Motor oil is the lifeblood of an engine and much more than just a lubricant between moving parts.The best motor oil can significantly extend the life of a motor and cut down on the overall running costs.
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What is Motor Oil?
- Modern-day motor oil is designed to help improve performance and enhance longevity, in addition to protecting valuable moving parts within an engine. It is carefully engineered to protect expensive internal components that are under intense pressure and moving at great speeds. Gone are the days when engine oil was only a lubricant; today it has a variety additives within.
How does Engine Oil Work?
- Engine oil forms a thin film between internal moving parts so they don’t overheat due to friction. The oil is designed to work across a broad temperature range. Engineers include additives intended to improve performance and longevity. For example, friction modifiers are designed to add additional protection (or sometimes reduce it) in certain areas, while detergents are meant to clean as the fluid lubricates. Some additives are meant to inhibit the buildup of corrosion, while others are there to help regulate the temperature and reduce the propensity of the oil to foam. Modern-day motor oil will cut down on the accumulation of deposits within the engine to improve fuel economy.
How Is Motor Oil Made?
- Motor oil is a derivative of crude oil. The crude oil is processed in a refinery to remove waste products and water, and it is heated to a very high level before being separated in a series of fractionated towers to produce a base product. From that point, various additives are introduced according to individual manufacturer requirements. Conventional motor oil refined in this way can contain impurities and has led to the development of synthetic oil, which is more finely engineered for superior performance. Synthetics may also be made through a natural gas to liquid conversion process.
How Does Engine Fail?
- It may become too thin to protect the engine.
- It may become too thick to circulate properly.
- It may lose its protective quality due to the formation of acid.
What are Symptoms of Failure?
- Increased levels of friction internally and potential failure.
- Oxidation and contamination.
- Markedly decreased performance.
What are Implications of Failure?
- Excessive consumption.
- Costly and premature rebuilds.
- Complete mechanical failure.
If you have questions or concerns about motor oil or any of your vehicle's components, come into your local Pep Boys where we can answer any question, help you find any part, or perform any vehicle service you might need.