What Are Automotive Lubricants?
Automotive lubricants reduce friction in your vehicle by lubricating automotive parts.
In addition, it has a few secondary functions.
Besides cleaning and cooling down the engine parts, it prevents corrosion and rust.
Lubricants can be oil-based, solid, plastic, or a mixture of all three. Most lubricants are oil or grease, but you may also encounter dry or penetrating lubricants.
Firstly, what are these automotive lubricants used for?
What Are Automotive Lubricants Used For?
Lubricants are primarily used for the following purposes. As follows:
- Reduce friction between engine components
- Avoid wear and tear
- Dissipate heat and maintain temperature
- Protect the equipment from corrosion and oxidation
- Carry the contamination and keep the engine clean
- Under high stress, dampen and cushion the engine components
Due to advances in the automotive lubricants industry, modern industrial lubricants can now perform many other functions.
Motor oil, for example, is often used to increase fuel efficiency while gear oil and gear lubricant are used to lubricate gear parts against high-pressure contact. Synthetic lubricants can even increase vehicle horsepower while reducing engine drag.
What type you choose to use will, however, determine how well these lubrication systems work.
Let’s take a closer look at this.
There are Four Types of Automotive Lubricants
A growing demand for automotive lubricants has led to the development of many different types of industrial lubricants. There are both synthetic and traditional lubricants, and each serves a different purpose.
There are four major types of each of these.
a) Engine Oil And Gear Oil
Motor oil (also known as engine oil) is usually very fluid in texture and has a low viscosity. Lubrication is usually done with conventional oil (also known as mineral oil) or synthetic oil.
These oils typically contain a base oil – generally crude oil – and additives.
Oil additives improve oil quality and increase fuel efficiency, since lubricating oil is typically used for engine parts.
As a gear lubricant, gear oil can be used on bearings and gearboxes.
An oil with a higher viscosity protects against wear better.
Do not mix engine oil with brake fluid.
They may have the same amber color, but engine oil is a lubricant, while brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid.
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Base oils, thickeners, and other additives are usually found in automobile grease.
Grease performs the same function as oil, but is much thicker and stickier. Gears, chains, linkages, and bearings benefit greatly from this property.
Avoid using grease on fast-moving engine parts, as it may cause them to get stuck.
In addition to the growing demand in the automotive lubricants market, synthetic grease was also introduced to the global market.
Grease made from a synthetic lubricant, like silicone, can withstand high-pressure situations, such as mechanical pressure.
In some cases, synthetic grease may act as transmission fluid and assist with high torque transmissions. The lubricant is also able to withstand extreme temperatures.
c) Penetrating Lubricant
Lubricants that penetrate are usually made with low-viscosity base oils, which are very fluid and flowy.
Penetrating lubricants are very refined, making them perfect for fast-moving engine parts that would be slowed down by the resistance caused by automotive grease. However, it doesn’t last very long and needs to be reapplied frequently.
Rather than serving as lubricating oil, it is better suited for loosening bolts, nuts, and infiltrating small cracks. For instance, a corroded bolt can be loosened by using it to break up rust.
d) Dry Lubricant
Lubricants comprised of liquids (like water or alcohol) and fine particles (such as graphite) are known as dry lubricants. This lubricant comes in a spray bottle and evaporates after a while, leaving behind a thin layer of dry lubrication.
Due to their fluid nature, engine oil and automotive grease attract a lot of dust. At high temperatures, they are also susceptible to oxidation (even synthetic lubricants oxidize after a point). The lubricant is recommended for locking mechanisms, hinges, threaded rods, and engine parts prone to becoming stuck with grease.
However, dry lubricants are a convenient and mess-free way to lubricate your car parts.
The lubricant is recommended for locking mechanisms, hinges, threaded rods, and engine parts prone to becoming stuck with grease.
Now you know the four types of lubricants. They both serve different purposes, so each one should be used appropriately.
How do you choose the right one for your passenger car?
How To Choose An Automotive Lubricant
The global automotive lubricants market has resulted in thousands of lubricant and transmission fluid options. It is ultimately up to you to pick the right type of lubricant for the application.
Grease would be a better choice for lubricating wheel bearings, for example. Compared to engine oil, this would create a stronger, longer-lasting barrier against friction.
A vehicle’s manual is your best bet.
Lubricants must meet international standards, including API, ACEA, JASO, or ILSAC certification. In addition, make sure the lubricant stays viscous at varying temperatures.
Additionally, you can speak to a car mechanic about lubricating oil and car care issues.
Keeping your engine lubricated and maintained can go a long way toward ensuring a smooth, damage-free ride for your vehicle. It can extend the life of your car engine and reduce future repair costs significantly.
Due to the changing automotive industry and the invention of electric vehicles, high-performance lubricants are very popular today. However, regardless of whether you use a solid, semi-solid, or liquid lubricant, frequent maintenance and reapplication are crucial.