What Happens If You Put the Wrong Oil in Your Car? – 5 Possible Harms

Whether you are purchasing a new car or a used car, one thing is for sure the engine is the heart of your car! Because we invest a significant amount of money in our vehicles, proper maintenance is not only vital but also, from a financial perspective, most cost-effective in the long term.

In addition to doing normal maintenance on your vehicle, selecting the appropriate motor oil while performing the engine oil change is the most essential thing you can do to extend the life of your vehicle, as well as to make driving more fun and safe for you and your passengers.

What happens if you put the wrong oil in your car?

Motor oil is, in a sense, the heart and soul of the vehicle’s engine; it is what ensures that your vehicle continues to operate in an effective and efficient manner.

The mechanism by which motor oil accomplishes its function of shielding your vehicle’s engine from the damaging effects of heat and friction is quite straightforward.

When it’s time for an oil change, it’s quite apparent that you should use the kind of motor oil that’s suggested by the automobile manufacturer. Considering how important motor oil is, knowing what oil my car takes should come as no surprise.

What happens if you put the wrong oil in your car? In the post that we have for you today, we are going to discuss the possible harm that may be caused to your vehicle if you were to use the wrong oil in car.

What is Oil Viscosity?

What is Oil Viscosity
eurol.com

The term “viscosity” (Represented by “W”) describes how freely the oil flows at a certain temperature. When the number is lower, the oil has a lower viscosity.

Because engine oil with a lower viscosity (for example, 5W-20) is thinner than motor oil with a greater viscosity (for example, 20W-50), which is much thicker, the former has superior fluidity. If the motor oil in the engine of your vehicle is too thick, it won’t be able to lubricate the components of the engine effectively, which will result in more resistance when you attempt to start the vehicle.

5 Possible Harms of Using the Wrong Oil

1. Your Car Won’t Start in Cold

If you use motor oil with the wrong viscosity, your vehicle will likely have a difficult time starting in cold weather, if it ever starts at all. In other words, it will take longer than usual.

Obviously, this is a major inconvenience, and depending on the severity of the situation, it might potentially put your life in jeopardy. Therefore, it is imperative to know “what kind of oil does my car take”.

2. Burning Smell

In the same way that motor oil with a greater viscosity performs poorly in colder climes, motor oil with a lower viscosity begins to degrade when it is exposed to temperatures that are exceptionally high.

As a consequence of this, it ultimately loses its cohesive strength and, therefore, is unable to lubricate all of the moving components in an effective manner.

The “burning” of the engine oil is caused by excessive friction between the various metal components. The burning oil also may create long-term damage to the engine of your vehicle, which is an issue that will be extremely costly to rectify if it occurs.

3. Oil Leaks

If you replace traditional motor oil with synthetic oil in an older vehicle or one that has a greater mileage, you run the risk of developing oil leaks. This is true even if the two types of oil have the same viscosity ratios.

This is because synthetic oils have different flow properties than ordinary motor oil and are able to “squeeze” through the tighter areas as compared to regular oil. Even while these oil leaks are not likely to do any damage, they may cause you to visit the gas station more often.

4. Engine Noises

Another significant issue arises when an older vehicle or one with high mileage is lubricated with synthetic oil rather than regular motor oil. It is possible that it will make your vehicle louder, with the noise level often being highest shortly after the engine has been started. This is because, as compared to traditional motor oil, synthetic oil can be poured into engine clearance much more rapidly.

5. Low Efficiency

Your vehicle’s overall fuel economy will suffer if you use motor oil that has a greater viscosity, which means that the oil is overly thick. This is due to the fact that the thickness of the motor oil has an effect on the amount of resistance it has on critical metal components like pistons.

Mixing Conventional Motor Oil With Synthetic Oil

Mixing Conventional Motor Oil With Synthetic Oil
thoughtco.com

In the event that you mistakenly combine traditional oil with synthetic oil, there is really nothing for you to be concerned about.

You should probably avoid doing this for one simple reason: synthetic motor oil is quite pricey, and if you mix it with conventional oil, you won’t get the benefits of the purified, distilled, and refined synthetic oil because the conventional oil will compromise those benefits.

 Mixing Different Oil Weights

Mixing Different Oil Weights
iworkoncars.com

Again, if you mix thinner motor oil with thicker motor oil by mistake, it will not harm the engine of your automobile (at least not for that one time that you “accidentally” do it). On the other hand, doing so would almost certainly move you a step farther away from the oil viscosity advised by the manufacturer of your vehicle, which is not a desirable thing.

Final Words

Even if you put the incorrect kind of oil in your engine, your vehicle will still be able to operate. You may even be able to drive the vehicle until the next scheduled maintenance even though we do not advocate doing so. If you find out that you have used the wrong oil accidentally or if you begin to experience any of the symptoms that we have discussed, you should have your vehicle checked out and change the oil in order to prevent any long-term damage.

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