Things to consider when choosing an Engine Oil
Engine oil is the most essential fluid in your vehicle. It decreases friction, lubricates engine components, and lessens wear and tear. Additionally, it possesses significant cooling and detergent qualities. Given all the options for motor oil options out there, choosing the right oil for your car might seem like a daunting task. In this article we will explain 3 most important factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing an engine oil.
TYPE OF OIL
There are three bases of oil available: Synthetic, Semi-synthetic and Mineral.
Synthetic oils are refined, distilled and broken down into basic molecules. This cleaning process removes impurities and allows the oil to adapt to modern engines. Semi-synthetic oils are mixed oils with a synthetic base of 30% or less. Synthetic oils are generally less frictional, more stable, and often last longer than non-synthetic oils.
Mineral motor oil, on the other hand, is a lubricant developed directly from crude oil. It has excellent properties that can maintain high temperature lubrication and long-term stability. In fact, synthetic oils begin their life as traditional oils and are subsequently modified to improve protection and lubrication properties.
The viscosity of an oil is measured by its resistance to flow. There are two numbers that define viscosity meaning. The first number precedes the letter 'W' which stands for Winter. This measurement is related to how an oil flows when it is cold, such as at engine start-up.
The second number is defined by how an oil flows at normal engine operating temperatures. The smaller the number, the better it will flow. A 5W-30 will flow easier than a 10W-30 at start-up temperatures and a 10W-30 will flow more easily than a 10W-40 at normal engine operating temperatures.
Engine oil viscosity is important. Engine oils naturally thicken as they cool and thin as they are heated. Thin, low viscosity oils give better protection to engine parts at cold temperatures. Thick, high viscosity oils are typically better at maintaining film strength to protect engines at high temperatures.
THE OIL STANDARDS
The ACEA Oil Standard - European Automobile Manufacturers Association
The ACEA Oil Standard makes use of a letter and a number to determine the quality. For example, A1, B3, etc. The letters are used to symbolize the engine type where the number shows the performance of the oi. The greater the number, the higher the performance.
The letters indicate the following:
A – is for petrol engines
B – is for diesel engines in personal cars
C – is for light engines designed with catalytic converters or particulate filters
E – is for commercial trucks & vehicles
SAE Oil standard – Society of Automotive Engineers
The SAE oil standard is used to represent the oil’s viscosity. You may have noticed that many of these engine oil containers have a mark somewhat in this format – XXWXX. The number to the left of W indicates it’s low-temperature viscosity, while the number of the right symbolises high-temperature performance.
API Oil Standard – American Petroleum Institute
The API oil standard is used to determine the engine oil based on their many qualities including their protection against wear & tear, oxidation, corrosion, dispersive & detergent powers, etc. It makes use of two letters S & C, with S indicating petrol engines while C is for diesel engines. The second letter is then used to determine the performance, and further along with the letter, the higher the quality of the oil.