What Is The Best Oil For Nissan Sentra?

When selecting oil for your vehicle, you want to be sure to get the brand and weight that is best for its engine. No two weights are the same, and there can also be quite a difference in the quality of the brands you are considering. The oil is the lifeblood of your engine, so you'll need to choose wisely.

If you drive a Nissan Sentra and want to know the best oil, we can help you. We researched this vehicle from multiple professional sources to ensure you are putting the best one in the crankcase.

A newer model Nissan Sentra should use Genuine Nissan 0W-20 motor oil. If this is not available, Nissan approves of using 0W-20 GF-5 SN, a synthetic oil.

Now that we know what oil to use in the Nissan Sentra, we'll look at why using the proper oil is critical to the life and performance of your Sentra's engine. You might also be wondering how long synthetic oil will last in a Sentra's engine or when you should get traditional motor oil changed. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.

Blue 2020 Nissan Sentra sedan at a dealership, What Is The Best Oil For Nissan Sentra?

Why using the correct motor oil is important for safeguarding your engine.

There are too many varieties of internal combustion engines to count. With virtually every automaker using a different engine across many models and trim levels, you can imagine how long the list would be if we mentioned each one. Though all of these engines need oil to operate, they each need to have an oil with the rating it was designed to work with.

This rating boils down to the viscosity of the oil. Viscosity is a fancy way of saying how resistant the oil is to flow. The lower the viscosity, the easier the oil will flow through the engine and its moving parts. The easier, the better, right?

Not in every case. Many engines require oil of higher viscosity. Selecting an oil that doesn't have the viscosity the engine was built for can do great harm to the engine, as well as diminish its performance.

Using an oil with a viscosity that is too high carries serious consequences.

The higher the viscosity, the "thicker" the oil. Though this is great to use in specific engines and some higher mileage vehicles, using a viscosity rated higher than your engine was manufactured for can do some damage.

A higher viscosity rating means the oil must get hotter to flow through the engine. If your engine wasn't built to use this level of resistance, the oil will get a lot hotter than it should and damage moving parts. It can also result in some drag and impact your fuel economy.

But if the viscosity is too low for your engine, you'll also be harming it

Some engines NEED a higher viscosity oil. And for those that do, you won't be doing it any favors if you pour a lower viscosity oil into its crankcase. These oils are much thinner than their counterparts. For engines needing a bit more thickness, using a lower grade oil will make rubbing parts less lubricant. 

This gets the engine hotter than it was built to withstand. The gears and other moving parts won't be able to be effectively lubricated by the oil, creating more friction than necessary. Over time, this will do some costly damage to your engine. But not before impacting its overall performance.

You must always use the right oil for your engine. No matter what you drive, the owner's manual will have the type of oil listed in the maintenance section. Ask a trusted mechanic or the dealership what they suggest when in doubt.

How long does synthetic oil last in a Nissan Sentra?

Though traditional motor oil is preferred for the Nissan Sentra, the automaker okays the use of a synthetic alternative. You might have heard that synthetic oil will last longer than the type we've all used for years. The useful life of this type of oil might surprise you.

If you use synthetic oil, you can expect it to last between 7,500 and 10,000 miles. Though this oil does cost more, it needs to be replaced far less often. The savings will add up when you aren't at your dealership getting an oil change every three months.

By not using as much oil or oil filters in a year, you typically come out financially ahead when using a synthetic brand. It's also better for the environment and is a much cleaner way to keep your Sentra's engine lubricated and performing at its best.

White motor car Nissan Sentra in the city street

How often do I need to change out traditional motor oil?

The frequency of oil changes will vary from model to model when using traditional motor oil. Ideally, most engines that use this type of oil will need a new filter and fresh quarts dumped in every 3,000 miles. Some vehicles have engines that won't need this maintenance for up to 4,000 miles. Consult your owner's manual for your car's specific interval.

Older vehicles tend to need their oil changed out a bit more frequently. This is especially true with higher mileage cars and trucks that might be burning a bit of oil. If you have more than 100,000 miles on your engine, you might also want to consider an oil with a higher viscosity. This can lead to better engine performance.

The moving parts inside an engine will wear a bit over time. The recommended viscosity level of the oil you've used throughout the vehicle's life might not be resistant enough for worn gears. It's a good idea to have a chat with an experienced mechanic about making a change to a higher viscosity oil when your engine miles get into six digits.

Pouring motor oil for motor vehicles from a gray bottle into the engine

How long does a Nissan Sentra last?

A Nissan Sentra will last longer than the average car in its class. A well-maintained Sentra can be expected to be on the road well after it hits the 200,000-mile mark. And many owners report that their vehicles are still being driven after 250,000 miles.

If you drive an average of 15,000 miles yearly, you can expect a Nissan Sentra to last between 13 and 16 years. For a highly rated and affordable car, Sentra is a popular option among consumers who want the most car for their buck. The longer it lasts, the less it costs overall.

For your Sentra to reach these high mileage milestones, it's essential to see that yours gets proper care. Familiarize yourself with the routine maintenance schedule in your owner's manual and follow it strictly. This is the most important thing you can do to ensure that your Sentra is on the road for years to come.

New vehicles at a Nissan Car and SUV Dealership

Is the Nissan Sentra reliable?

Longevity is essential to many vehicle owners. But it's also important to have a car that can be depended upon. If your ride is always in the shop getting repaired, it can impact your wallet. And the inconvenience can also be a real drag.

The Sentra is rated 85 out of 100 in the category of overall reliability by J.D. Power and Associates. This puts it well above average and a leader in its class of affordable compact cars. 

Nissan Sentra on main road

Final thoughts

Blue 2020 Nissan Sentra sedan at a dealership

The Sentra will perform much better if you use the recommended oil that Nissan outlines in the owner's manual. Whether you use traditional motor oil or a synthetic brand, you should have it and the oil filter changed out at recommended intervals. This key piece of routine maintenance will go a long way in keeping your Nissan Sentra on the road for years to come. Drive safe!

We hope this post on the Nissan Sentra answered all of your questions. For additional helpful information, we suggest reading the following automotive posts:

What Should Be My First Car? [Including 10 Cars You May Like]

Dipstick Not Showing Oil But Engine Has Oil – What To Do?

Car Feels Worse After Oil Change – What Could Be Wrong?

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