Motor oil comes in many varieties to lubricate and safeguard engine parts. Not only that, but they also help prevent oil leaks, emissions problems and fuel economy issues as well.
These oils consist of base oils and additives such as detergents, corrosion inhibitors, anti-wear additives and friction modifiers. They have been specially formulated to meet specific objectives for your vehicle’s operating conditions.
What is Motor Oil?
Motor oil is a complex combination of base oils and additives that work together to enhance your vehicle’s performance. It’s essential for every car, and should be changed at least once annually in order to keep the engine in top working order.
High-quality motor oils are specifically designed to do several things, such as lubricate and protect engine components, maintain viscosity in varying temperatures and prevent acid build-up. They’ve been created by engineers and chemists with specific purposes in mind.
Conventional and synthetic motor oils are classified using a rating system developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers. This grading system measures each oil’s viscosity at low temperatures as well as its heat protection capacity – both critical factors when starting up an engine.
Another thing is that some engine oils are designed to maximize fuel economy by offering lower viscosity. This is beneficial for the smaller engines that have become popular over the years, which require thinner oils that can move easily through engine paths while protecting essential engine parts.
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Different Types of Motor Oil
Motor oil is a liquid with properties that allow it to flow around engine parts in order to create a lubricating film between them. This lubrication plays an essential role in keeping engine components cool and aiding its efficiency.
Different motor oils are classified based on the characteristics of the base oil used and any additives added. Base oils typically make up 70-95% of lubricant, while additives typically make up 10-30%.
Most motor oil is graded according to its viscosity, a measure of the liquid’s resistance to flow. As temperatures change, so does the viscosity; higher numbers indicate an oil that flows less as temperatures increase or decrease.
Conventional Motor Oil
Conventional motor oil is a widely-used engine oil made from refined crude oil that offers optimal lubrication and engine protection. It comes in various viscosity grades and quality levels. Typically, light-duty late-model vehicles with low to average mileage tend to use conventional oil.
Despite these advantages, it is still essential that you change your conventional oil at recommended intervals as it can become vulnerable to oxidation and lose its lubricating properties in extreme hot or cold temperatures. It also thickens up and fails to reach essential engine parts adequately as temperatures rise, potentially resulting in damage.
High-mileage Motor Oil
Your car, truck or SUV’s engines have likely seen a lot of miles over their lifecycles. The good news is that there are certain oils that can protect these vehicles from developing certain problems associated with age.
High-mileage motor oil is an engine oil designed specifically for older cars and trucks with 75,000 or more miles on the odometer. It contains special additives to address age-related issues like degraded seals and gaskets.
They can help reduce engine wear and restore some compression to the cylinders, improving performance while decreasing oil consumption – saving you money in the long run.
Many high-mileage motor oils contain seal conditioners to keep seals and gaskets from hardening over time, thus reducing oil leakage. Apart from that, these oils contain anti-oxidants which guard against rust, corrosion, and other common engine problems that may develop over time.
High-mileage oils may seem pricey, but they could be worth the investment if your vehicle gets used frequently and its engine is getting older. If unsure whether a particular oil is suitable for your vehicle, consult with your mechanic to make the best selection.
Full-synthetic Motor Oil
Motor oil comes in many varieties, but full-synthetic is the most widely used. This lubricant is created using synthetic base stocks and additives that help the oil degrade without using petroleum products like crude oil.
Comparing to conventional oils, fully-synthetic lubricants offer superior engine protection. This means your car will run longer and perform at higher efficiency levels.
Synthetic oils also contain chemical detergents to clean engines, keeping the oil clear and preventing it from clogging as well.
Synthetic oils tend to cause fewer leaks when compared to other oils due to their smaller molecular size, making them ideal for catching small issues before they turn into bigger problems.
However, it’s essential to use a fully-synthetic motor oil that meets the viscosity grade and engine oil specification specified in your owner’s manual. Doing so could result in excessive engine wear if not used correctly.
Synthetic Blend Motor Oil
Synthetic blend oil is a combination of conventional motor oils and synthetic base stocks. This combination provides for greater protection and performance than either individual component alone.
It is typically recommended to change your synthetic blend oil between 5,000 and 7,500 miles, depending on the brand and your driving habits. This is because synthetic blend oil doesn’t break down as quickly under extreme conditions like some mineral oils do.
Synthetic blend oil is a great option for those who frequently drive in cold temperatures. This helps to prevent clogged engine parts when temperatures are too low for standard oils to flow properly.
Another thing is that if your vehicle has high-performance engines or you drive a lot of miles in an expensive SUV or sedan, synthetic blend oil may be beneficial for the engine.
Conventional mineral oils, on the other hand, are vulnerable to chemical degradation (oxidation) and often don’t perform as well at reducing wear as a quality synthetic blend oil. There is no doubt that, deterioration can occur from various causes such as combustion byproducts, fuel contamination, water/metal particles, acids/pro-oxidants and extreme heat.
Racing Motor Oil
Racing motor oil is a special type of engine oil designed for use in race cars. It has different properties than regular engine oils and is made to withstand the high temperatures, high rotation rates and shock loads that often occur during racing applications.
Racing motor oil’s primary purpose is to protect cylinder walls, piston skirts and cam lobes from damage due to excessive shearing forces when squeezed between piston rings/lifters. These areas are especially vulnerable to damage due to excessive friction from racing.
Race engines typically operate under extreme conditions, including high cylinder pressures and speeds. This can cause the lubricant film between the piston skirt and cylinder wall to scuff or wear.
Racing engine oil manufacturers address this problem by adding anti-wear additives that can withstand the extreme pressures and temperatures in a race engine. These anti-wear ingredients tend to be zinc-based, and come in various formulations from each major additive supplier.
Marine Motor Oil
Marine engine oil is specifically designed to safeguard engines against extreme conditions. It contains more performance additives when compared to other automotive oils in order to withstand the extra strain placed on marine engines that are constantly under load.
This actually helps to protect the crankshaft, bearing journals and individual cylinders in outboard motors from accelerated wear.
Many people assume the lubricant film that coats engine parts during engine operation is sufficient to safeguard these components. Unfortunately, this may not always be the case.
One of the primary issues faced by marine engine oil is rust and corrosion. Aluminum parts can corrode due to moisture in the air, particularly if cylinders are not completely sealed when an engine shuts down.
Marine motor oil is specially formulated with anti-rust and anti-corrosion additives to provide superior protection from rust and corrosion. These substances create a resilient layer that adheres to aluminum engine parts, giving your engine superior shielding against these elements.