What Oil For A 2009 Hyundai Sonata In The Iraqi Desert?

September 27, 2010
The reach of The Car Connection was evident in the All Car Advice mail bag recently when TCC forwarded an email from Mohammed in Iraq. The reader has a white 2009 Hyundai Sonata with a four-cylinder engine that he wants to protect for the long haul. His question is what kind of oil is the best to use.

Two of the 11 driving conditions that may exist for Mohammed and would be considered by Hyundai to be “severe” are “driving in sandy areas” and “driving in heavy traffic area over 90 degrees Fahrenheit”. A check of the average temperatures at about 1000 feet elevation showed that it gets to a low of 48 degrees in January and a high of 97 degrees in August. Temperatures in the extremes can be as high as 120 degrees to a low of freezing.

Depending on where Mohammed plans on driving his Sonata, he should use 20W-50 in the warmer regions or 5W-30 if he is in the mountains. He may have to change his oil to accommodate the fluctuations in temperature he may experience in his travels depending on the time of year that he is on the road. Although these are multi-viscosity oils their range may not cover the extreme temperatures that can be experienced in this region.

Alldata, an automotive information service, says that the appropriate API classification that Mohammed should look for on his oil is SJ/Sl. Hyundai requires that vehicles used under severe conditions have their oil changed every 3,000 miles of 3 months.

Mohammed also asked what kind of oil filter he should use. Most auto parts retailers offer different grades of filters. It makes sense to use the better grade in an oil filter, since its job is to trap contaminates to keep the oil clean, which is the real reason we change oil regularly in the first place.      

All Car Advice addressed concerns about motor oil in a previous post. In this case, as in any maintenance or repair action which impacts your vehicle’s warranty, you should consider the owner’s manual as the last word.

[Alldata & South Travels]

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