What Is Engine Oil

What Is Engine Oil? 

Motor oil, engine oil, and lubricant are all names for the same thing. 

However, it serves one important purpose – it ensures the smooth operation of your car’s engine. 

Traditionally, it is a mixture of base oil and certain additive compounds. As such, it lubricates engine parts, cools down the engine, cleans and contains contaminants, reduces friction, and reduces excessive wear and tear. 

Nevertheless, modern engine oils contribute to fuel economy and performance. 

This is one of the reasons why we now have synthetic blends and synthetic engine oils.

However, what is their role? Here’s a closer look.

What Does Engine Oil Do?

Historically, motor oils served only one purpose – to lubricate engine parts. Modern engine oils, however, do so much more. 

Additives and dispersants used in engine oils today include detergents, antioxidants, viscosity index improvers, corrosion inhibitors, friction modifiers, and antiwear additives. 

There are several purposes for these additive compounds. 

As they:

  • Prevents engine wear and tear by providing adequate protection 
  • Lubricate moving parts to reduce friction 
  • Protect internal combustion engines
  • Remove the dirt and dust from the engine using dispersants
  • Cool down engine parts
  • Improve fuel economy and performance 
  • Engine corrosion and acid buildup can be prevented
  • Prevent sludge from forming on engine parts

Now you know what engine oil does. Let’s examine some common types of engine oil, namely conventional oil, synthetic blend oil, and synthetic oil.

Four Types Of Engine Oil

Over time, motor oil has evolved and is no longer a simple mixture of base oil and engine oil additives. 

Let’s look at how these motor oils have evolved: 

1. Conventional Motor Oil 

Conventional Motor Oil

Mineral oil is a standard motor oil that is derived from raw crude oil and refined in a factory. 

As a result, it is less refined than its alternatives and does not provide adequate protection against engine temperature changes. It acts as a lubricant for your engine components. 

However, it is the least expensive.

2. Synthetic Engine Oil

Synthetic engine oil is manufactured in a factory, so it is much more consistent. 

It is highly refined and better suited to your car. 

Not to mention that it’s stable under most engine temperatures and has a high viscosity.

In addition to protecting your engine components, synthetic engine oil delays wear and tear. 

However, the cost is also higher. 

3. Synthetic Blend Oil

Synthetic blend oil is also called synthetic blend motor oil. 

As its name suggests, it is a mixture of crude oil and synthetic ingredients. 

The advantages of conventional motor oil and synthetic motor oil are combined in this type of oil, while the disadvantages are minimized. 

The viscosity of synthetic blend oil is also maintained by viscosity modifier additives.

It’s more affordable than synthetic oil, but slightly more expensive than mineral oil. 

4. High Mileage Oil

High mileage oil contains a unique blend of additive compounds that reduce oil burnoff. Specifically designed to prevent oil leaks in older, higher-mileage vehicles. 

Those with older vehicles or cars that have accumulated more than 75,000 miles might benefit from using high mileage oil.   

When does your engine need to be oiled? Come on, let’s find out.

Here are 5 Signs That Your Car Needs An Oil Change

Maintaining and refilling engine oil is crucial to keeping it working smoothly. 

Whatever the source of your motor oil (crude oil or synthetic), you will need to change it eventually.

Here are some signs that your engine needs an oil change: 

1. Excessive Engine Noise

The noise of your engine is a clear indication that you need to change or replace your engine oil. 

A well-lubricated engine will never make much noise. 

However, friction between the parts will cause rumbling and knocking sounds when the oil runs low. This usually means that your engine parts need a new layer of lubrication from an oil change.

2. Smell Of Oil

There could be an oil leak within your vehicle if you smell a strong oily odor. 

Another possibility is that your engine’s motor is overheating itself due to old engine oil that is no longer performing its function. 

Getting an oil filter replacement and an oil change would be the next step here after checking for an oil leak. The next time your car is in use, it won’t burn oil unnecessarily.

3. Exhaust Smoke

Tailpipes emit odorless, translucent vapor when a car engine is running. 

However, if the vapor is turning into smoke, you should pay attention to your engine. 

Check the oil level in the car to determine if it needs an oil change. 

Making sure the oil is still in good condition would be a good idea if you check its viscosity. To prevent any issues with engine components, replace it if necessary.

4. Darker Oil

Multigrade oil (typical car oil) is supposed to look translucent with a brown hue. 

Oil that appears muddy and looks very dark or black in appearance has been contaminated with dust and dirt. As time goes on, the oil’s viscosity decreases and it becomes less lubricating. An oil change is a good idea at this point.

5. Increased Engine Wear

For conventional oil, the average oil change interval is between 3000-5000 miles. Modern engine oils, like synthetic motor oil, can even go up to 7000 to 10,000 miles.

How often you should change your oil depends on whether you are using synthetic oil or traditional mineral oil, and how many miles you plan to drive. Whenever you drive over a certain number of miles in a month, the oil filter should be changed and the oil level adjusted.

What is the best oil for your car?

How To Choose The Right Motor Oil?

There are many types of engine oil available on the market, which can be confusing at times. 

Select one that has engine oil additive compounds and dispersants, such as antioxidants, viscosity index improvers, viscosity modifiers, friction modifiers, and detergents.

Choosing the right oil for your car’s engine makes a real difference in its oil performance and its fuel economy. Additionally, engine oil that’s suited to a gasoline engine won’t necessarily be appropriate for a diesel engine. 

The best course of action is to consult the owner’s manual for your car’s engine. 

Mechanics should also be able to assist. 

Final Word

Investing in quality engine oil is a good way to care for your vehicle’s engine parts. 

Maintaining a regular oil change schedule is always important.

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