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The main purpose of oil in your car is to provide protection. It protects your engine in three major ways:
  1. By reducing friction: Oil lubricates the engine. This lubrication reduces friction and metal to metal contact, which is damaging to engine components.
  2. By reducing wear: Motor oil contains Zinc Dialkyl Dithiophosphate (ZDDP), which is an anti-wear additive that bonds with the metal surfaces of an engine to create a coating that can handle the high pressures experienced by the camshaft and followers. Oil also keeps the pistons cooled down and kept clean with its detergent action, prolonging their lifespans.
  3. By reducing harmful deposits: Motor oil circulates throughout the engine. In doing so, it picks up environmental contaminants like dirt and debris. The oil then suspends and disperses these contaminants to keep engine surfaces free of sludge and deposits.
Synthetic vs. Conventional Motor Oil
There are two different types of motor oil: conventional & synthetic. The difference between the two generally comes from refinement. Synthetic oil is much cleaner than conventional oil because it is distilled, purified, and broken down into basic molecules. Engineers then modify these molecules to provide higher levels of protection and performance than conventional oils. Synthetic oils are especially perform better than conventional oil in very low and very high temperatures. They have lower viscosity, giving them the ability to flow more freely in colder temperatures. If motor oil isn’t flowing, it isn’t lubricating; if it isn’t lubricating, it isn’t protecting your engine. On the other hand, synthetic oils are also engineered to resist higher temperatures, so they don’t breakdown or evaporate as easily as conventional oil.
The frequency at which you change your motor oil not only depends on the specific oil being used, but also on your specific vehicle. Age, brand, mileage, maintenance history and more can affect the motor oil in your car. It is always important to read your vehicle’s manual to see what kind of oil your car needs, and how often it should be changed.
Categories: Service, Tips
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