Why it Matters
oil actually do?
Dip Stick Oil
Filler Cap Oil
Choosing The Right
Oil for Your Vehicle
Oil Do I Choose?
are there different weights of motor oil?
What about own-brands?
Why So Many Oils?
the difference between synthetic and regular motor oil?
Synthetic Oil Synthetic
Blend Oil Higher
Mileage Oil Viscosity
I use an oil additiveServicing and checking
image above shows the route taken by the oil within an engine.
draws oil from the oil
then forces it through the filter,
into the crankshaft passage,
through the connecting
to the pistons
Oil is pushed through the lifters and pushrods,
and covers the rocker arms.
flows back down into the pan to complete the cycle.
Keeping your engine
properly lubricated reduces friction, heat buildup, and wear.
This means that good
engine lubrication maintenance will help your engine run
better and last longer.
price do you put on the oil in your car's sump?
all, it is the lifeblood of your car's engine.
really the lifeblood of an engine?
a long-popular analogy, but it's really not an accurate description.
Blood carries nutrients to cells, but it's air that carries fuel -
the "nutrition" - for an engine.
without oil to lubricate and cool moving parts, keep them clean and
help to seal the pistons in the cylinders, the engine would run for
only a matter of seconds . . .
yes, oil is important.
the mid-80's to mid-90's there was a mini revolution in car engine
oil. All oils are no longer the same. Thanks to the increased
popularity of sporty GTi's, 16 valve engines and turbos,
days of one oil catering for everyone are over.
Castrol for example. They led the field for years with GTX. This was
surpassed a few years back by semi-synthetic and fully synthetic
oils, including GTX2 and GTX3 Lightec. Now, that's been surpassed by
Formula SLX. And most recently, Castrol GTX Magnatec which is
muscling in on the hitherto separate world of friction reducers.
discuss them later, 1n the additives
does oil actually do?
engine oil's job is primarily to stop all the metal surfaces in your
engine from grinding together and tearing themselves apart
that's the last thing we'want!).
it has to dissipate the heat generated from this friction also.
It also transfers heat away from the combustion cycle. Another
function is that a good engine oil must be able to hold in suspension
the nasty by-products of fuel combustion, such as silica (silicon oxide)
and acids, while also cleaning the engine of such mean,ugly, nasty things.
must do all of these things under tremendous heat and pressure
without succumbing to fatigue
ultimate engine destroyer.
The primary functions of
oil are listed below:
1. Provide a barrier
between moving parts to reduce friction, heat buildup, and wear.
2. Disperse heat. Friction
from moving parts and combustion of fuel produce heat that must be
3. Absorb and suspend dirt
and other particles. Dirt and carbon particles need to be carried by
the oil to the oil filter where they can be trapped.
4. Neutralize acids that
can build up and destroy polished metal surfaces.
5. Coat all engine parts.
Oil should have the ability to leave a protective coating on all
parts when the engine is turned off to prevent rust and corrosion.
6. Resist sludge and
varnish buildup. Oil must be able to endure extreme heat without
changing in physical properties or breaking down.
7. Stay fluid in cold
weather; yet remain thick enough to offer engine protection in hot weather.
a good habit to keep engine running at idle for few minutes after it
rev the engine.
it idle allows the oil to flow all over the moving parts before any
load is placed on the engine. Remember, the maximum wear and tear of
the engine takes place when it is started for the first time of the day.
oil pump is mounted at the bottom of the engine in the oil pan
is connected by a gear to either the crankshaft or the
camshaft. This way, when the engine is turning, the oil pump is pumping.
is an oil pressure sensor near the oil pump that monitors pressure
and sends this information to a warning light or a gauge on the
dashboard. When you turn the ignition key on, but before you start
the car, the oil light should light, indicating that there is no oil
pressure yet, but also letting you know that the warning system is
working. As soon as you start cranking the engine to start it,
the light should go out indicating that there is oil pressure.
if It Does Not Go Off?
pump is used to force pressurized oil to the various parts of the engine.
and rotary pumps are the most common types of pumps. The gear pump
consists of a driven spur gear and a driving gear that is attached to
a shaft driven by the camshaft. The two gears are the same size and
fit snugly in the pump body. Oil is carried from the inlet to the
delivery side of the pump by the opposite teeth of both gears. Here
it is forced into the delivery pipe. It can't flow back, because the
space between the meshing gear teeth is too tight.
rotary pump is driven by the camshaft. The inner rotor is shaped like
a cross with rounded points that fit into the star shape of the outer
rotor. The inner rotor is driven by a shaft turned by the camshaft.
When it turns, its rounded points "walk" around the star
shaped outer rotor and force the oil out to the delivery pipe.
seals are rubber and metal composite items. They are generally
mounted at the end of shafts. They are used to keep fluids, such as
oil, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid inside the object
they are sealing. These seals flex to hold a tight fit around the
shaft that comes out of the housing, and don't allow any fluid to
pass. Oil seals are common points of leakage and can usually be
replaced fairly inexpensively. However, the placement of some seals
make them very difficult to access, which makes for a hefty labor charge!
Oil Dip Stick
engine oil dip stick is a long metal rod that goes into the oil sump.
purpose of the dip stick is to
how much oil is in the engine.
stick is held in a tube; the end of the tube extends into the oil
sump. It has measurement markings on it. If you pull it out, you can
see whether you have enough oil, or whether you need more by the
level of oil on the markings.
to correctly find the dipstick and what it's markings mean
filler cap is a plastic or metal cap that covers an opening into the
valve cover. It allows you to add
when the dipstick indicates that you need it. Some cars have the
crankcase vented through the filler cap. Oil which is added through
the filler passes down through openings in the head into the oil sump
at the bottom of the engine.
to locate the Oil Fill Cap
filters are placed in the engine's oil system to strain dirt and
abrasive materials out of the oil.
filter cannot remove things that dilute the oil, such as gasoline and
acids. Removing the solid material does help cut down on the
possibility of acids forming. Removing the "grit" reduces
the wear on the engine parts.
passenger car engines use the "full flow" type of oil
filters. With this type of filter, all of the oil passes through the
filter before it reaches the engine bearings. If a filter becomes
clogged, a bypass valve allows oil to continue to reach the bearings.
The most common type of oil filter is a cartridge type. Oil filters
are disposable; at prescribed intervals, this filter is removed,
replaced and thrown away.
TO CHANGE YOUR OIL FILTER
states now require that oil filters be drained completely before
disposal, which adds to the cost of an oil change, but helps to
the engine is a variety of pathways for oil to be sent to moving
parts. These pathways are designed to deliver the same pressure of
fresh lubricating oil to all parts. If the pathways become clogged,
the affected parts will lock together. This usually destroys parts
that are not lubricated, and often ruins the entire engine.
passages are cleverly drilled into the connecting parts of the
engine, which allows the highly mobile ones (like the pistons)
to have ample lubrication. Originating at the oil pump, they flow
through all of the major components of the engine. In the case of the
pistons and rods, the passages are designed to open each time the
holes in the crankshaft and rods align.
bottom of the crankcase is the container containing the lifeblood of
the engine. Usually constructed of thin steel, it collects the oil as
it flows down from the sides of the crankcase. The pan is shaped into
a deeper section, where the oil pump is located. At the bottom of the
pan is the drain plug, which is used to drain the oil. The plug is
often made with a magnet in it, which collects metal fragments from
The Right Oil for Your Vehicle
people don't know how to select motor oil that will help them get
optimum performance out of their car.
people often simply select the oil their father used, others may take
the suggestion of a counter person at an auto parts store who may not
know any more about cars than you do
majority of others simply grab any ol' quart(s) of oil on the shelf
without thinking or knowing any better.
are meaningful differences in motor oils and choosing the right one
can have a major impact on how well your car runs. Selecting the
right oil is often the quickest and cheapest way to improve your
car's performance and reliability.
Oil Do I Choose?
One is Better?
type of oil
by the vehicle manufacturer
your owner's manual.
company that built your car wants it to run reliably for hundreds of
thousands of miles. Therefore, the carmaker is going to recommend the
kind of oil that is best for its engine.
not going to save money by using an off-brand oil because your engine
will wear out sooner. Use oil that meets the American Pertroleum
Institute (API) classification SL. .
are changing your oil just before winter, use SAE 10W30 weight oil.
This number means the oil will have a thin 10 weight viscosity when
the engine is cold, helping the engine to start easier, and then the
oil will thicken to 30 weight viscosity when the engine warms up,
protecting the engine better. If you are changing oil just before
summer, use SAE 10W40 weight oil. The extra 40 weight viscosity will
protect your engine better when it's hot.
need oil that is thin enough for cold starts and thick enough when
the engine is hot. Since oil gets thinner when heated, and thicker
when cooled, most of us use what are called multi-grade, or
multi-viscosity oils. These oils meet SAE specifications for the low
temperature requirements of a light oil and the high temperature
requirements of a heavy oil. You will hear them referred to as
multi-viscosity, all-season and all-weather oils. An example is
a 10W-30 which is commonly found in stores. When choosing oil,
always follow the manufacturer's recommendation.
most passenger car and light truck gasoline engines today,
any oil that meets the American Petroleum Institutes "API" rating.
It doesn't matter what sort of fancy marketing goes into an engine
oil, how many naked babes smear it all over their bodies, how bright
and colourful the packaging is,
it's what's written on the packaging which counts.
Specifications and approvals are everything.
The API (American Petroleum Institute) an established
testing body, will have their stamp of approval to be seen on the
side of every reputable can or bottle of engine oil.
Grade counts too!
The API/ACEA ratings only refer to an oil's quality.
For grade, you need to look at the SAE (Society of
Automotive Engineers) ratings. These describe the oil's function and
viscosity standard. Viscosity means the substance and clinging
properties of the lubricant.
Motor oil is classified in two
ways by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and by the
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The API created and
maintains a series of "service classifications" for motor
oil, based on the oil's performance in certain types of engines. The
API service classification is listed on each container of motor oil,
and it's easy to match it to the recommendations in your owner's manual.
Service Classifications: Briefly, the API service
classifications are a 2-letter rating, beginning with the letter
"S" or the letter "C" and followed by a letter
from "A" through "J." "S" stands for
"service" and designates an oil primarily for gasoline
engines. "C" stands for "commercial" and
indicates an oil for diesel engines. Many oils meet the requirements
of both series and have a dual service classification, such as SH/CD.
The service classification rating
system began in the early 1970s. The earliest S-classification oils
were SA, SB, SC, and SD. You can think of the successive second
letters-A, B, C, D, and so on-as indicating increasingly higher
quality. In fact, each successive service classification has been an
improvement on previous classifications and exceeds the earlier
performance requirements. Although some low-cost oils rated SA or SB
can still be found in some stores, service classifications SA through
SF are no longer recommended for use by most vehicle manufacturers.
SG, SH, and SJ oils can be used in older engines and should be used
in all late-model engines because they lubricate and protect better
under all operating conditions. The SJ classification is recommended
for 1996 and newer gasoline engines and can be used in any earlier engine.
The older API diesel service
classifications, CA and CB, are obsolete, as are the older
S-classification oils. The CC and CD classifications are still
current, but most late-model diesel engines use the newer CF-4 or
The API also classifies some oils
as "energy conserving," which indicates that the oil
reduces friction enough to improve fuel economy by at least 1.5
percent. If the oil reduces fuel consumption by 2.7 percent, it may
be called "energy conserving II."
Viscosity Ratings: Viscosity
refers to how "thick" or "thin" a liquid is, or
how easily it pours.
Viscosity also is commonly
referred to as "weight," as in a light-weight or
heavy-weight oil. Viscosity is really a bit more complicated than
simply "thick" or "thin" or "weight,"
but the Society of Automotive Engineers has organized viscosity
ratings in a series of numbers that is easy to understand.
Oil viscosity is affected by
temperature. A heavy oil that stays relatively thick at high
temperatures would have a high-viscosity rating of 30, 40, or 50. A
thin oil that flows freely at low temperatures would have a lower
number. Because temperature affects how well any liquid flows, motor
oil viscosity is rated at both high and low temperatures. The lower
viscosity numbers of 20, 15, 10, and 5 are accompanied by a
"W" for "winter." Some motor oils today have a
single viscosity rating, such as SAE 30, but many are designed to
work in a wide range of temperatures. Such oils have a dual viscosity
rating, such as 5W-20 or 15W-30.
When an oil is cold its viscosity
increases, and it does not flow easily. If you use high-viscosity oil
in low-temperature weather, heavily loaded engine parts will not
receive oil until the engine warms and the oil thins. Hot oil, on the
other hand, is thin and flows easily. Low-viscosity oil in an engine
running at very high temperature may break down and allow moving
parts to rub against each other. This can cause rapid engine wear and
possible damage. Today, most carmakers recommend multiviscosity oils
such as 5W-30 and 10W-30. Check your owner's manual to see what's
recommended for your car.
Very few manufactures recommend
10W-40 any more, and some threaten to void warranties if it is
used. 20W-50 is the same 30 point spread, but because it starts
with a heavier base it requires less viscosity index improvers
(polymers) to do the job.
Follow your manufacturer's
recommendations as to which weights are appropriate for your vehicle.
Modern metallurgy allows engineers
to build engines with tighter clearances between moving parts than
was possible in the past. These modern engine designs offer improved
fuel economy, emission control, and performance, but they require
motor oil that provides immediate lubrication to close-tolerance
parts. High-viscosity oil may delay critical lubrication right after
startup, even in hot weather. This can lead to premature engine wear
and reduced operating efficiency. The best advice for selecting a
motor oil that is right for your car is to follow the manufacturer's
recommendations for the general climate in which you drive.
A new motor oil rating system was introduced in 1993 by the
International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee
(ILSAC). Oils that meet the ILSAC standards for gasoline engines in
cars and light trucks may display the ILSAC starburst symbol on the
container. The ILSAC starburst does not replace API and SAE ratings.
It is intended to help car owners select oil that meets all of the
operating requirements for vehicles built since 1993. Many owners'
manuals for 1993 and later cars and light trucks list the ILSAC
starburst symbol along with the recommended API and SAE ratings.
are there different weights of motor oil?
(And which one is right for
Monograde oils (SAE 30,
Multigrade oils (5w20,
5w30, 10w40, etc.)
Have you ever wondered what
all the letters and numbers on an oil bottle mean? They stand for
different oil weights. For example, a bottle that reads
"SAE30W", assures that the oil conforms to the SAE's (Society
of Automotive Engineers) oil weight or viscosity standards. The
"30W" represents the oil weight, and the lower the number,
the thinner the oil. Use low numbers in cold weather, higher numbers
in warm climates.
meeting the SAE's low temperature requirements have a "W"
after the viscosity rating (example: 10W), and oils that meet the
high ratings have no letter (example SAE 30).
You can buy oils in single
grades for warm or cold weather driving. However, most people prefer
multigrades which suit your car during all seasons.
Multi-viscosity grades (for
example, SAE 10W-30) will provide a wider range of use and
permit you to drive from one climate extreme to another. They are
also insurance against sudden temperature change in your own area.
At cold temperatures, the polymers are coiled up and
allow the oil to flow as their low numbers indicate. As the oil warms
up, the polymers begin to unwind into long chains that prevent the
oil from thinning as much as it normally would. The result is that at
100 degrees C, the oil has thinned only as much as the higher
viscosity number indicates. Another way of looking at multi-vis oils
is to think of a 20W-50 as a 20 weight oil that will not thin more
than a 50 weight would when hot.
It is important to use the
correct motor oil weight to reduce wear on your engine. The optimum
oil weight for your car depends on the climate you live in, your
vehicle manufacturer's recommendations, your driving conditions and
the maximum fuel economy you want out of your car
(the lower the weight of
the oil, the greater the fuel efficiency).
You can determine the
best oil weight for your vehicle
checking your owner's manual.
Choosing the right oil for
your vehicle is easy.
Just ask yourself the
kind of oil does your owner's manual recommend? Is your vehicle
still under warranty? Be sure to use whatever weight of
oil the owner's manual recommends; the manufacturer knows what's best
for each vehicle it produces. Using something other than the
recommended oil may invalidate the warranty on a new vehicle.
kind of oil have you been using? If you have an old
vehicle that's been running on single-weight oil for most of its
life, it's built up quite a bit of sludge because some single-weight
oils don't have detergent in them. If you suddenly switch to a
multi-viscosity oil, the detergent in it will free all that gook in
your engine, and the gook will start to slosh around and really foul
things up. It's better to let sleeping gook lie unless you want to
invest in having your engine cleaned. The engine would have to be
taken apart and put back together again, and you could start trouble
where none existed before. If your car is running well, don't switch
to another oil. Stick with the same old stuff you've been using.
old is the oil in your car? How many miles have you driven it?
If your car has been logging a great many miles and has been running
on 30- or 40-weight oil, multi-weight oil is not going to be
consistently thick enough to lubricate the worn engine parts, which
have become smaller while wearing down, leaving wider spaces between
them. To keep the oil thick enough to fill these gaps, switch to
heavier single-weight oil as your car gets older and starts to run
more roughly or to burn up oil more quickly. If you've been running
on 30-weight oil, switch to 40-weight, at least during the summer,
when oil tends to thin out.
you live where it's very cold? Hot? Is it mountainous? Are there
sharp changes in temperature where you live or where you're going?
Multi-weight oils cover a range of temperatures. Consult a viscosity
chart to be sure that the oil you use will flow properly under
Whenever you buy oil, look
for major brands, such as Pennzoil, Quaker State, and Valvoline, or
check Consumer Reports. Good brands of oil are often on sale in
supermarkets and at auto supply stores, so if you want to save money
and you spot a sale, buy a case and stash it away.
If I buy it now, how long
can I keep if before I use it?"
In general, liquid lubricants (ie.
oils, not greases) will remain intact for a number of years. The
main factor affecting the life of the oil is the storage condition
for the products.
Exposure to extreme
temperature changes, and moisture will reduce the shelf life of the lubricants.
- for example: don't leave in
the sun with the lid off. Best to keep them sealed and unopened.
Technically, engine oils have
shelf lives of four to five years. However, as years pass, unused
engine oils can become obsolete and fail to meet the technical
requirements of current engines. The specs get updated regularly
based on new scientific testing procedures and engine requirements.
But this is only really a concern if you've bought a brand new car
but have engine oil you bought for the previous car. An oil that is a
number of years old might not be formulated to meet the requirements
set for your newer engine.
The following are signs of storage instability in a lubricant:
Water contamination in a lubricant can be detected by a
"milky" appearance of the product.
What about own-brands?
If you can't afford the
big-name players such
as Pennzoil, Quaker State, and Valvoline,
you could look at own-brand oils. These are usually badged oils from
one of those larger companies but sold without the name, they are cheaper.
Check the standards and
grade ratings on the pack first!!!
And just make sure it isn't
a 20W/50 oil (which a lot are because it's cheap)
unless your car is old enough to warrant it.
No matter how crazy about
recycling you are, NEVER
put recycled oil in your
You don't know where that
stuff has been.
So Many Oils?
Look on the shelves in auto
parts stores and you'll see oils labeled for all kinds of specific
purposes: high-tech engines, new cars, higher-mileage vehicles,
heavy-duty/off-road SUVs. In addition, you'll see a wide selection of
viscosities. If you read your owner's manual, you'll know what the
car manufacturer recommends for a brand-new vehicle. The manual may
include a reference to Energy Conserving oils, which simply means
that the oil has passed a lab test against a reference oil. It's no
guarantee of better fuel economy, but most of the leading brands have
at least some viscosities that are so labeled. Let's take a look at
the different types.
is the difference between
and regular motor oil?
The first difference is the
source. Regular oil is prepared from the separation of the components
in crude oil. Synthetic oil is manufactured in a chemical plant.
Many synthetic oils are
silicon based polymers rather than carbon based. Silicon has similar
properties to carbon in these systems, but sometimes provide better
properties at high temperatures such as in a car. Silicone is used on
many substitutes for carbon such as in glues, caulks and gaskets.
Both methods take energy to
give the final product. Synthetics are probably more expensive based
on the cost of the raw materials. Crude oil is cheap. Also note that
regular motor oil can have synthetic components added. The term
synthetic is used when the major component is synthetic.
This is the standard
new-car oil. All leading brands have one for service level SL,
available in several viscosities. The carmakers usually specify a
5W-20 or 5W-30 oil, particularly for lower temperatures, with a
10W-30 oil as optional, particularly for higher ambient temperatures.
These three ratings cover just about every light-duty vehicle on the
road. Even more important, though, is changing the oil and filter
regularly. A 4000 miles/4 months interval is good practice. The
absolute minimum is twice a year. If your car has an electronic
oil-change indicator on the instrument cluster, don't exceed its warning.
The oils made for
high-tech engines, whether in a Chevy Corvette or Mercedes-Benz, are
full synthetics. If these oils pass stringent special tests
(indicated by their labeling), it means they have superior,
longer-lasting performance in all the critical areas, from viscosity
index to protection against deposits. They flow better at low
temperatures and maintain peak lubricity at high temperatures. So why
shouldn't everyone use them? Answer: These oils are expensive and not
every engine needs them. In fact, there may be some features that
your car's engine needs that the synthetics don't have. Again, follow
your owner's manual.
These have a dose of
synthetic oil mixed with organic oil, and overall are formulated to
provide protection for somewhat heavier loads and high temperatures.
This generally means they're less volatile, so they evaporate far
less, which reduces oil loss (and increases fuel economy). They're
popular with drivers of pickups/SUVs who want the high-load
protection. And they're a lot less expensive than full synthetics,
maybe just pennies more than a premium conventional oil.
Today's vehicles last
longer, and if you like the idea of paying off the car and running
the mileage well into six figures, you have another oil choice, those
formulated for higher-mileage vehicles. Almost two-thirds of the
vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer. So
the oil refiners have identified this as an area of customer
interest, and have new oils they're recommending for these vehicles.
When your car or light
truck/SUV is somewhat older and has considerably more mileage, you
may notice a few oil stains on the garage floor. It's about this time
that you need to add a quart more often than when the vehicle was
new. Crankshaft seals may have hardened and lost their flexibility,
so they leak (particularly at low temperatures) and may crack. The
higher-mileage oils are formulated with seal conditioners that flow
into the pores of the seals to restore their shape and increase their
flexibility. In most cases, rubber seals are designed to swell just
enough to stop leaks. But the oil refiners pick their
"reswelling" ingredients carefully. Valvoline showed us the
performance data of one good seal conditioner that swelled most seal
materials, but actually reduced swelling of one type that tended to
swell excessively from the ingredients found in some other engine oils.
You also may have noticed
some loss of performance and engine smoothness as a result of engine
wear on your higher-mileage vehicle. These higher-mileage oils also
have somewhat higher viscosities.
(Even if the
numbers on the container don't indicate it, there's a fairly wide
range for each viscosity rating and the higher-mileage oils sit at
the top of each range.)
They also may have more
viscosity-index improvers in them. The result? They seal
piston-to-cylinder clearances better, and won't squeeze out as
readily from the larger engine bearing clearances. They also may have
a higher dose of antiwear additives to try to slow the wear process.
If you have an older
vehicle, all of these features may mean more to you than what you
might get from a full synthetic, and at a fraction the price.
Beyond that, there's plenty
more to the oil story.
Resistance to thinning with
increasing temperature is called viscosity index. And although a
higher second number is good, the oil also has to be robust. That is,
it must be able to last for thousands of miles until the next oil
change. For example, oil tends to lose viscosity from shear, the
sliding motion between close-fitted metal surfaces of moving parts
such as bearings. So resistance to viscosity loss (shear stability)
is necessary to enable the oil to maintain the lubricating film
between those parts.
Unlike antifreeze, 95
percent of which is made up of one base chemical (typically
ethylene glycol), petroleum-type engine oil contains a mixture of
several different types of base oil, some more expensive than others.
Oil companies typically pick from a selection of five groups, each of
which is produced in a different way and in different viscosities.
The more expensive groups are more highly processed, in some cases
with methods that produce a lubricant that can be classified as a
synthetic. The so-called full synthetics contain chemicals that may
be derived from petroleum but they're altered so much that they're
not considered natural oil anymore. Our custom blend contained 10
percent polyalphaolefins (PAO), the type of chemical that's often the
primary ingredient in a full synthetic.
The base oil package in any
oil makes up anywhere from 70 to 95 percent of the mix, the rest
comprised of additives. Does that mean an oil with just 70 percent
base oils is better than one with 95 percent. No, because some of the
base oils have natural characteristics or ones that derive from their
processing, which reduces or eliminates the need for additives. And
although some additives make important contributions to lubrication,
by themselves don't necessarily have great lubricity.
The ingredients in an
additive package differ in cost, as we said, but price is just one
factor. Some work better in certain combinations of base oils, and
some of the less-expensive base oils are a good choice for a blend
because of the way they perform with popular additives. Bottom line:
every motor oil has a recipe. Refiners come up with a list of
objectives based on the needs of their customers (the carmakers,
for example) and formulate oil to meet those goals as best they can.
Now, keeping an oil from
thinning as it gets hot while it takes a beating from engine
operation is one thing. But it's also important to keep oil from
getting too thick. Using premium base oils for low volatility (to
prevent evaporation) is one approach. Evaporation of the base oil
package not only increases oil consumption, it results in thicker oil (which
decreases fuel economy).
These are special compound
oils that are very, very thin. They almost have the consistency of
tap water when cold as well as hot. Typically they are 0W/20 oils.
Don't ever drive with
these oils in the engine - it won't last.
Their purpose is for
cleaning out all the gunk which builds up inside an engine. Note that
Mobil1 0W40 is okay, because the '40' denotes that it's actually
thick enough at temperature to work. 0W20 just doesn't get that viscous!
To use them:
. . . and voila
In an old engine you
really don't want to remove all the deposits.
Some of these deposits help
seal rings, lifters and even some of the flanges between the heads,
covers, pan and the block, where the gaskets are thin.
I have heard of engines
with over 180,000 miles that worked fine, but when flushed it failed
in a month because the blow-by past the scraper ring (now
really clean) contaminated the oil and
screwed the rod bearings.
Every time you cold start your car without Slick 50 protection, metal
grinds against metal in your engine.
A key turning the ignition accompanied by sound of metal grinding.
With each turn of the ignition you do unseen damage, because at cold
start-up most of the oil is down in the pan.
Shows a box of Slick 50, and then shows a bottle of Slick 50 being
poured into a funnel.
But Slick 50's unique chemistry bonds to engine parts. It reduces
wear up to 50% for 50,000 miles.
[Super: Proven by Independent Lab Tests.]
A large heavy ball is dropped down onto the car and demolishes it.
So get Slick 50, while there's still time.
Shows three different boxes of Slick 50 and then shows the demolished car.
Slick 50's engine formula, the world's number one selling engine treatment.
Technology/Street Smart Science.]
I use an oil additive
additives are never necessary as long as you are following the
manufacturer's recommendation for oil change intervals.
Additives do not provide
any protection or performance improvements,
and can in some cases cause
engine damage or excessive engine wear.
Engine/Oil Additives are an
addition to the engine which it was not designed to take.
Engines are designed
to use engine oil,
My opinion, the majority of
these are primarily a placebo to put uneducated minds at rest while
making a nice profit for the additive manufacturer.
If you're considering
Duralube, ProLong, Slick50 or any of the other brand-name placebos,
you should think twice and read further.
To illustrate the whole
point about additives, consider this.
In the manufacture of
synthetic oils, once the synthetic polyol ester bases are created,
anti-wear additives such as zinc dithiophosphates (essentially
combinations of zinc, phosphorous, and sulphour molecules) are
added. These combinations are extremely effective as anti-oxidant,
anti-wear, anti-corrosion inhibitors. Now look at the contents of
some of the after-market additives. Wow! Zinc, phosphorous and sulphour!
additives are in fact exactly what your oil manufacturer has already
put in .
Consider further that some
oil companies actually make a point of telling you not to use
aftermarket additives with their oils.
So if these additives are
so brilliant, why do the companies always seem to end up in trouble?
ahead and click on a Brand below your thinking about using
see all the FTC (Federal
Trade Commission) reports
pertaining to that product . . .
Apart from the fact that
all the additive manufacturers have been in trouble in the past, and
most of them have lost their cases
My views on engine oil
additives are this:
the oil companies spend
hundreds of millions of dollars on research and development in order
to make their oils suitable for use in car engines.
engine oil is already stuffed with a cocktail of additives put there
by the oil company. By contrast, additive companies spend a couple of
million on R&D and an equal amount in PR and advertising to claim
that their product
(and only their product)
will enhance the life of
You're adding an unapproved
additive to an already additive-full oil.
For the love of your
vehicle don't skimp on either of these.
You can never check
your engine oil too often. Use the dipstick - that's what
it's there for - and don't run below the 'min' mark. Below that,
there isn't enough oil for the pump to be able to supply the top of
the engine while keeping a reserve in the sump. All oils, no matter
what their type, are made of long-chained molecules which get sheared
into shorter chains in a running engine. This in turn means that the
oil begins to lose it's viscosity over time, and it uses up the
additives in it that prevent scuffing between cams and followers,
rings and cylinder walls etc, etc, etc.
When this happens,
fresh oil is the key.
And don't worry about the
engine oil turning black. It will lose it's golden-brown color within
a few hundred miles of being put in to the engine. That doesn't mean
it's not working. Quite the contrary - it means it is working well.
It changes color as it
traps oxidized oil, clots and the flakes of metal that pop off
heavily loaded engine parts.
Just don't leave it too
long between oil changes.
to Check & Change Your Oil
There are a lot of people who can't understand how we came to have
oil shortages here in the USA.
Well, there's a very simple answer . . .
nobody bothered to check the oil.
We just didn't know we were getting low. The reason for that is
purely geographical. All the oil is in Texas, Oklahoma, Alaska, etc.
All the dipsticks are in Washington, DC.