Motor Oil Viscosity Numbers Decoded

Everyone talks about motor oil in code. Common numbers and letters include 10W-30 or 5W-20 and so forth. What do those mysterious numbers mean? They are the viscosity ratings for a particular type of oil. Viscosity is a measure of a substance's thickness or how quickly something can be poured. For instance, water can be poured quickly so it has a low viscosity while corn syrup pour more slowly and has a higher viscosity level. Certain substances, including motor oil, thicken with colder temperatures.

When you are decoding a motor oil number, the first number that comes before the W tells you the viscosity when the temperature is cold, while the second number gives you the rating of the oil when the engine heats up. Be sure to ask our Jaguar maintenance team to help you select the right oil viscosity level for your vehicle. Stop by our Greensboro, NC location at your convenience.

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