To keep your Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra performing at its peak, you’ll have to regularly change its oil. And since motor oil comes in a wide variety of grades and formulations, it’s crucial to choose the right type for your General Motors pickup. Here’s a guide to help you choose which oil is the right fit for your Chevy or GMC truck.
Types of oil
There are two main types of oil: conventional and synthetic. Conventional oil is more affordable, but it breaks down more quickly — and it isn’t suited to very high heat. Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is purer and lasts longer, but costs more than conventional oil does because it’s been specially engineered.
Oil is categorized by varying grades of viscosity, such as 10W-30 and 10W-40. The number with the W refers to the oil’s viscosity in the winter at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The second number is the oil’s viscosity at high temperatures. Lower numbers equal thinner oil. For instance, a 5W-30 oil will be thinner in the winter than 10W-30. Similarly, 10W-30 will be thinner than 10W-40 at high temperatures.
Making the right choice for your truck
If you’re on a budget and only use your truck for light or moderate tasks, consider conventional oil or a synthetic-conventional blend. However, if you regularly tow or haul heavy loads, or drive your truck long distances frequently, conventional oil isn’t up to the job. Invest in synthetic oil to ensure maximum protection for your truck’s powertrain.
Seasonal temperatures also impact which oil is right for your truck. During the winter, consider a formulation with a low winter viscosity, so it can freely circulate through the engine. On the other hand, in the summer, reach for oil that stays thick in the heat, since overly thin oil won’t do a good job lubricating the powertrain.
No matter which you choose, always be sure to follow manufacturer recommendations when picking oil for your vehicle. We’ll help you make the right choice when you bring your car in for an oil change at Ken Nelson Chevrolet in Dixon, Illinois.