Many car drivers consider oil replacement part of vehicle maintenance, but they are unaware of the reasons for more frequent replacements in summer.
As weather fluctuations change our daily activities, they also affect the vehicle’s performance by altering lubricant viscosity.
Do Cars Burn More Oil in the Summer? Cars do not burn more oil in summer because the viscosity of oil decreases when the temperature increases. It leads to thinning of oil, providing a running texture that makes it readily available for lubrication. The car engine has to exert less force to use a thick lubricant that improves fuel efficiency. It is good to use thick oil or 10W30 as they can tolerate high temperatures and become less viscous. Furthermore, synthetic or multi-grade oils are also considered a good choice due to their thermal stability.
It is essential to choose an engine oil according to weather to regulate the vehicle’s performance as their consumption level varies at different temperatures.
Furthermore, multi-grade lubricants can suit all types of weather as they are thermally stable and resist changes in the viscosity when the external temperature gets high or low.
However, single-grade oil needs replacement as it burns more in winter due to its high viscosity and thick texture.
Does weather affect engine oil consumption in a car?
Changing weather affects engine oil consumption as the external environment’s high and low temperature changes its viscosity.
When external temperature increases, the viscosity of oil decreases, and it appears to be a thin liquid.
However, its viscosity increases when the temperature gets lower to almost 32 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit, making it thick.
Does the viscosity of oil affect fuel efficiency?
Oil viscosity directly impacts fuel efficiency because thinner fluids are readily available for the engine to perform a function.
When lubricants reach the engine compartment quickly, it has to exert lesser force to pull the oil upward. Moreover, there is lesser friction when it efficiently lubricates all the parts.
Therefore, the engine has to consume less fuel and improve overall fuel efficiency. In contrast, thick oil cannot run smoothly, and the car has to burn more fuel to work well.
Many modern vehicles use multi-grade or thin lubricants to get better fuel efficiency.
Synthetic products are stable at high temperatures and maintain their ideal viscosity to reduce fuel consumption.
Why cars do not burn more oil in summer?
You will not face the issue of oil shortage while driving a car in summer because cars burn less lubricant during hot weather for many reasons.
Decrease in oil viscosity
In summer, the external temperature increases to almost 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, decreasing its viscosity. As a result, a less viscous oil appears thin in texture that has better flowing capacity.
Moreover, its smooth flow ensures lesser burning because it can lubricate the components quickly. No force is applied to this runny liquid as it can easily reach the metallic surfaces.
However, cars burn more oil in winter because it gets thicker under low temperatures. As a result, it is difficult for viscous liquid to move smoothly and lubricate the parts.
Less dragging force
Highly viscous lubricant generates more dragging force on the crankshaft affecting the engine’s performance by creating resistance in motion. In addition, it cannot quickly convert linear motion to rotational due to drag.
Moreover, it cannot flow smoothly because there is friction between molecules which requires more energy to move.
However, a less viscous lubricant decreases friction between its molecules and flows smoothly without creating a dragging force on engine parts.
In addition, it can form a durable and consistent film on the parts.
The engine begins to generate more torque than improve its performance. So, it produces more power and burns less oil when there is less dragging force.
Lesser resistance to ignition
Thick oil creates more resistance to initiate ignition because it is difficult for a highly viscous liquid to lubricate every part quickly.
In contrast, thinner lubricants can quickly reach each part with better flow.
Accordingly, there is lesser resistance to an ignition process as the engine can efficiently burn fuel without applying sufficient force.
It can easily reach the crankshaft, piston, and other components, and minimum oil pressure leads to lesser burning of oil.
How does thin oil affect the engine in summer?
It is better to use highly viscous oil when the temperature is higher, particularly in summer. The heat reduces the lubricant viscosity and makes it thin that can flow quickly.
However, the lubricant components begin to degrade when you use thin oil during hot weather because it is already less viscous.
Lubricants begin to degrade at a fast rate every 15 to 18 degrees Fahrenheit when they have reached beyond their activation temperature.
So, it can lead to multiple problems, including increased friction between engine components because it forms a thin layer between metals that allows contact directly.
In addition, this increased friction leads to more fuel consumption and reduces fuel economy.
It can also cause overheating in the engine because the lubricant volatilizes, evaporates into the atmosphere, and cannot cool down the internal temperature.
Hot and thin lubricating fluid affects seals and filters’ structure and longevity.
Is 5W30 or 10W30 better for summer?
5W30 and 10W30 are multi-grade lubricants having different viscosities, and W represents “winter.” This viscosity determines their efficiency in lubricating the metal surfaces.
In addition, digits 5 and 10 indicate the viscosity, which means 5W30 has a lower density. Therefore, it is thinner than 10W30, making the latter a suitable choice in summer.
You have to choose thick lubricants that can efficiently tolerate extreme temperatures and cool down the temperature.
Moreover, high temperature changes the texture of 10W30 to a runny liquid that can flow smoothly to each part of the engine and decrease friction.
However, 5W30 provides better lubrication when it gets a bit thicker in cold weather. So, 10W30 is considered a better choice in summer due to its thick texture.
Furthermore, you have to consider the manufacturer’s recommendations to improve performance by using the right lubricant to protect the vehicle’s components from wearing out.
How often should I replace car oil in summer?
Many factors determine when your car needs engine oil replacement, like its type, driving habits, and weather conditions. In addition, the engine type also matters in the burning of lubricants.
Most modern automobiles contain synthetic oils, which are expensive but require infrequent replacements due to their high stability in changing temperatures.
Moreover, cold weather makes your engine run out of lubricating fluid quickly, and even a short trip to a grocery store makes it challenging.
Diesel cars require more frequent replacements than turbocharged ones because it quickly makes them dirty.
So, you have to keep a check on its levels in summer when you are using conventional lubricant in a diesel vehicle.
Most commonly, you need to change to replace it every 2 to 3 months or when you have covered 2000 to 3000 miles in summer.
Furthermore, some efficient changes and high-quality lubricants can work for 8000 to 10,000 miles, and you need to change them almost every 8 to 12 months.
Is it good to use thicker oil in summer?
It is better to avoid thin oil in hot weather because high temperature decreases viscosity, and it begins to degrade if it is already thin.
You can use thick lubricants in summer as they can tolerate the effect of heat and high external temperature. However, it becomes thin to the extent that it is suitable for an engine to perform its function.
A high-grade lubricant provides better parts protection by lubricating them evenly and reducing friction or dragging force.
In addition, you can also choose multi-grade or synthetic oils in your vehicle that remains stable at fluctuating temperature.
High or low temperature does not affect their viscosity level as they can resist heat efficiently and lubricate efficiently.
In contrast, single-grade oil has a single viscosity, either low or high, so you have to change them according to changing weather as it does not suit both the summer and winter seasons.
What do people say about this?
I surveyed 638 people to know whether car burns more lubricants in summer or if their replacement frequency remains the same as in winter.
Out of 638 people, 467 people (73%) said it is not true because there is lesser engine oil consumption when the temperature is higher as it decreases the viscosity.
However, 122 people (19%) said cars have improved fuel efficiency in summer because it has to pull up the oil with a small force, but it has no noticeable effect on consumption.
While the remaining 49 people (8%) said, they have not considered oil burning in different weather conditions and change it every 6 months as it is a standard time for a replacement.
You do not have to replace it frequently in summer because it is consumed in less quantity.
“I found an improved engine performance in summer, and it needs fewer oil replacements compared to winters.”
Its temperature affects engine performance badly as a thin lubricating fluid causes leakages and affects the seals and filters.
“I have found no prominent difference in the engine oil consumption during hot weather, but leakage problems occurred commonly.”
A noticeable change does not occur in engine oil in hot weather, but the thin texture improves fuel efficiency to a small extent.
“I usually replace lubricants after 6 months, and the weather changes do not bring prominent changes in the oil usage.”
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