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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

1(00): Simplified guide to engine-oils

Came across this useful article.  Well worth checking it out.

posted a DIY guide sometime back on how to change your engine oil and it raised some questions:

"Whats a good oil to use in my old junk?"

"Can I use this oil in my car?"

"My car drinks oil for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Have to top up all the time!"

In some cases the knowledge was based on hearsay and recommendations from their friendly neighborhood mechanic. That's actually not a problem however your regular bawak-pokok mechanic will tell you it works one lah and if it ain't broken, why change/fix it? And there lies the problem.
How does engine oil work?

Engine oil is the life blood of the engine. Blood in the human body will be replaced by biochemical reactions in the body but engines are stagnant and highly dependent on you maintaining it properly. What happens if you don’t? Sludge and varnish starts to build up, engine bits start to wear faster (piston rings, valves, tappets, etc) and in some extreme cases, you might get a complete engine seizure.

So how do you choose engine oil? First you must understand the different viscosities and how it affects your car. Let's take 5W30 as an example. The "5" number indicates how the oil reacts when the engine is cold. the "W30" is how viscous the oil is when heated to 100 degrees celsius. What does that mean?

75% (according to the Castrol advert) of all engine damage is at cold engine startup. That's because all the oil is at the bottom of the engine and anything at the top would be somewhat dry. So technically speaking the easier the oil flows to the 'drier' parts of the engine, the lesser the wear on startup. In cold countries such as Japan and anyplace that has winter, it's recommended to use "0" or "5" weighted oils because this oil weight is resistant to freezing at those temperatures. Try using a "10" weight oil in a -5 degrees temperature and you'll have major problems starting up. In Malaysia however, it's not really necessary to use anything less than 10 but there's no harm is wanting to give your precious engine the best your money can afford.
"W30" indicates how the oil flows at 100 degrees celsius. Meaning if you're running a really hot engine (like Turbos or track cars) then you'd very likely exceed the 100 degrees and the oil will either get burnt off due to the heat or breakdown and become useless. This is why you rarely ever see low viscosity racing oils in the market. It's usually 0W50 or single grade oils (like those used in F1 where it has to be heated and intravenously fed into the car).

So generally speaking, if you're burning so much oil you have to top up 2L of oil every month, you're probably using the wrong viscosity for your car. If you want better fuel consumption use a lower viscosity oil like 0W20 but don't expect it to work wonders if you're revving redline all the time. So choose your requirements wisely.

TO CONTINUE READING.  Please Click the above link for FULL ARTICLE.  Credits to Izso, ZTH STAFF.

That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this blog entry.  NOT MY WORK!

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