All about motor oils

Motor oil Tips

There are a huge number of automobile (engine) oils on the automotive market. What are they for and what are their properties? What are the criteria for choosing them? Why is it so important to monitor the level of the lubricant in the power unit? All about motor oils in this article.

What is engine oil and its main properties

engine oil

During the operation of the power unit, its parts undergo considerable friction. Motor oil protects the parts of the engine. It is a chemical substance whose properties allow you to reduce the destructive effects of friction forces. It creates a protective film on metal surfaces and keeps parts from coming into contact with each other. This is the main purpose of motor oils.

It is impossible to study the question of what is engine oil without understanding its main characteristics:

  • composition;
  • viscosity;
  • resistance to chemical, thermal, mechanical factors.

What engine oils are there

Car manufacturers always indicate the right brand. It is important to know the criteria, which are laid down in the classification of these substances. What engine oils are there?

By chemical composition

engine oil

According to this attribute, they are divided into three groups:

  1. Mineral. Composed exclusively of petroleum products. They started the history of motor oils. They are used for low-power engines. They are not in high demand because they quickly start burning, lose viscosity and pollute parts with soot. After 4-5 thousand km run it has to be replaced, so it cannot ensure high engine performance.
  2. Semi-synthetic. They are created on a mineral basis, the share of which is 70%. The rest are synthetic additives. They prevent metal corrosion, prevent premature engine wear. Semisynthetics are more resistant to high temperatures. One oil change provides mileage of up to 8,000 km. The demand for them is always high.
  3. Synthetic. Widely used in modern car brands. These substances are the product of organic synthesis. This technology makes it possible to obtain motor oils with unique properties:
  • increased performance;
  • the ability to increase engine life; 
  • stability in all climatic conditions.

According to the engine type

engine oil

According to this feature machine oils can be:

  • gasoline;
  • diesel;
  • turbocharged.

This classification corresponds to the American Petroleum Institute (API) international standard. The letter S in the marking indicates that the oil can be used for gasoline engines, and C for diesel engines. The second letter indicates the year of manufacture of the vehicle. Modern motor oils for new diesel models are marked with both letters and numbers.

For example, SN oil is designed for modern gasoline engines that are equipped with exhaust treatment systems, CI-4 plus – for ultramodern diesel units.

API standard is not the only one. Classification of the Association des Constructeurs Europeen des Automobiles (ACEA) divides automotive oils into 12 classes and 3 categories according to the type of engine:

  • A/B – for gasoline engines, diesel engines;
  • C – for diesel, gasoline engines with exhaust gas catalyst;
  • E – diesel engines, which are exposed to significant loads.

By viscosity and seasonality

These specifications comply with the international standard of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Engine oils are developed taking into account the ambient temperature, i.e. for a certain season:

  • summer;
  • winter;
  • universal.

“Winter” compositions are marked with the letter W (winter in English). The number next to it characterizes the viscosity of the substance or its viscosity – 5, 10, 15. This is the permissible temperature below zero, in which the substance retains its properties.

Summertime formulations are marked with numbers only. 30, 40, 50. They denote the maximum permissible plus point. Summer oils cannot be used in winter and vice versa. If this rule is not observed, the car will simply “refuse” to drive.

Regardless of the season, it is possible to use universal oil compositions. To the question “All about auto oils” – what labeling corresponds to all-season compositions? The answer is simple – a combination of “summer” and “winter”. For example, 10w40 or 5w30.

Properties of an engine oil

engine oil

The performance, the service life of the power unit directly depends on the quality of the motor oil. It is a composition with specific properties:

  • stability when exposed to high and low temperatures;
  • reduction of friction force and effective prevention of wear;
  • neutralization of acid, which is formed as a result of interaction with combustion products;
  • resistance to foaming;
  • compatibility with sealing materials;
  • anticorrosive and detergent;
  • durability and economy.

That is why domestic producers of motor oils produce in accordance with GOST and international standards. Parameters of motor oils are strictly controlled.

Objective information about the quality of the oil is given by bench (laboratory) and operational (real) tests. 

What engine oil to buy: TOP 5

Coverage of the question “All about engine oils” will be incomplete without the name of brands, the quality of products which have been proven by many years of use. The top 5 include:

  • Mobil;
  • Shell;
  • Liqui Moly;
  • Castrol;
  • Lukoil.

Undoubtedly, there are many more companies on the market. The properties of the engine oil they produce meet the requirements. Each country has its own leader on the domestic market.                  

The question “All about oils” implies an in-depth analysis of information and a conscious choice of a lubricant that corresponds to the design features of the engine, the car brand and its age, the operating conditions

It is your right to know everything about the auto oils you are planning to buy. Bravely ask questions to the seller, read labels and make the right choice!

Rate article
Automotive portal AVTO-BLOG
Add a comment