Hints & Tips

Choosing The Right Motor Oil for Fuel Economy & Performance

We’re big fans of luxury cars and performance vehicles at carhoots. But we never touch on how to use motor oil effectively and how it can improve performance and efficiency of your ride. Let’s take a look at the world of motor oil, with a few back to basics refreshers.

Motor Oil – What exactly is it used for

> This paragraph is strictly for noobs and a bit of re-education for you guys <

‘The lifeblood of your engine.’ It has been commonly claimed that motor oil serves the same purpose in engines as blood does in a human body. It is the powerhouse for your vehicle bringing it to life! For those who didn’t know, most motor oil is stored in an oil pan under the hood of your car and is drawn out and circulated by the oil pump throughout the engine block.


The main purpose of motor oil is to provide lubrication for the moving parts of the engine, as metal-to-metal contact between them can cause serious damage due to friction. By applying motor oil to said places, parts become separated by a thin film, making their motion much smoother and with less resistance, which in turn reduces the amount of fuel consumed by our car. It’s all science and physics baby!

The Benefits of Choosing the Right Motor Oil

Those who had the opportunity to buy motor oil for themselves will tell you that the two main things to look out for are the viscosity and the type of oil you are buying (synthetic vs conventional oil). Why exactly?

Well, viscosity essentially determines how thick the oil is under certain temperature. The lower the viscosity, the easier it is for the oil pump to circulate it and less fuel is needed to power it, but it also provides less protection for the engine parts.

The most commonly recommended viscosity by the car manufacturers is the 5W-20 and the 5W-30, the first number indicating the viscosity in 0°F temperatures (-17.78°C) and the second indicating the viscosity in 212°F (100°C) temperatures. These oils have a low enough viscosity to provide optimal fuel economy for most new cars, but also provide enough protection to ensure long-lasting engine life.

When it comes to choosing the right type of oil, there are essentially three types to choose from.

The most commonly used, but also the least performance efficient type of oil is the conventional or mineral oil. Almost all motor oil brands have embraced the standard service level of SL and they produce the oil under this standard in several viscosities.

The next and probably the most performance enhancing choice is the fully synthetic oil.

Numerous debates have been raised over the use of synthetic motor oil instead of conventional, mineral oil and all of them come to the same conclusion which is “Synthetic motor oil delivers better performance than conventional motor oil.”


This is due to many different factors most of which have to do with the fact that synthetic motor oils are not as susceptible to evaporation and degradation due to frequent and drastic changes in temperature.

Under extremely high temperatures that many of the high-end car engines produce, conventional motor oil loses its viscosity and its ability to protect the engine parts from friction damage reduces drastically. And due to increased friction the amount of metal shavings that end up suspended in motor oil increases which after some time starts to act like a sandblaster further damaging the moving parts inside the engine.

With synthetic oils this problem does not exist. Due to the special refining process that the synthetic oils are subjected to, manufacturers are able to create oil molecules that are much less volatile and which maintain optimal viscosity under both extremely high and extremely low temperatures.

This becomes even more important for people driving in colder regions who have to start up the engine after it has been exposed to low temperatures for extended periods of time. In these cases, conventional oil thickens and the oil pump is not able to distribute it quickly enough which can cause serious damage during cold-engine ignition.

Lastly, conventional oils in and of themselves have a much higher impurity rate compared to synthetic oil. This coupled with extended use can cause sludge and other impurities to gather on key engine parts, drastically reducing performance and fuel efficiency. Synthetic motor oil, like Mobil 1 for example, keeps engines running like new by helping combat sludge, reduce wear and control oil breakdown.

Mobil 1 advanced full synthetic motor oils deliver exceptional performance and protection for vehicles of all ages and for all driving conditions – normal to extreme. It is for this reason that Mobil 1 is the World’s Leading Synthetic motor oil brand, recommended by more car builders and used by more NASCAR® teams than any other brand of motor oil.


In NASCAR®, efficiency is key and every advantage you can get cutting down friction and wear is the difference between winning and losing. That is why Mobil 1™ products help more than half of NASCAR® teams achieve massive fuel efficiency and therefore lap time gains over the formidable 800km race. Mobil 1 were instrumental in helping the racing legend Tony Stewart secure his third Sprint Cup Series championship in 2011.



You can Buy Mobil 1 now for a great deal at
Pep Boys. Click here for more.

The last type of motor oil is essentially the combination of synthetic and conventional oil. The synthetic blend motor oils are usually used for vehicles that are supposed to carry heavy loads or work in higher temperatures.

They are popular with SUV/light-truck drivers who are used to transporting heavy loads which causes more friction in the engine block and thus higher temperatures. As it evaporates less under high temperatures, the synthetic blend oil helps them achieve better fuel economy than ordinary synthetic or conventional motor oil.

Why Changing Motor Oil Regularly is Important

Given the fact that motor oil is constantly circulated through the engine and that it comes into contact with various environmental factors such as oxygen, dirt and other particles and metal shavings it is not surprising that after some time its efficiency falls off dramatically and it loses the ability to protect your engine properly.

This, combined with high temperatures present in the engine block causes sludge to gather in important oil pathways which makes circulating oil more energy and fuel consuming. For those looking to change their own oil, they can follow this easy guide:

Here is a quick video tutorial on how to change your oil by our favorite expert Chris Duke

In case you want your oil changed by a professional or have any other inquiries about your vehicle or the motor oil you are using you can visit the, Research and Learn section on the Pep Boys website at: www.pepboys.com

Alternatively, you can personally visit one of their shops since Pep Boys is the place for heavy DIYers who are looking for expertise on their car and motor oil. By doing this you will be able to enjoy a Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil and from September 20 – November 30, 2016 when you buy any 5 quarts of Mobil 1 motor oil in one transaction at Pep Boys, you will receive a free Fandango movie ticket, only available for in-store purchases. Click here to learn more.

What’s More? Kick-ass Competition Time!

A Mobil 1 branded gift basket worth $50 filled is up for grabs. Fill your boots with an assortment of items like hats, tumblers, bags, t-shirts, techie kits, tire gauge and more.

Simply tweet to @CarhootsApp and @Mobil1 with the answer to this question: Which motor oil is used by more NASCAR® teams than any other brand of motor oil?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ExxonMobil. The opinions and text are all mine.

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