Everything you need to know about motor oil

Everything you need to know about motor oil

The oil in our engine is a lubricant. That is, a substance that placed between two moving parts forms a film that prevents its contact. In this way, it allows its movement without being worn by rubbing. Engine oils are designed to perform this task at high temperatures and pressures without degrading.

However, oil does not only have the function of Avoid wear and corrosion. It also cleans and cools the parts, in addition to acting as sealant between the pistons and liners , helping to prevent compression leaks. Therefore, it is important to use the correct type of lubricant, to avoid problems in the operation of the engine.

Why oil is consumed

It is normal to have oil consumption during life Useful of the engine. This is because it lubricates very critical parts, such as pistons or valves. Which means that part is very close or practically inside the combustion chamber . The lubricating film that enters burns in the process of burning the fuel, and when this happens in excess, the smoke of our car will have a bluish color.

Motor vehicles tend to consume more oil the older they are . Over time, the clearances of the parts are larger causing that extra lubricant expense. It also consumes more oil if the engine is revolutionized . Since the faster the engine rotates the more explosions it performs, with the consequent burning of oil in each one of them.

Brands of engine oil

Why oil gets black

The black color of oil does not indicate that it is in poor condition . The cleaning of the internal organs of the engine is one of the functions of the lubricant. In the combustion process of the engine soot, lacquer and other impurities are generated. The oil picks up this dirt and changes color. However, it has a maximum tolerance. If it is not changed at the time indicated by the manufacturer, the oil will lose effectiveness due to having too much dirt in suspension. Also keep in mind that diesel engines blacken oil more than gasoline.

What the oil numbers mean

You will notice that the engine oil always comes with a code , such as: 5W40, 10W40, 5W30 ... These numbers refer to the hot and cold oil viscosity . The higher the number, the more viscous the oil will be and the lower, the more fluid it will be.

The first number tells us the viscosity of the cold oil. So, if we are going to start the car at very low temperatures, it will be better to have a small number such as 5W. The second number determines the viscosity of the oil at 100 °, which is approximately the temperature at which it usually operates. The W that separates both figures means 'winter' in English and refers only to the first one.

The most suitable viscosity is which is recommended by the vehicle manufacturer . Depending on the design of the engine and the clearances in its parts, it will require one type of oil or another. Although it may vary slightly depending on weather conditions and the use that will be given.But the resulting viscosity will not be optimal.

SAE classification of oils

Both the number that goes ahead of the W as the one that follows, follow the viscosity classification of the Society of Automotive Engineers , or for its acronym in English: SAE . Although it is usually ignored in the front of the containers, you will see these letters in monograde oils, which only have a number: SAE30, SAE40, etc.

Mineral or synthetic motor oil

Mineral and synthetic oils differ in the first place by the way of obtaining . The minerals are obtained from the distillation of crude oil, while the synthetic ones are created by other chemical processes carried out in a factory, although they also use petroleum components. Regarding your properties :

  • Durability : as a rule, synthetic oil lasts longer than ore. Approximately twice as much.
  • Price : mineral oil is cheaper than synthetic oil because the process of obtaining it is simpler.
  • Engine compatibility : mineral oil is often used in older engines (until the early 1990s). Synthetics are used in modern engines.
  • Versatility of use : Synthetic oils maintain their properties over a longer temperature range. That is, they work better in both cold and hot. Minerals have a variety of lower temperatures suitable for operation.

All oils on the market (gasoline or diesel engine, mineral or synthetic) can be mixed together

strong>. The only drawback is that by doing so, the quality of the better of the two is lowered. So you should change it when the time comes when it has less durability.

When to change the oil

 Car oil filter

The interval for the oil change is determined by the manufacturer again It is given based on two parameters: the mileage and the time of use. In urban driving, with frequent starts and stops, it may be advisable to reduce the time between oil changes.

In any case, it is a good practice to consult in the workshop what types of oil we can use. If the period between oil changes is long, we must also replace the filter (image above). If not, we can change the filter every two oil changes. Although in these cases it is also recommended to follow the indications of the brand .

If you want to know more about the oil of the your car's engine, check out how to change it along with the filter yourself. This will save you a lot of money in the workforce of the workshop. You may be interested