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5 Things You Might Not Know About Engine Oil

Conventional oil or synthetic oil, which is best? When should I change engine oil? If these questions are haunting your mind, then this article is a must read for you to get to know about six things that you might not have known before about engine oil:

Alphanumeric rating

Many times you may have wondered what alphanumeric rating is in case of engine oil. So you need to know that that rating of oil is done on the basis of hot and cold viscosity of the oil. This rating helps in determining how well the oil will respond in cold climates and hot climate based on cold start-ups and thickness of oil at higher temperatures respectively. The very first number that you see on the rating is the cold rating and is attached to the alphabet ‘W.’ Here the lower the number for cold rating, the better will the performance be of the oil at cold temperatures. The second number in the rating shows the oil viscosity that is tested in a running engine. This number is preferred to be high on the count if you want to use the oil for heavy duty engines as the oil will be thick in nature and will offer better protection specially when operating at high temperatures.

The function of engine oil

Engine oil is used for lubrication of internal combustion engines. The main function of engine oil is to reduce friction and wear on moving parts and to clean the engine from sludge (one of the functions of dispersants) and varnish (using detergents). Engine oil may also serve as a cooling agent. In some constructions, oil is sprayed through a nozzle inside the crankcase onto the piston to provide cooling of specific parts that undergo high-temperature strain.

Comparison of mineral oil and synthetic oil

Mineral base oils are simply the base oil that is directly refined from crude oil using distillation hydro treatment and dehydration whereas synthetic base oils are derived by using chemical synthesis and treatment of chemicals such as olefins and esters. Synthetic base oils provide superior anti-oxidant and anti-corrosion functionality. The synthetic oil molecules are uniform in nature and deliver a higher range of protection. Mineral base oils may be cheap in comparison to the synthetic ones, but synthetic base oils have proven to be more beneficial over the conventional base oil and are free from impurities which provides additional benefits and superior protection.

Metal addition triggers a reduction in friction 

This may sound a bit tricky, but yes it is rightly said that on the addition of some metals to the oil, friction comparatively reduces down. Just for an example, let’s take the addition of Molybdenumto the engine oil. Addition of Molybdenum helps in bonding to the metallic parts ensuring a protection layer that prevents any wear and tear while reducing friction when you start your engine the next time. 

Testing the engine oil

Usually, lubricant manufacturers can test the oil in their laboratories or they can provide you with the contact numbers of proper entities who can test the engine oil for you. Testing the engine oil gives a clear picture of the amount of soot present, contaminants, anti-freeze contamination and a lot more. This will help you in determining how early you will need to change the oil. Changing of oil filters and oil may depend on various factors and may cause engine damage if not replaced at the right time so do consider going for an oil check frequent enough to save your vehicle from deteriorating.

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