Expert Advice

Does cold weather affect my car’s oil?

We all dread those cold mornings when we head outside and see a layer of frost covering the windshield of our vehicles. You crank up your car’s engine to run the defroster and melt the ice. But cold weather makes your vehicle vulnerable at start up. Those same cold temperatures that led frost to form on your windshield also cause its motor oil to thicken and flow more slowly, or not at all. This triggers a domino effect that can take a toll on your vehicle’s engine.

Cold Weather Slows the Flow of Oil

When you start your vehicle, its oil pump forces oil under pressure through the oil filter, main bearings and other parts of the engine. During cold weather, an engine’s motor oil becomes thicker. It flows more slowly through the engine and is harder to pump through the engine block. This puts additional strain on your vehicle’s battery, which is weakened in cold weather .and must work harder to generate power that makes the engine turn.

Reduced Energy Efficiency

When the engine takes longer to warm up from the cold, its fuel consumption increases. Under cold temperatures, oil also has a negative effect on fuel efficiency. Its thicker state means it will take longer for the engine to reach its most fuel-efficient temperature.

Cold oil also can lead to engine damage. Its slower rate of flow in cold weather can increase friction between the moving parts of a vehicle’s engine and transmission during cold weather.

Premiere Car Oil Change Shop Wilmington NC

It is important to be mindful of the type of oil you are using in your vehicle. Using the wrong oil type can cause major issues in the engine. Typically, your owner manual will include the oil temperature and oil viscosity rating that is ideal for your car or truck.

If you have questions about what type of oil is recommended for your vehicle in the winter, bring it to O’Leary’s. Our skilled mechanics ensure that they use the recommended type of oil for each vehicle and at every oil change. We offer truck and car oil changes at four convenient locations in Wilmington, Leland and Hampstead. Be sure to download our oil change coupons to take advantage of our current specials. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about our oil change packages.