.S. cars quite frequently.

Do cars in dustier areas have dirtier oil?

Cars in dusty, hot conditions are definitely going to have dirtier oil. That's why not every car falls into the same service category.

A car in a stressful environment falls into the ________ category.

A car that is constantly operating in difficult conditions is going to be in the severe service category. That means that their service interval is different​ from other cars.

U.S. and Canadian fuel have higher levels of what?

U.S. and Canadian fuels have higher levels of sulphur. This can cause more oil contamination.

Synthetic oils withstand _____ temperatures.

Synthetic oils withstand higher temperatures. They also have more base stock and less viscosity modifiers.

The filter should be changed how often?

Today, it's smart to change your oil filter at every oil change. There is no point to changing the filter without changing the oil.

Professional oil changes take less than ______.

A good professional oil change should take less than 30 minutes. Professional oil changes give you legal proof of when you got it done.

Always insist on the type of oil that is ______.

It's important to always insist on the oil that is recommended in your owner's manual. If the oil change station doesn't have it, go elsewhere.

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