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What You Need to Know about Engine Oil

by Dolores Olsen

Your engine oil is crucial to the proper functioning of your engine. Car Smart is a great source of engine oil of all types.

Many drivers know little to nothing about engine oils. All they know is that the engine needs oil just as the car needs fuel.

The engine oil performs three crucial functions in your car. First, it lubricates all the moving parts of the engine which generate a lot of friction. Secondly, it cools down the engine so it can function optimally and finally, it cleans engine parts when they get dirty.

Every car owner and driver need to know something about engine oil. The following are key things they should know:

Synthetic vs Mineral Oil

There are two main types of engine oil namely synthetic and mineral oil. There are significant differences between the two.

Mineral oil is derived from the ground and is part of the natural oil refining process. It has been around for longer and is cheaper than synthetic oil.

On the other hand, synthetic oils are made using chemical engineering. They use mineral oil as their base but they are engineered to last longer and be better at temperature control than mineral oils.

When choosing one type, you will have to consider several factors including cost and how they affect the vehicle.

Oil Viscosity

Whenever you are talking about oils, you have to consider their viscosity. Viscosity refers to how easily the oil flows. High viscosity oils flow more easily than less viscous oils.

The viscosity of the engine oil will depend on the overall climate of where you live. If you live in hot climate then less viscous oil will work but for colder climates, you need highly viscous engine oil.

Your car’s owner’s manual will have instructions as to the oil viscosity suitable for your engine. Your mechanic can also help you choose the right engine oil viscosity for your car.

Change Frequency

One element every car owner should know is how often they should change their engine oil. For years, the rule of thumb was to change your engine oil every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever came first.

However, advances in technology have made engine oil consumption a lot more efficient. Many cars nowadays can run for ten thousand miles before requiring an engine oil change.

Many cars will alert the driver of when they need to change their engine oil. However, listen to your vehicle and mechanic to know when the best time to change your engine oil is.

Maintains Your Engine

We have seen the functions engine oil play in a car. One function that is often ignored is that they minimize the level of oxidation inside the engine.

The oxygen from the environment is bound to enter the engine parts through one way or another. In fact, without oxygen, the engine will not work.

However, oxidation leads to corrosion of engine parts. Engine oil reduces the corrosion and hence protects your engine parts.

Therefore, if you want to protect your engine, you should always ensure you have the right amount of engine oil.