Have you thought about what happens when your car key is turned? How does your car get to start in less than a second on turning the key? You know that, just like our body converts food into energy for us to function, the car engine converts the fuel into motion. This process of converting Gas into motion is called internal combustion.
Power is generated by the small but controlled explosions, which happen in the Engine cylinder of your car. This power is used to keep your car moving. The Engine parts are constantly in motion during this generation of power. It’s quite natural that the Engine parts are exposed to wear due to this rigorous movement. That’s exactly where the role of Engine oil becomes so very critical.
Engine oils are extensively used as a lubricant to reduce the friction between the moving engine parts. When the engine parts are completely lubricated, they slow down the wear and tear of Engine parts and thus protecting them. It is quite obvious that it’s very important to choose the best oil for my car to improve my engine performance.
Other advantages of using Engine oil are it keeps the engine clean by avoiding settling of sediments and it helps in increasing the life of the engine by providing smooth movement of Engine parts. Again, the question will be how I can decide on the best diesel engine oil or best petrol engine oil. Before discussing that, let’s discuss the different types of Engine oils available.
Types of Engine Oils
Next time, when you change the oil in your car, keep in mind that there are different types of engine oils available: Conventional, Synthetic, Synthetic Blend oil and high Mileage oil. Let’s get to know the features of each type.
- Conventional Oils: Conventional oil is derived from Petroleum, and it includes crude oil, natural gas, and its condensates. This is less expensive than the other oils available. The conventional oil can be formulated in different viscosity grades and quality levels based on the need.
- Synthetic Oils: Synthetic oil molecules are of uniform shape, have better properties and are better in quality than conventional Oil. It has fewer impurities and has better performance in high and low temperatures. It does not evaporate easily and provides better performance
- Synthetic Blend Oils: Synthetic Blend oils are a mixture of mineral oil and synthetic oil, and also called as Semi Synthetic oils. The Properties of Synthetic blend oil is comparatively high at low temperature and gives higher resistance to oxidation. This kind of oil is highly recommended for heavy load trucks and SUVs
- High Mileage Oils: High Mileage oil is specially formulated for late model vehicles or new model vehicles with an odometer up to 75,000 miles. These types of oils will extend the performance life of engines and will slow down the aging process of engine parts. Engine leaks and deposits are also reduced by using high Mileage oils.
Now that you have understood the different types of oils available, the next question is which type of oil you select for your car. Don’t worry; there are some easy steps to figure it out
Understand your Car Engine Model
The right oil for your car can be selected by understanding the make of your engine, the Engine capacity, and car model. The recommended oil types which go well with your car model will be specified in your car manuals.
It will also include the oil type, based on the hot or cold climate, whichever, is applicable for you. If you are not able to understand, you can take the help of a professional to understand this.
It is very important that you choose the oil with the right thickness because using too thick or too thin oils will not give the necessary protection and this will cause damage to your Engine. The car manual will also specify the alternative weight oil, in case the recommended one is not available.
The automaker will list the different quality standards in the manual; SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and API (American Petroleum Institute). You need to choose the one suitable by verifying the quality standards listed in the Oil bottles.
Read Label in Oil Containers
The labels of oil containers specify the SL rating (service) and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Viscosity numbers. Next time, when you change the oil in your car, Read the label to understand the compatibility with your car model and whether the oil has passed the tests listed for service as per the expected standards.
Next parameter to focus on while selecting the right oil is Viscosity. Viscosity refers to the thickness of the oil. Oils become thin when heated and thick when cooled. Since a certain amount of thickness is required to lubricate the engine parts, choosing the oil with the right viscosity is very critical.
To check the ideal oil viscosity for your car, check the manual to understand the recommendations. If you are unable to find the oil with the right viscosity, thinners can be added to modify the thickness, and we can make it suitable for your car engine model.
Additives are chemicals that are added to oils to change the properties. There are a lot of Additives available in the market which can be used to modify specific properties of Engine Oils. The common additives are Viscosity index improvers, Detergents, Dispersants, Friction modifiers, Anti-oxidants and Anti-wear agents.
Remember, you should carefully choose the additives and mixing of additive should be done by or under the guidance of a professional. Excessive or low usage of additives will not give the required result. Furthermore, it can cause damage to the entire system.
There are a lot of online links available which can help you choose the right oil for your cars. By entering the car Engine model and the make of Engine, suitable suggestions will be given on the engine oils.
Hope this guide will be helpful for you to take a better decision next time you go for an oil change.
Always approach an expert mechanic, in the case of any confusion, related to abbreviations and test certification mentioned on the label of the oils. Keep in mind the fact that your objective is to ensure your car stays healthy for a long period and that your choice of Engine oil is very critical.