What Do the Numbers On Oil Mean? Here Is The Answer

Vehicles require an appropriate amount of lubricant to function smoothly. The engine oil protects the operating parts from overheating and friction. A thin layer of lubricant inside the engine keeps the parts running perfectly. That is why a regular engine oil change is a necessary part of servicing and maintenance. These engine oils have specific numbers and specifications. These numbers differentiate car oil to that of truck oil. But what do the numbers on oil mean?

Let us find the answer below.

What Do The Numbers On Oil Mean? Know Here

Generally the numbers on the engine oil represent its thickness or thinness. There are various alphabets on the panel also. These alphabets represent temperature requirement of the oil.

Following this number system every time you change the oil is necessary. It is so to keep the function normal.

Most people do not consider looking at these numbers. They usually take car to the service center and ask the professional to change the oil. But it is necessary to choose the perfect type and quality of the oil. It will help to keep the car running for long.

The numbers on the engine oil generally say 10W40 or 5W30. These numbers represent viscosity and temperature. Number on the left of the alphabet is for viscosity when temperature is low, and on the right it is for higher temperatures.

Let us know the factors that relate to this topic in detail.


When wondering what do the numbers on oil mean, knowing the viscosity of oil you are using is important. Whether you are changing oil by own or a professional is doing it for you, make sure you know how thick or thin it is.

Viscosity refers to the thickness or thinness of the oil. The latest engine oils are two grades. One is for lower temperature, and other is for higher.

The W in 10W40 stands for winter. It is to identify the characteristics of the oil according to the temperature.

These numbers on the bottles notify oil flow inside the engine. The oil will flow like 10 weight oil at lower temperatures and 40-weight oil at a hotter temperature.

All you need to know about what do the numbers on oil mean
What do the numbers on oil mean? Comprehensive guide (Photo Source: everypixel)

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Oil Category

The term refers to the two kinds of automobile engines- Petrol and Diesel. Using the lubricant that goes perfectly with your vehicle’s engine type is necessary.

Most oil manufacturing companies use S for petrol base engine oils and C for diesel ones. It is necessary to confirm the oil type before every oil change. Doing so will surely increase engine life. The engine parts will work and run in top condition.

The latest technology engine oils work perfectly with both Petrol and Diesel engines. There is no specific engine type and you can use the lubricant in any car type.

According to the expert maintenance tips, checking oil specifications would be an ideal choice.     

What do the numbers on oil mean? Know right here
Ultimate guide to what do the numbers on oil mean (Photo Source: pxfuel)

Winging Up

That is all about the numbers on the engine oil bottles. Hope you now have a complete understanding of what do the numbers on oil mean.