At this time of year, it’s beneficial to use an oil that has good cold start flow properties as it will get to the parts of the engine that need it far more quickly when you turn the key on those sub zero mornings.

The "w" number which means winter is the key here and the lower it is the better cold start performance the oil will have.

A 15w or 20w rated oil will struggle to get around the engine in very cold temps and we would strongly recommend using a 10w, 5w or 0w for better cold start performance.

It is a fact that around 90% of all engine wear occurs on cold start because the oil is at its thickest. The colder it gets the thicker the oil becomes and this affects the rate of flow which affects the rate of wear.

These numbers help to explain the oils thickness and therefore cold flow performance at various temperatures.

Grade.................At 0C.................At 10C..............At 100C
0W/20.............328.6cSt...............180.8cSt.... ........9cSt
5W/40.............811.4cSt...............421.4cSt.... ........14cSt
10W/50............1039cSt...............538.9cSt...... ......18cSt
15W/50.............1376cSt..............674.7cSt...... ......18cSt
20W/50.............2305cSt...............1015cSt...... ......18cSt

Centistokes (cst) is the measure of a fluid's resistance to flow (viscosity). It is calculated in terms of the time required for a standard quantity of fluid at a certain temperature to flow through a standard orifice. The higher the value, the thicker the oil.

Winters in the UK are fortunately not too cold but, below zero temperatures are regular features in some parts of the country.

Compare the thickness of the oil at 0degC and 100degC and you will see the big difference.

Just something to consider on those frosty mornings.

The Opieoils Team.