Oil is always being analysed by manufacturers and compared for efficiency. One area that manufacturers analyse is how well a particular oil helps with fuel efficiency. With the turbulent global economy, being able to save on fuel costs is important to most drivers.
But can the engine oil you choose actually help you save on fuel costs or is it a clever marketing scheme by manufacturers? The truth is that the engine oil you use can help your fuel efficiency, but it may not be enough to make a real difference.
However, if you’re looking to pinch pennies, changing your engine oil over to a more efficient engine oil is a start.
How Engine Oil Affects Your Fuel Efficiency
You may wonder how engine oil even affects fuel usage. The thicker the viscosity of your engine oil, the harder the engine has to work to push the oil throughout the engine components. Your vehicle pulls on your fuel supply to help power the engine and keep it running.
The harder your engine has to work to move oil through the different parts, the more fuel the vehicle uses. So the thinner your engine oil, the better your fuel efficiency is. However, many people specifically look for high viscosity oil to provide the fullest protection to their engine. So will buying thinner oil protect your car’s engine as well as thicker oil?
Zero Weight Engine Oil
Newer vehicles are being manufactured with engines that can work well with thinner viscosity oils. Many oil manufacturers are creating what is called zero weight engine oil. You can recognize a zero weight engine oil by looking at the numbers on the bottle. One example of a zero weight oil would be a bottle labelled 0W-20.
The last number signifies the viscosity of the oil when the engine is warmed. Unlike the popular 10W-40 or 15W-40, you can see that zero weight engine oil is very thin.
The new design of engine oil allows it to move quickly through the engine components without as much drain on the fuel system, unlike the thicker oils. Studies done on thinner oils show that the engine components are lubricated as well as those using a thicker oil.
So if you’re in the market to purchase an engine oil that will improve your fuel efficiency, then look for a lower viscosity oil. However, if you feel more comfortable with thicker oil, consider the cost savings of switching and if it’s not more than a few cents, consider sticking with your trusted oil type.