Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced first-hand how harsh the winter weather can be on your vehicle (I’m sure every hand is raised!). When you see the impact that snow, road salt, slush and grime have on the windows and finish, you just naturally wonder what’s going on under the hood. Are you using the right motor oil for cold weather? How do you know if you’re using an oil that will help keep your motor reliably running clean, even in the coldest, messiest, most unpredictable winter weather?
BEGIN BY CHECKING YOUR VEHICLE OWNER'S MANUAL
For oil specifications, refer to your vehicle owner’s manual. In addition to the type and viscosity (or thickness), the manual will recommend mileage or time intervals between oil changes. If you can’t find your vehicle owner’s manual, or if it gives you a choice of options, consult one of the trained Jiffy Lube® technicians. You may risk engine damage and perhaps void your new-vehicle warranty if you don’t follow manufacturer recommendations.
1. WHY IS OIL SO IMPORTANT? The proper motor oil can help maximize the performance and life of your vehicle, not just during the winter but all year around. It circulates through the motor, lubricating the motor’s moving parts to help reduce friction and prevent components from overheating. Motor oil also picks up particulates allowing them to be filtered out, helping keep your motor running smooth and clean.
2. CRACKING THE MOTOR OIL CODE. Let’s say your vehicle owner’s manual recommends 5w30 oil. The W stands for winter and means that this oil is formulated to work well in colder weather. The numbers refer to oil viscosity (or thickness), based on a scale established by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The first number describes viscosity at low temperatures. The lower the number, the better the formulation for cold weather performance. (So, a “5” was developed to flow more efficiently in frigid temperatures than a “10.”) The number after the W describes how thick the oil is at the engine’s normal operating temperature.
3. A QUALITY MOTOR OIL WILL PERFORM RELIABLY, REGARDLESS OF WEATHER. Most Jiffy Lube locations use Pennzoil® products which meet or exceed manufacturer recommendations. Pennzoil motor oils are formulated to protect engines in extreme conditions — from blistering summer heat to frigid winter cold. Unless your vehicle manufacturer recommends a motor oil for cold-weather driving, you can confidently use the same type of Pennzoil from season to season.
4. STILL, NOW MAY BE A GOOD TIME TO REPLACE YOUR OIL. While it is not necessary to switch the type or viscosity of the oil you use, winter is a good time to consider an oil change. If you are nearing or past the recommended motor oil change interval, it’s time for some routine maintenance. When older motor oil with a depleted additive package circulates through the motor, sludge can form, which can lead to internal damage. Since reliable performance is especially important in extreme weather, consider making an oil change part of your vehicle’s winterizing regimen.
Winter can bring a lot of changes to how often you operate your vehicle and may make an impact on your driving habits which can be hard on your motor. Unlike summer, with its long, leisurely road trips, winter may find you more often hopping in and out of your vehicle, running errands in stop-and-go traffic. During short trips in cold weather, your motor may not have a chance to reach its normal operating temperature. When the motor is cold, acid can adhere to the cylinder walls and mix with the motor oil. Additives in the oil help neutralize the acid, but when the additives are depleted, sludge can form and damage your engine.
ULTIMATELY, REPLACE BUT DON'T REFILL
If you’ve ever experienced the wear and tear winter weather has on your vehicle (So much salt! So much slush!), you know that there are some extra steps you have to take to prepare it for the season. It may seem intuitive, but it’s not effective to prepare your vehicle for winter by simply topping off your motor oil. Consider stopping by Jiffy Lube, where skilled technicians will remove the old, existing oil and replace it with new oil that meets the manufacturer recommendations for type, weight and volume.
It doesn’t make sense to have fresh motor oil flow through a dirty, clogged oil filter, does it? So, Jiffy Lube technicians will replace your old oil filter with a new one as part of the Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change.
In an effort to get to know the ins and outs of your vehicle, Jiffy Lube technicians will ask you about your driving style and explain the types of motor oil that are recommended for your vehicle — empowering you to decide which option is right for you and your vehicle. And they will display a sticker in the upper left corner of the windshield to remind you when your next oil change is due. It’s not only a reminder that consistent, timely vehicle maintenance is important to help keep your vehicle on the road but will reassure you that you can trust Jiffy Lube for your winter vehicle care.