Lubricates, cools and ensures smooth operation of the engine at different tempertures - engine oil is one of the most critical fluids in each car. What to do to make your car conform to all standards and ensure optimal engine lubrication?
Engine oil constitutes a mixed base, i.e. crude oil distillation or hydrocarbons synthesis products and refining additives, all of which protect the cylinder and piston walls, and reduce the amount of contaminants in the system. Additives responsible for lubrication decrease the friction coefficient, while other ones limit corrosion. Together, they provide efficient car engine protection.
In short, engine oil plays a number of important roles:
- it minimizes the mechanical wear of the engine and its friction;
- it protects the engine against corrosion;
- it ensures engine cooling by means of heat dissipation;
- it reduces the vibration caused by engine operation.
Choosing the right engine oil is not easy. The market offers a large number of products of different types and parameters. Engine oils can be divided into the following categories:
They are suitable for operation at higher temperatures and prevent carbon deposits (hard sediment on the walls of the combustion chamber) from settling inside the engine. This way, they ensure longer engine life. They remain fluid even at - 60 degrees centigrade, making starting an engine easier.
These oils do not have as good parameters as the synthetic ones, but offer a cheaper yet sufficient protection of the engine.
These oils offer the poorest quality and properties. They are used mainly in older cars with side-valve engines, in which the camshaft is placed inside the engine block.
How to interpret the figures on an engine oil bottle label? The first one stands for the properties of an oil at temperatures below zero degrees centigrade. The lower the figure, the more fluid an oil is at sub-zero temperatures. The second figure tells you how a given oil behaves at high temperatures. This viscosity class is described according to a 5-point scale (20, 30, 40, 50, 60) to show how an oil behaves at high temperatures. The higher the figure, the higher the viscosity of an oil, and, consequently, its thickness and protection. The most common value is 40. Oils of lower viscosity are becoming increasingly popular due to their smaller impact on the environment, however, they are less effective at sub-zero temperatures.
How to check if an engine oil is suitable for a particular engine type?
This is shown by the last symbols:
oils for petrol engines: A1, A2, A3, A5
oils for diesel engines: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5
* engines with a diesel particulate filter (DPF): C1, C2, C3, C4
Oil filter significance
Changing an oil filter is as important as changing the oil. An oil filter removes contaminants from the oil. There are two types of oil filters. The most common ones have the form of cartridges ready for installation in a housing inside the engine. Spin-on filters, in turn, come in a housing screwed onto a mount. A properly chosen filter ensures safe operation of the engine. This is one of the reasons why you should have the filter changed by a professional garage, whose staff will choose the most suitable filter for your car.
When to change oil and how to check its level?
The oil level should be checked regularly by the driver. To do this, simply use the dipstick located on the engine. Make sure that your car stands on an even surface. Avoid checking the oil level when the engine is hot. Wait until it cools down. Never check the oil level with the engine on. Before checking the oil level, take the dipstick out of the pipe and wipe it with a cloth. Then put it back into the pipe, take it out again and check the oil level.
Modern car manufacturers extend the oil-check intervals, assuming that drivers always use high quality oils suitable for a given engine type, which, however, is not always the case. Most modern car manufacturers recommend oil change after 30 thousand kilometres. If you drive short distances, you should change the oil filter more often than recommended, as your engine is subjected to frequent cold starts, resulting in water condensation and increased oil consumption. And when the water temperature is high enough, it is evaporated in the process of oil circulation, which also affects its properties.
**What does oil change process look like?
The oil pan can be emptied in two ways. Its content can be removed either through a valve or by means of a special suction device. Spent oil is replaced with new one. The oil filter should also be changed each time the oil is changed, as a blocked filter may cause a decrease in the oil pressure and result in insufficient lubrication of the engine parts, their quicker wear and a gradual decrease of power.
Always have professionals change the oil and the oil filter in your car, as this process requires something more than sheer knowledge and experience. The right tools are also of great importance - e.g. a special wrench is needed to unscrew a screw-on filter.
By entrusting your car to professionals, you can be sure that the whole process will be performed correctly. What's more, professional garages also have special facilities in which spent oil is stored, and they also dispose of it in conformity with the applicable standards. Contact the Motointegrator chain to have the oil and the oil filter in your car changed. Motointegrator is a group of over five thousand garages offering car repair services of top quality certified by Inter Cars SA.
Use the Motointegrator.pl search engine to find the nearest garage.
If you don't exchange oil frequently enough or allow the oil filter to be blocked, you run the risk of an engine malfunction. Your engine will wear faster and may break down. Moreover, its power decreases and its fuel consumption rises. A blocked filter causes a noticeable increase in oil consumption, and, possibly, an oil leakage. Avoid this and have the oil and the oil filter in your car changed by professional garages.