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Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey Lea gue, see Oil Change (TV Series). This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help im prove this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material m ay be challenged and removed. (March 2009) This article may contain original research. Please improve it by verifyi ng the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. (September 2010) Motor oil sample Motor oil or engine oil is an oil used for lubrication of various internal combu stion engines. The main function is to lubricate moving parts; it also cleans, i nhibits corrosion, improves sealing, and cools the engine by carrying heat away from moving parts. Motor oils are derived from petroleum-based and non-petroleum-synthesized chemic al compounds. Motor oils today are mainly blended by using base oils composed of hydrocarbons, polyalphaolefins (PAO), and polyinternal olefins (PIO), thus o rganic compounds consisting entirely of carbon and hydrogen. The base oils of so me high-performance motor oils however contain up to 20% by weight of esters. Contents 1 2 3 4 Use Non-vehicle motor oils Properties Grades 4.1 Single-grade 4.2 Multi-grade 5 Standards 5.1 American Petroleum Institute 5.2 ILSAC 5.3 ACEA 5.4 JASO 5.5 OEM standards divergence 6 Other additives 7 Synthetic oils 8 Bio-based oils 9 Maintenance 10 Future 11 Re-refined motor oil 12 Packaging 13 See also 14 References 15 External links Use Motor oil is a lubricant used in internal combustion engines. These include moto r or road vehicles such as cars and motorcycles, heavier vehicles such as buses and commercial vehicles, non-road vehicles such as go-karts, snowmobiles, boats (fixed engine installations and outboards), lawn mowers, large agricultural and construction equipment, locomotives and aircraft and static engines such as elec trical generators. In engines, there are parts which move against each other cau sing friction which wastes otherwise useful power by converting the energy to he at. Contact between moving surfaces also wears away those parts, which could lea d to lower efficiency and degradation of the engine. This increases fuel consump tion, decreases power output and can lead to engine failure.
motor oil transfers heat through convection as it flows through the engine by means of air flow over the surface of the oil pan. From these holes in the main journals. or sump. It is a combination of t his. Motor oil may also serve as a cooling agent. An oil pump. In typical modern vehicles.e. there are al so passageways through the rods which carry oil from the rod bearings to the rod -piston connections and lubricate the contacting surfaces between the piston rin gs and interior surfaces of the cylinders. from which the oil lubricates th e main bearings holding the crankshaft up at the main journals and camshaft bear ings operating the valves. Corrosion inhibitors may also be added to the motor oil. In petrol (gasoline) engines. a vane or gear pump powered by the engine. Oil filters can be a full flow or bypass type. decreasing heat caused by friction and reducing wear. Because particles accumulate in the oil. in modern designs. In modern vehicle engines. thus protecting the engine. However. dippers on the bottoms of connecting rods dip into the oil a t the bottom and splash it around the crankcase as needed to lubricate parts ins ide. The oil collects in an oil pan. inhib iting oxidation at elevated operating temperatures preventing rust or corrosion. In order to inform the driver about the oi l temperature. rat her than leaving it deposited on the internal surfaces. and some singeing that turns used oil black after some running. it is typically circulated through an oil filter to remove harmful part icles. Such particles could circulate in the oi l and grind against moving parts. The oil then drips back down into the oil pan. This typi cally takes longer than heating the main cooling agent . motor oil lubricates rotating or sliding s urfaces between the crankshaft journal bearings (main bearings and big-end beari ngs).up to its operating temperature. Motor oils with higher viscosity indices thin les s at these higher temperatures. In the crankcase of a vehicle engine. and rods connecting the pistons to the crankshaft. i. at the bottom of the crankcase. In diesel engines the top ring can expose the oil to temperatures over 315 °C (600 °F). the oil moves through passageway s inside the crankshaft to exit holes in the rod journals to lubricate the rod b earings and connecting rods. This oil film also serves as a seal b etween the piston rings and cylinder walls to separate the combustion chamber in the cylinder head from the crankcase.Lubricating oil creates a separating film between surfaces of adjacent moving pa rts to minimize direct contact between them. including the oil filter. In some small engines such as lawn mower engines. the top piston ring can expose the motor oil to te mperatures of 160 °C (320 °F). Many motor oils also h ave detergents and dispersants added to help keep the engine clean and minimize oil sludge build-up. an oil cooler and through the build up of oil gases evac uated by the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system. The oil is able to trap soot from combustion in itself. the oil has to reach its desig ned temperature range until it can protect the engine under high load. Coating metal parts with oil also keeps them from being exposed to oxygen.water or mixtures there of . some older and most high performance as well as racing engines fe . On the other hand the thermal c apacity of the oil pool has to be filled up. oil pressure-fed from the oil galleries to the main bearings enters holes in the main journals of the cra nkshaft. causing wear. pumps the oil thr oughout the engine. the oil pump takes oil from the oil pan and send s it through the oil filter into oil galleries. Rubbing of metal engine parts inevitably produces some microscopic metallic part icles from the wearing of the surfaces. In some constructions oil is spraye d through a nozzle inside the crankcase on the piston to provide cooling of spec ific parts that underly high temperature strain. In use. Some simpler designs relied on these rapidly moving parts to splash and lubricate the contacting surfaces between the piston rings and interior surfaces of the cylinders.
Th e oil properties will vary according to the individual needs of these devices. Often. Another manipulated property of motor oil is its Total Base Number (TBN). The viscosity o f a liquid can be thought of as its "thickness" or a measure of its resistance t o flow. Larger two-stroke engines used in boats and motorcycles. which is a measurement of the reserve alkalinity of an oil. chain saws. removing the more volatile components." for a given application.ature an oil thermometer. Environmental legislation for leisure marine applications. so a high flash point is desirable. or honing oil if the desired viscosity needs to be m id-range. gasoline powered gardening equipment like hedge trimmers. motor oil is not always the preferred oil for certain applications. 40:1 or 50:1. The viscosity must be high enough to maintain a lubricating film. The bulk of a typical motor oil consists of hydrocarbons with between 18 and 34 carbon a toms per molecule. an index of the lowest temperature of its utility . but lo w enough that the oil can flow around the engine parts under all conditions. ASTM D4684-08) are today the properties required in motor oil specs and define the SAE classifications.. w ill have a more economical oil injection system rather than oil pre-mixed into t he gasoline. these motors are not exposed to as wide service te mperature ranges as in vehicles. The viscosity index is a measure of how much the oil's viscosity changes as tempera ture changes.. especially in Europe. It is dangerous for the oil in a motor to ignite and burn. Some applications make use of lighter products such as WD-40. Motor oil must be able to flow adequately at the lowest temperature it is expect ed to experience in order to minimize metal to metal contact between moving part s upon starting up the engine.. so these oils may be single viscosity oils. Still another important property of motor oil is its flash point. In small two-stroke engines. encouraged th e use of ester-based two cycle oil. The oil injection system is not used on small engines used in appli cations like snowblowers and trolling motors as the oil injection system is too expensive for small engines and would take up too much room on the equipment. At a petroleum re finery. as defined by ASTM D97 as ". leaf blowers and soil cultivators. and burned in use alo ng with the gasoline. thicker petroleum hydrocarbon base stoc k derived from crude oil.. but the "cold cranking simulator" (CCS . the lowest temperature at w hich the oil gives off vapors which can ignite. see ASTM D5293-08) and "Mini-Rotary Viscometer" (MRV. the oil may be pre-mixed with the gasoline or fuel. with additives to improve certain properties. fractional distillation separates a motor oil fraction from other crude oil fractions. and therefore increasing t he oil's flash point (reducing its tendency to burn). Due to its high viscosity. model a irplanes. Another example is two-stroke oil for lubrication of two-stroke or two-cycle internal combustion engines found in snow blowers. The pour point defined first this property of mot or oil. meaning its ability to neu . often in a rich gasoline:oil ratio of 25:1. A higher viscosity index indicates the viscosity changes less with temperature than a lower viscosity index. see ASTM D3829-02(2007). Oil is largely composed of hydrocarbons which can burn if ignited. Properties Most motor oils are made from a heavier. whe n a lighter oil is desired. N on-smoking two-stroke oils are composed of esters or polyglycols. Non-vehicle motor oils An example is lubricating oil for four-stroke or four-cycle internal combustion engines such as those used in portable electricity generators and "walk behind" lawn mowers. One of the most important properties of motor oil in maint aining a lubricating film between moving parts is its viscosity.
such as when the temperature ranges in use are not very w . and manual transm ission oils.g. 40. 30. or 25W. 5W. 5. T he higher numbers of a gear oil (e. They are the Cold Cranking Simulator (ASTMD5293) and t he Mini-Rotary Viscometer (ASTM D4684). and 60. if an oil passes at the specifications for 10W and 5W. of which six are considered Winter-grade s and given a W designation. then that oil must be labeled as an SAE 5W. SAE J300 h as established eleven viscosity grades. 10W. These numbers are often referred to as the "weight" of a motor oil. SAE visco sity gradings include the following. 20. the lower the temperature the oil can pass. a minimum viscosity measured at 150 °C (302 °F) and at a high-shear rate is also re quired. The numbers 0. 15 and 25 are suffixed with the l etter W. The lower the viscosity grade. at standard temperatures. The number 20 comes with or without a W. and 1000. specified in J300 depending on the viscosity grade. phosphorus. 40.. or 60. the higher the SAE viscosity grade is. Total Acid Number (TAN) is the measure of a lubricant's acidity . The SAE has a separate viscosity rating system for gear. Single-grade A single-grade engine oil. the dynamic viscosity is measured at different col d temperatures. 50. Grades Range of motor oils on display in Kuwait in now-obsolete cardboard cans with ste el lids. The NOACK volatility (ASTM D-5800) Test determines the physical evaporation loss of lubricants in high temperature service. 15W. Based on the coldest temperature the oil passes at. centipoise (abbreviated cP). In addition. 25. The document SAE J300 defines the viscometrics related to these grades. 75W-140) do not mean that it has higher v iscosity than an engine oil. 10. and testing for exces sive foaming. 5. 2 0. 30. The 11 viscosity grades are 0W. 5W. That oil cannot be labeled as either 0W or 10W. Analogously. Based on the range of viscosity the oil falls in at that temperature. for SAE grades 20. 15W. cannot use a polymeric Viscos ity Index Improver (also referred to as Viscosity Modifier) additive. 25W. axle. 10W. 50 or 60. the higher the viscosity and thus higher SAE code. 30. or the equivalent older non-SI units. The long er it takes.tralize acids. the oil is graded as SAE visc osity grade 20. 30. but fails fo r 0W. For some applications. using tw o different test methods. as defined by SAE J300. 50. designating their "winter" (not "weight") or cold-start viscosity. For single winter grade oils. For single non-winter grade oils. 20W. 40. 15. The resulting quantity is determined as mg KOH/ (gram of lubrican t). depending on whether it is being used to denote a cold or hot viscosity grade. Some automotive OEM oil specifications require lower than 10%. Other tests include zinc. and single-grade motor oils are often called "straight-weight" oils. which should not be confused with engine oil viscosity. that oil is graded as SAE viscosity grade 0W. The higher the viscosity. A maximum of 15% evaporation loss is allowable to meet API SL and ILSAC GF-3 specifications. For example. at l ower temperature. centistokes (abbreviated cSt). 10. in units of mPa·s. 20W. from low to high viscosity: 0. the kinematic viscosity is measured at a tempe rature of 100 °C (212 °F) in units of mm2/s (millimeter squared per second) or the e quivalent older non-SI units. or sulfur content. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has established a numerical code syste m for grading motor oils according to their viscosity characteristics. SAE J306. Kinematic viscosity is graded by measuring the time it takes for a standard amou nt of oil to flow through a standard orifice.
Therefore. but can vary fr om country to country when climatic or fuel efficiency constraints come into pla y. lawn mower engines. extreme pressure performance. special polymer additives called viscosity in dex improvers. Motor oil is used for the lubrication. when multi-grades were initially developed. Also. except that Group III base stocks have higher vis cosity indexes. polyalkylene glycols (PAG) . single-grade motor oil is satisfactory.ide. Note. Group III base stocks have similar characteri stics to Group II base stocks. A specific oil will have high viscosity when cold and a lower viscosity at the engine's operating temperature. cooling. Exampl es of group V base stocks include polyolesters (POE). and ability to inh ibit corrosion of engine parts. they were frequently described as all-season oil. For example. for example. bu t the slope representing the change is lessened. to hot operating temperatures when the vehicle is fully warmed up in hot summer weather . a 10W-30 oil must fail the J300 requirements at 5W). Standards American Petroleum Institute The American Petroleum Institute (API) sets minimum for performance standards fo r lubricants. Group I base stocks are composed of fractionally distilled pe troleum which is further refined with solvent extraction processes to improve ce rtain properties such as oxidation resistance and to remove wax. and cleaning of in ternal combustion engines. Lubricant base stocks are categorized into five groups by the API. The motor oil grade and viscosity to be used in a given vehicle is specified by the manufacturer of the vehicle (althou gh some modern European cars now have no viscosity requirement). Multi-grade The temperature range the oil is exposed to in most vehicles can be wide. The real-world ability of an oil to crank or pump when cold is potentially dimin ished soon after it is put into service. rangin g from cold temperatures in the winter before the vehicle is started up. an oil labeled as 1 0W-30 must pass the SAE J300 viscosity grade requirement for both 10W and 30. This slope representing the change with temperature depends on the nature and amount of the additives to the base oil. 10W-30 designates a common multi-grade oil. or a lubricant base stock plus additives t o improve the oil's detergency. 20W. though it is possible to have a multi-grade oil w ithout the use of VIIs. Group IV base stock are polyalphaolefins (PAOs). Group II base s tocks are composed of fractionally distilled petroleum that has been hydrocracke d to further refine and purify it. if any VIIs are used however. The difference in viscosities for most single-g rade oil is too large between the extremes of temperature. in dustrial applications. a very simple multi-grade oil that can be easil y made with modern base oils without any VII is a 20W-20. if an oil does not contain any VIIs. The SAE designation for multi-grade oils includes two viscosity grades. Motor oil may be composed of a lubricant base stock o nly in the case of non-detergent oil. a nd can pass as a multi-grade. for exam ple. Group V is a catch-all group for any base stock not described by Groups I to IV. or VIIs are added to the oil. The viscosity of a multi-grade oil still varies logarithmically with temperature. and vintage or classic cars. an d all limitations placed on the viscosity grades (for example. This enables one type of oil to be used all year. Group III base stocks are produced by further hydrocracking of e ither Group II base stocks or hydroisomerized slack wax (a Group I and II dewaxi ng process by-product). The two numbers used are indivi dually defined by SAE J300 for single-grade oils. In fact. These additives are used to make th e oil a multi-grade motor oil. or 20. then that oil canno t be labeled as a single grade. that oil can be labelled with either of the two SA E viscosity grades. The idea is to cause the multi-grade oil to have the vis cosity of the base grade when cold and the viscosity of the second grade when ho t. This oil can be labele d as 20W-20. To bring the differen ce in viscosities closer together.
. Groups I and II are commonly referred t o as mineral oils. There are six diesel engine service designations which are current: CJ-4. and perfluoropolyalkylethers (PFPAEs). CH-4. and thus has created a controversi al issue of obsolescent oils needed for older engines. Curre nt API service categories include SN. and ILSAC. API CH-4 with SJ. Most engines built bef ore 1985 have the flat/cleave bearing style systems of construction. SL and SJ for gasoline engines. and in a ddition. CI-4. and this marking is located in the lower porti on of the API Service Symbol "Donut". xW-30) due to the chemical poisoning that phosphorus has on catalytic converters . It is possible for an oil to conform to both the gasoline and diesel standards. and API SJ and newer oils are referred to be specific to automobile and light truck use. Engine oi l which has been tested and meets the API standards may display the API Service Symbol (also known as the "Donut") with the service designation on containers so ld to oil users. SM. This reduction in anti-wear chemicals in oil has caused premature fa ilures of camshafts and other high pressure bearings in many older automobiles a nd has been blamed for pre-mature failure of the oil pump drive/cam position sen sor gear that is meshed with camshaft gear in some modern engines. The API oil classification structure has eliminated specific support for wet-clu tch motorcycle applications in their descriptors. All pr evious service designations are obsolete. Each new API category has placed s uccessively lower phosphorus and zinc limits. group III is typically referred to as synthetic (except in Ge rmany and Japan. especially engines with s liding (flat/cleave) tappets. Accordingly. where the current SM is und er 600 ppm. where the engine protection requirements are above and beyond API/ILSAC requirements. have placed lim itations on the phosphorus content for certain SAE viscosity grades (the xW-20. and it is noted that one of the engine tests required for API SM . in API SG rated oils. The latest API service standard designation is SN for gasoline automobile and li ght-truck engines. In fact. Because of this. CF-2. API CI-4 with SL. this was at the 1200-1300 ppm level for zinc and phosphorus.. there are special situations. is a sliding tappet design to test specifically for cam wear protection. CG-4. which is se nsitive to reducing zinc and phosphorus. The SN standard refers to a group of laboratory and engine te sts. a nd C for "commercial/compression ignition" (typical diesel equipment). including the latest series for control of high-temperature deposits. states API SM/ILSAC GF-4 is fully backwa rds compatible. and so on. such as "performance" engines or fully ra ce built engines. it is the norm for all diesel rated engine oils to carry the "correspon ding" gasoline specification. All the current gasoline categories (including the obsolete SH). API created a separated CI-4 PLUS designation in conjunction with CJ-4 and CI-4 for oils that meet certain extra requirements. motorcyc le oils are subject to their own unique standards. Not everyone is in agreement with backwards compatibility. For example. Example. Phosphorus is a key anti-wear component in motor oil and is usually found in m otor oil in the form of zinc dithiophosphate. API CJ-4 will almost always list eith er SL or SM. although motorcycle oils commonly stil l use the SF/SG standard. there are specialty oils out in the mar ket place with higher than API allowed phosphorus levels. where they must not be called synthetic) and group IV is a synt hetic oil. In addition. the Sequence IVA. and CF. which represents most of the world s major automobile/engine manufactures. The API service classes have two general classifications: S for "service/spa rk ignition" (typical passenger cars and light trucks using gasoline engines). API. Group V base oils are so diverse that there is no catch-all descripti on. Some manufacturers continue to use obsolete designatio ns such as CC for small or stationary diesel engines.
Differences in their performance is apparent in the form of interactive spid er graphs. and 10W-30 viscosity grade oils. API develo ped a "starburst" certification mark. the JASO M345 (FA. and the JASO T90 4-MB standard is not suitable for wet clutch use.60 0 rpm. many of the European original equipment manufacturer (OEM) c ar manufacturers resigned on the lacklustre direction of the American API oil st . along with most engines of European or Japanese origin. which is also required for API SM. These are much more severe conditions than any API-specified oil was designed for: cars which typically pu sh their oil temperature consistently above 100 °C (212 °F) are most turbocharged en gines. used in GF-3 and API SL oils. OEM standards divergence By the early 1990s. low smoke and exha ust blocking. a supplier of additives to nearly all motor oil companies.ILSAC The International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC) also has standards for motor oil. ATIEL. 5W-20. For GF-4. took effect in October 2010. The JASO T904-MA and MA2 standards are des igned to distinguish oils that are approved for wet clutch use. and is particu larly relevant to motorcycle engines. a Seq uence VIB Fuel Economy Test (ASTM D6837) is required that is not required in API service category SM. A key new test for GF-4. detergency. an d this refers particularly to low ash. GM 3. For two-stroke gasoline engines. 5W-30. Lubrizol. The IIIG test is about 50% more difficult than the previous IIIF test. These standards. the JASO T904 standard is used. FB. and 150 °C (300 °F) oil temperature for 100 hours. GF-4 applies to SAE 0W-20. A new set of specifications. CEC (The Co-ordinating European Council) is the deve lopment body for fuel and lubricant testing in Europe and beyond. 3. ILSAC works wi th API in creating the newest gasoline oil specification. which both expert and novice can appreciate. is the Sequence IIIG . setting the st andards via their European Industry groups. In general. ILSAC will no longer offer licensing for GF-4. ACEA. high power output. particularly smal l capacity. which involves running a 3.8 L (232 in3). ATC and CONCAWE. Engine oils bearing the API starburst symbol since 2005 are ILSAC GF-4 compliant. Introduced in 2004.8 L V-6 at 125 hp (93 kW). For four-stroke gasoline engines. are designed to address oil-req uirement issues not addressed by the API service categories. hosts a Rel ative Performance Tool which directly compares the manufacturer and industry spe cs. ACEA The ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles) performance/quali ty classifications A3/A5 tests used in Europe are arguably more stringent than t he API and ILSAC standards. JASO The Japanese Automotive Standards Organization (JASO) has created their own set of performance and quality standards for petrol engines of Japanese origin. with ILSAC adding an e xtra requirement of fuel economy testing to their specification. especially JASO-MA and JASO-FC. lubricity. 0W-30. GF-5. FC) standard is used. To help consumers recognize that an oil meets the ILSAC requirements. The industry has one year to convert their oils to GF-5 and in September 2011.
As a resul t many leading European motor manufacturers created and developed their own "OEM " oil standards which were no longer directly compatible with the plain API. FORD WSS-M2C934-A). thus providing superior piston ring protection as a side-effect. a petrol engine can go up to 2 years or 30.8 wt.5 standard had sulfated ash content ar ound 2%.-%) and lowSAP (su lfated ash <0.) In recent years similar happened in the North American diesel engine market in the high performance segment. In personal vehicles is a general oi l change interval given by oil specification: 228. and yet it failed to fulfi ll the needs of the main commercial engine producers. BMW S pecial Oils and BMW Longlife standards.5 – 45000 km. General Motors used the 4718M standard that is used for high-performance engines.xx. the standard applies to oils used in trucks and personal cars alike . and the MB228. Prior to the development of the dexos standard. and the PSA Group of Peugeot an d Citroën. thus ACEA specification on the back label completely or nearly conforms to many OEM specifications. Other Europea n OEM standards are from General Motors (dexos). in Europe longer service intervals became the norm. John Deere. Merced es and PSA all have their own similar longlife oil standards.** series from Volkswagen Group. when the API SC.600 mi). GM.00). with names such as Caterpillar.** from Mercedes-Benz. "extended drain".000 mi) — before requiring an oil change. Another trend of today represent midSAP (sulfated ash <0.5 wt. very little in terms of surface protection in corrosion or mechanical resistance. Mack.000 km ( ~31. BMW. as it suits them as a source of revenue and also there is less of a n eed to provide top quality lubricants. (In case of MB cer tified oils. Some of the of widely used OEM standards are the VW500.andards as it did not perform to the needs of a motor oil to be used in their mo tors and seriously lagged in development of the previous generations. taking Volkswagen Group vehicles. Ce rtain BP Vanellus oil certified for MB228.**. with a "Use Mobil 1 only" sticker was usually placed on those cars.* and MB229.1 – 15000 km. Ford appearing on the back of the oil cans in lists of certifications. "BMW longlife" and similar oils have arisen. Ren ault RN 0720. The ACEA specifications C1 to C4 reflect the m idSAP and lowSAP needs of automotive OEMs. a standard that is us ed in North America for selected North American performance engines.000 km (~18. VW505.) This should be not surprising as Mercedes was among the first to differentiate o ils according to longevity (1980s to 1990). 228. (Similar rule applies to the MB 229.3 – 30000 km. Volkswagen (504. 22 8. the Ford "WSS" standards. with 10000 km in s tandard car use as the typical value in the 1990. while other small c ar makers were satisfied with the generic — and thus least performing lubricants a vailable and caught up recently when the legislation from the European Council m andated them to improve fuel consumption and improve emissions. exhaust valve stem cleanliness is improved and much less gypsum ends up plugging the catalyst and/or particula . so every Mercedes engine was expected to use the same oil. The North American habit of having oil changed in the engine every 3000 miles ha s its roots if past far ago. CB oils were the norm. Such o ils were originally marketed for heavy trucking use (100000 miles change interva l) and other "long life" oils are likely to be of similar grade. It i s irony that the standard "API C" means "Commercial". wh ereby.-%) engine oil (see specifications: MB 229. Reason for this is that the small los s of the oil during engine life — that ends burned. Porsche. Those had r eserve alkalinity and buffering ability only sourced from the bulk mass of the f resh base stock and offered very.xx) Oil certified for the long est change interval also had the best antioxidative properties and stability. MB 22x. More recently. With better lubricants in the beginning of t he 1980s. (No te that the ACEA class of standards is co-developed with all European engine mak ers to better suit the legislative and technical needs. and a diesel engine can go up to 2 years or 50. Cumm ins. Many service technicians still recommend 3000 or 5000 miles service intervals in the conservative North Americ an market.x1.
Other additives . no system of marking that the product ex ceeds this critical specification by a significant amount is in place. Thus engines requiring S AE 0W-20 oil do so because their operating temperatures are far lower than those using SAE-40 viscosity oil. European ACEA standards require that during the long drain interval s of 30. .5cSt. High Shear ) at around 3..9cSt. many modern cars for t he European market will demand a specific OEM-only oil standard.5 mPa·s). Because of the need for motor oils with unique qualities. even if particular products could perform far better than ot hers. this redefinition did not occur because the auto motive lubricant market knows of no field failures unambiguously attributable to insufficient HTHS oil viscosity. . Additionally. As in API. SAE 30 — 2.. as the lubricant providers did not manufacture lubricants w ith guaranteed minimal lubricity under real world stress conditions at the time of the development of engines conforming to new legislation.. Furthermore.te filter. it is not t he important parameter." Since low and high quality oils conformed to the same standard which did not man date critical parameters. Required minimum HTHS viscosity is given by SAE oi l grade.. etc. because 'some products would be looking bad even if they were completely OK' Quote from ASTM report on the matter: "The rapid growth of non-Newtonian multigr aded oils has rendered kinematic viscosity as a nearly useless parameter for cha racterising "real" viscosity in critical zones of an engine. SAE 40 needs at least 3. it may make no reference at all to ACEA or API standards. The reason for current development of new OEM standards is that in the 1970s to 1980s when the SAE and API refused to develop standards for characterising oils by their HT HS viscosity or by their lubricating properties. This improves emissions as the emission regulating system has longer service life then. etc. A too low HTHS viscosity and protection o f piston rings and journal bearings may be compromised. There are those who are disappointed that the twelve-year effort has not res ulted in a redefinition of the SAE J300 Engine Oil Viscosity Classification docu ment so as to express high-temperature viscosity of the various grades .. This is important whe n considering oil change in an engine.000 km and up HTHS viscosity is maintained (High Temperature. API tests are performed on engines subjected to far lighter loads and shears. As a result. which number sig nifies petrol engine. which diesel engine. This is case of VW pumpe -düse diesel engines. engine manufacturers were forced to develop their own standards and tests.5 cP (3. It is much more remarkable in a trailer truck which can easil y make 200000 to 400000 km every year. and gain understanding of the specific manufacturer designation meaning. All this could be prevented 40 years ago when inclusion of HTHS standards was de manded by lubrication experts into any kind of standard. In the view of this writer. users were always left in the dark wh en comparing various oil brands and products which all conformed to the same max imum specification. As new lubricant st andards were only always introduced after lengthy proceedings to arrive barely i n time with the new generation of engines. Wear protection and HTHS viscosity are important paramet ers and are not specified in the SAE viscosity standard. Which number marks suitability for a turbocharged engine. as the manufacturer cannot guarantee longevity and reliabili ty of a certain engine components without adherence to the specification. Thus user today who wants to top up or change engine oil needs to pay close atte ntion to the list of certificates on the oil label (on the back side).. While it may be confusing that the standard may not specify SAE viscosity.
In the 1980s and 1990s. corrosion inhibitors. preferably calcium sulfonates. Curren tly there are ashless oil lubricants without these additives. PTFE is used in composition of sliding bearings where it improves lubrication under relatively light load until the oi l pressure builds up to full hydrodynamic lubricating conditions. and alkaline additives to neutralize acidic oxidation products of the oil. They were used in World War II in flight engines and became commer cial after World War II until the 1990s. Calcium sulfonates additives are also added to protect motor oil from oxidati ve breakdown and to prevent the formation of sludge and varnish deposits. namely liners in engines. They were commercialized in the 1970s ( ELF ANTAR Molygraphite) and are today still available (Liqui Moly MoS2 10 W-40. such as PTFE (Teflon). e. Their application is questionabl e and depends mainly on the engine design — one that can not maintain reasonable l ubricating conditions might benefit. which increases the exhaust back pressure and r educes fuel economy over time. unlike molybdenum disulfide. motor oil manufacturers often incl ude other additives such as detergents and dispersants to help keep the engine c lean by minimizing sludge buildup.g. which can only ful fill the qualities of the previous generation with more expensive basestock and more expensive organic or organometallic additive compounds.. as they can coagulate and clog the oil filters. Some of these additives include: EP additives. Some new oils are n ot formulated to provide the level of protection of previous generations to save manufacturing costs. It is supposed to w ork under boundary lubricating conditions. or have anti-wear properties. the application obst acle of PTFE is insolubility in lubricant oils. Teflon alone has little to no ability to firmly stick on a shea red surface. "Slick50". Synthetic oils . However. There is controversy as to the actual effectiveness of the se products. like zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) additives and sulfonat es. ash and phosphorus (SAP). The quantity of zinc dialkyldithiophosphate is limited to minimize adverse effect on catalytic converters. Other invalid claim about PTFE is t he friction factor as it depends on material hardness. Also. There are other additives available commercially which can be added to the oil b y the user for purported additional benefit. Another aspect for after-treatment devic es is the deposition of oil ash. so oil treated with it is hard to distinguish from a soot filled engine oil with metal shavings from spun crankshaft bearing. www.liqui-moly. MoS2 particl es can be shear-welded on steel surface and some engine components were even tre ated with MoS2 layer during manufacture. Main advantage was very low p rice and wide availability (sulfonates were originally waste byproducts).de). to consumers to increase motor oil's ability to coat and pr otect metal surfaces. additives with suspended PTFE particles were availab le. Many patents proposed use perfluoropolymers to reduce friction between metal parts. Lately API specifications reflect that Some molybdenum disulfide containing additives to lubricating oils are claim ed to reduce friction. thus its friction coefficient becomes worse than that of hardened steel-tosteel mating surfaces under common loads. are available to consumers for additional pro tection under extreme-pressure conditions or in heavy duty performance situation s. Main disadvantage of molybdenum disulfide is anthracite blac k color. for example. or micronized PTFE. Both w ere the main basis of additive packages used by lubricant manufacturers up until 1990s when the need for ashless addtitives arose.In addition to the viscosity index improvers. (Trabant for example). The so-called "chemical box" limits today the con centrations of sulfur. Various other extreme-pressure additives and antiwear additives. bond to metal. while properly designed engine with oil fil m thick enough would not see any difference. which good engine designs tend to avo id anyway. Most commercial oils have a minimal amount of zinc dialkyldithiophosphate as an anti-wear additive to protec t contacting metal surfaces with zinc and other compounds in case of metal to me tal contact. PTFE is a very soft mater ial.
mineral oil b ased lubricants. or man-made. In engines.000 km (10. continue to be the predominant lubricant for most internal comb ustion engine applications. temperatures which cau sed petroleum-based lubricants to solidify owing to their higher wax content. But in the vast majority of vehicle applications. Higher purity and therefore better property control theoretically means synth etic oil has better mechanical properties at extremes of high and low temperatur es. Synthetic oils are derived from either Group III.Synthetic lubricants were first synthesized.000 mi) primarily due to reduced degradation by oxidation. While there is a fu ll industry surrounding regular oil changes and maintenance. sometimes as long as 16. but some synthetic oil suppliers suggest that the intervals between oil changes can be longer. although the matter better suspends within t he oil. which are the oil compon ents most vulnerable to thermal and mechanical degradation as the oil ages. Test results in dicate satisfactory performance from the oils tested. and microscopic coke particles from black soot accumulate in the oil during op . and thus they do not degrade as quickly as traditional motor oils. and may perform better for longer under stan dard conditions. or some Group V base s. synthet ic oils need lower levels of viscosity index improvers. Tests show that fully synthetic oil is superior in extreme serv ice conditions to conventional oil. The development of canola-based moto r oils began in 1996 in order to pursue environmentally friendly products. in significant quantit ies as replacements for mineral lubricants (and fuels) by German scientists in t he late 1930s and early 1940s because of their lack of sufficient quantities of crude for their (primarily military) needs. With their improved viscosity index. synthetic motor oils were formulated and commercially applie d for the first time in automotive applications. Bio-based oils Bio-based oils existed prior to the development of petroleum-based oils in the 1 9th century. Synthetics include classes of lubricants like synthetic esters as well as "ot hers" like GTL (Methane Gas-to-Liquid) (Group V) and polyalpha-olefins (Group IV ). However. A significant factor in its gain in popularity was the ability of synthetic-based lubricants to remain fluid in the sub-zero temperatures of the Eastern front in wintertime. these synthetic motor oils have a hig her viscosity index over the traditional petroleum base.000–15. an oil change is a fairly simple operation that most car owners can do themselves. Group IV. fortified with additives and with the benefit of over a century of development. The same SAE system for designa ting motor oil viscosity also applies to synthetic oils. Their specially designe d properties allow a wider temperature range at higher and lower temperatures an d often include a lower pour point. and the oil filter still fills and clogs up over time. Maintenance Oil being drained from a car The oil and the oil filter need to be periodically replaced. there is some exposure of the oil to products of internal combustion . periodic oil and filter changes should still be done with synthetic oil. Thus. Th e use of synthetic lubricants widened through the 1950s and 1960s owing to a pro perty at the other end of the temperature spectrum. So. In the mid 1970s. They have become the subject of renewed interest with the advent of bio-fuels and the push for green products. The molecules are made large and "soft" enough to retain good viscosity at h igher temperatures. although the viscosity still decreases as temperature increases. Purdu e University has funded a project to develop and test such oils.000-24. the ability to lubricate avi ation engines at temperatures that caused mineral-based lubricants to break down . they sti ll fill up with particulate matter. yet branched molecular structures interfere with solidificat ion and therefore allow flow at lower temperatures.
Manufacturers advise to not exceed their ti me or distance-driven interval for a motor oil change.000 mile myth . temperatures. The vehicle distance is inten ded to estimate the time at high temperature.000 km (3. thicker for summer heat and thinner for the winter cold. which is not necessary. those acids form and corrode the engine. but different viscosity motor oil may perform better based on the operating e nvironment. These are rough indications of the real fact ors that control when an oil change is appropriate. Engine designs are evolving t o allow the use of low-viscosity oils without the risk of excessive metal-to-met . Some manufacturers address this ( for example. adjust the viscosity for the ambient temperature change. but eventually the oil filter can become clo gged. Motor oil changes are usually scheduled based on the time in service or the dist ance that the vehicle has traveled. Some quick oil change shops recommended intervals of 5. or other depos its. BMW and VW with their respective long-life standards). and trip length. in replacing the oil. The engine user can. which reduce the viscosity and reserve alkalinity of the oil. Some engine manufacturers specify which SAE viscosity grade of oil should be use d. which include how long the o il has been run at elevated temperatures. while others do not. Also important is the quality of the oil used. one system adds an optical sensor for determining the clarity of th e oil in the engine. Many modern cars now list somewhat higher intervals for changing oil and filter. thus increa sing wear and the chance of overheating. "varnish". Th is applies to short trips of under 15 km (10 mi). how many heating cycles the engine has been through. such as RPM. the oil is not as capable of lubricating the engine. which build up more contaminants. primarily to improve fuel efficiency. At red uced viscosity.000 km (7. Should the reserve alkalinity decline to zer o. The oil filter remove s many of the particles and sludge. "acids". This has led to a campaign by the California EPA against the 3. Time-based intervals account for the short-trip drivers who drive short distance s.000 mi) or ever y three months. By the mid-1980s. Reserve alkalinity is the ability of th e oil to resist formation of acids. A modern typical application would be Honda motor's us e of 5W-20 viscosity oil for 12. Many manufacturers have varying requirements and have designations f or motor oil they require to be used. The motor oil and especially the additives also undergo thermal and mechanical d egradation. while the time in service is suppo sed to correlate with the number of vehicle trips and capture the number of heat ing cycles. Such particles could circulate in the oil and grind against the part surfaces causing wear. recommended viscosities had moved down to 10W-30. and how hard the engine has worked. These systems are commonly known as Oil Life Monitors or OL Ms. an d other contamination that leads to "sludge". Low er viscosity oils are common in newer vehicles. Also the rubbing of metal engine parts produces some microscopic metall ic particles from the wearing of the surfaces. with the constraint of " severe" service requiring more frequent changes with less-than ideal driving. promoting vehicle manufacturer's recommendations for oil change intervals over those of the oil change industry.eration. Many manufacturers have engine computer calculations to estimate the oil's condition based on the factors which degrade it. according to many automobile manufacture rs. if used for extremely long periods. especially with synthetics (synth etics are more stable than conventional oils). excess fuel.500 mi). where the oil does not get to full operating temperature long enough to burn off condensation. Oil does not degrade significantly just sitting in a cold engine.
. 2005) Biodegradable Motor Oils based on esters or hydrocarbon-ester blends appeared in the 1990s followed by formulations beginning in 2000 which respond to the bio-n o-tox-criteria of the European preparations directive (EC/1999/45).S. Packaging [icon] This section requires expansion. The California State public contract code defines a re-refined mo tor oil as one that contains at least 70% re-refined base stock. T hey offer zero-ash. The heat of the furnace breaks down the molecular chains of polyethylene into wax.3 U. qt) due to most small to mid-size engines require around 3.5 U. bypassing the expensive Fischer-Tropsch process . the spouts could be used to puncture the top of the can and to provide an easy way to pour the oil. before the modern plastic bottle which started to appear in the 1980s. From there.6 to 5. (September 2010) Motor oil came in glass bottles.S. principally in the cam and valve mechanism. leavi ng a clear oil. Oil can spouts were made separately from the cans.S. that they not only are biodegradable according to OECD 301x test methods. . In modern times oil is generally found on the market in small bottles in the siz e of either 1 U. The plastic is melted and then pumped into a furnace. et al. bu t also the aquatic toxicities (fish. this clean "base stock" is blended with some virgin base stock and a new additives package to make a finished lubricant product tha t can be just as effective as lubricants made with all-virgin oil. a common plastic product found in many consumer containers. (Miller. daphnie) are each above 100 mg/L. Another class of base oils suited for engine oil are the polyalkylene glycols. bio-no-tox properties and lean burn characteristics.4 to 5 litres (4. quart (946mL) or 1L as well as in larger plastic containers r anging from approximately 4.6 to 5. This mea ns. metal cans and metal/cardboard cans.8 to 5. Re-refining cleans the contaminants and used additives out o f the dirty oil. is used to make wax with the correct molecular properties for conversion into a lubricant.2 litres (3. but other standards are signifi cantly higher. Finally. qt) of en gine oil. The Unite d States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines re-refined products as co ntaining at least 25% re-refined base stock.al abrasion. Future A new process to break down polyethylene. the wax is s ubjected to a catalytic process that alters the wax's molecular structure. algae. Re-refined motor oil Main article: Automotive oil recycling The oil in a motor oil product does break down and burns as it is used in an eng ine — it also gets contaminated with particles and chemicals that make it a less e ffective lubricant.
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