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Student Workbook

LV07
Lubrication
Systems (1)

LV07/SWB

Student Workbook for Technical Certificates in


Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair

MODULE LV07
LUBRICATION SYSTEMS (1)

Contents
Page
Introduction

Periodic Maintenance:
Checking the oil level
Changing the engine oil
Replacing the oil and filter
Progress check 1

4
4
5
6
8

Lubrication System:
Sump
Strainer
Oil pump
Oil filter
Pressure release valve
Oil pressure switch
Oil pressure gauge
Oil circulation
Internal gear oil pump
Rotor type pump
Gear type pump
Eccentric vane type oil pump
Pressure release valve
Operation
Filters
Full flow filter
By-pass filter
Progress check 2
Oil cooler
Air cooled oil cooler
Water cooled oil cooler

9
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
11
13
14
14
15
15
16
17
18
18
19
20
21
22

....Page
Oil pressure warning lamp
Low pressure
Oil pressure - normal
Oil pressure gauge
Low oil pressure
Oil pressure normal or high
Positive crankcase ventilation
Fixed orifice type
Variable flow PCV valve
Progress check 3
Total loss system
Wet and dry systems
Operation - dry system

23
23
24
25
25
26
26
27
28
29
30
30
31

Lubricants:
Characteristics of lubricants
Lubricating oil additives
API classification
Petrol engine oil classification
Diesel engine oil classification
Interpretation of viscosity index
Multi grade oils
Synthetic motor oils
Progress check 4

32
32
33
34
35
35
37
37
38
39

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Introduction

Engine oil filler


cap
Engine oil
dipstick

The main function of a lubrication system is to form a film of oil between the
working surfaces of the components to prevent damage by direct contact and
to reduce friction to a minimum.
The oils function is to act as a seal and protect against corrosion. It is a
means of conducting heat away from the moving parts and to wash away any
abrasive and corrosive deposits from the working surfaces.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Periodic Maintenance
Checking the oil level
Oil consumption is influenced by many factors. New engines reach their
normal value at around 3,000 miles (5,000km). High speeds and heavy loads
can influence the rate of engine oil consumption.
The engine oil should be checked periodically when refuelling, or before long
journeys commence.

Dipstick
removed

Actual oil level

Maximum
level mark

Minimum
level mark

When checking the oil level, it is essential that the vehicle is on level ground
and the ignition is switched off. Allow the engine oil to drain into the sump
from the engine (if the engine is cold allow a longer period of time).
Pull the dipstick out and wipe it with a clean, none-fluffy cloth. Re-insert it
completely and pull it out. Examine the oil level, ensuring that if the oil is
topped up, it does not exceed the max mark. Use the recommended oil for
the vehicle.
When filling, wipe around the oil filler cap to ensure no dirt falls into the engine
when the cap is removed. Ensure the oil filler cap is tightened correctly after
topping up.
Oil deteriorates in use and consequently provides less protection to the
engine. Therefore, the oil and filter must be changed at the manufacturers
recommended intervals. Oil contamination occurs as a result of dust, grit,
water, as well as carbon and acids from combustion by-products. Un-burnt
fuel can leak past the pistons, while other contaminants are the result of
corrosion and loose metal particles caused by natural wear and tear.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Changing the engine oil

When draining engine oil to replace with new, the engine must be warmed up
and the drain plug removed. Allow the engine to drain until all the oil has
emptied into the container.
Dispose of the waste oil through the authorised waste disposal facility. Oil
filters should be crushed to squeeze out the oil before disposal. Check with
the local authority about waste disposal regulations.
Replace the drain plug, ensuring that a new washer, seal or gasket is used
and tighten according to the manufacturers recommendations. Do not over
fill.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Replacing the oil and filter


Special service
tool

Oil filter

To remove the oil filter, slacken off the filter from the engine and use a
drainage pan to collect the oil.

Cleaning the
gasket seating

Clean the surface of the filter bracket.

Check that the rubber gasket is installed on the new filter and apply oil to the
seal.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Lightly screw the filter until resistance is felt, then tighten the filter an extra
three quarters of a turn.

Refill the engine with new oil and check the level.

Start the engine and check for oil leaks visually and by touch.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Progress check 1
Answer the following questions:

1.

Why is it recommended that the oil filler cap area is wiped before
removal?

2.

What kind of cloth should be used to wipe the dipstick?

3.

How should old engine oil be disposed of?

4.

Before refitting the sump drain plug, what should be examined and
replaced if necessary?

5.

When checking the oil level, why is it essential that the vehicle is
placed on level ground?

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Lubrication System

Oil falling
back to the
sump

Oil pumped
to around
the engine

Oil pressure
release valve
Oil pump driven
by the
crankshaft

Oil filter

Pick-up tube
Oil strainer

Oil in the
sump

Sump
The sump forms the bottom half of the crankcase and acts as a reservoir for
the oil. It must be of a sufficient capacity to provide an adequate supply of oil
for the engine. The dipstick enters the sump to enable a check on the oil
level.

Strainer
The gauze filter fitted to the pickup-tube filters larger particles of abrasive
deposits to prevent them circulating around the engine and clogging the main
filter, therefore shortening its life. Its main function is to protect the oil pump.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Oil pump
The oil pump circulates the oil in the system and is situated either in the sump
below the level of the oil, or positioned above the oil level as shown above.
The pump drive may be taken from the camshaft (overhead rocker valve gear)
and driven by a gear, or taken from the crankshaft and driven direct (overhead
camshaft valve gear).

Oil filter
This is usually made from paper and is of the element type. It is replaced
after a mileage of between 6,000 and10, 000 miles, at the same time as the
oil. Check the manufacturers service guide.

Pressure release valve


This is a spring-loaded ball or thimble, which sits on a seat preventing the flow
of oil until a preset oil pressure has been reached. It is fitted into the main oil
gallery or incorporated within the oil pump casing. The pressure release valve
is responsible for maintaining the working pressure of the lubrication system.
When the oil pressure reaches a predetermined pressure, the valve lifts off its
seat allowing all excess oil to flow back into the sump.

Oil pressure switch


This switch operates the oil warning light to warn the driver of a failure in the
lubrication system caused by loss of pressure. The oil pressure switch is
fitted in the main oil gallery.

Oil pressure gauge


The oil pressure gauge is connected to the main oil gallery by a pipe. Its
purpose is to ensure that an oil pressure reading is conveyed to the driver.

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Oil circulation

When the engine is started, the pump draws oil from the sump through the
strainer, pick-up tube and through the filter to the main gallery.
Oil ways are drilled through the crankcase. They direct oil from the main
gallery to the crankshaft main bearings and up to the top of the engine to
lubricate the camshaft bearings.

Section through
the crankshaft
showing oil ways

Oil ways drilled through the crankshaft webs supply oil to the big end bearings
from the main bearings.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Oil
drillings

Oil
drillings

Crankshaft
pulley
mount

Flywheel
mounting
flange

Rear main
bearing

A separate drilling up to the top of the engine supplies oil from the main
gallery to the valve gear, the surplus oil then falls down the engine into the
sump to be circulated again.

The connecting rods have a hole drilled through their length and provide
pressure fed lubrication to the piston pin (gudgeon pin). The connecting rod is
fed from the crankshaft big end bearings.
This method directs a jet of oil onto the piston pin every time a hole in the big
end bearing journal lines up with a hole in the connecting rod. It also
lubricates the cylinder and piston by splash. The pistons and cylinders are
lubricated when oil is thrown up from the big end bearings by centrifugal force.

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Internal gear oil pump

Oil is drawn up through a strainer and a pickup tube when the engine rotates.
When the pressure rises above a predetermined level of about 4.0kg/cm
(56.9 psi), it overcomes the spring force of the pressure release valve, which
opens allowing excess oil to return to the sump. If a fault develops and the
pressure release valve sticks open, the oil pressure will not be achieved and
this could cause damage due to seizure of engine parts.
If the pressure release valve sticks and remains closed, then the oil pressure
will rise to an abnormally high pressure, which will cause oil to leak out of the
engine. A worn oil pump will cause the oil pressure to drop
This type of pump can be driven direct from the front of the crankshaft and
does not require a separate drive gear. Normally two flats on the middle gear
drive the pump centre gear. This meshes with the outer gear, which is
positioned off-centre.
Rotation of the gears carries oil from the inlet to the outlet side, in the tooth
spaces on both sides of the spacer. Since the teeth mesh together, the oil
cannot return. As a result there is a build up of oil pressure. Oil pumps that
are submerged in the oil do not require priming but pumps fitted above the oil
may give problems if the engine has been standing for a considerable length
of time, or if the pump has been assembled dry. So, take care.
Also, note that the inlet (suction) port is larger than the outlet. This is to avoid
a condition known as cavitation. There is always adequate oil available and
air locks are prevented.
To avoid drain back into the sump, a non-return valve may be fitted between
the strainer and the pump.

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Rotor type pump (Hobourn-Eaton oil pump)

This pump is
very similar to
the external
gear type, it is
driven by the
camshaft and
is submerged
in the oil

Inlet

Outlet

The rotor type pump has an inner and an outer rotor, which mesh with each
other. The outer rotor has one more lobe than the inner one. The lobes have
different axes of rotation, which causes the spaces between them to vary in
size. Oil fills the space between the two rotors when drawn from the sump.
The oil is forced under pressure to lubricate the engine components.

Gear type pump


Outlet
Driven gear

Idler gear

Gear
keyed to
drive
shaft
(driven by
camshaft)

Inlet

The gear type pump involves two meshing gears, which draw oil up from the
sump into the spaces between the gears. When the gear teeth come
together, they squeeze out the oil under pressure to the engine. The oil
travels around the outside edge of the gears. For many years the gear type
pump was almost universal, it is still in common use.

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Eccentric vane type oil pump


Outlet

Inlet

Outlet

Inlet

Spring
loaded
vanes

Casing

Slotted vane

Driven from camshaft

The rotor is mounted on a shaft eccentric to the casing bore.


In the first illustration, the vane is spring loaded and the outer edges are kept
in contact with the casing by a spring. Oil is carried around from the inlet to
the outlet.
In the second illustration, a spring is not used there are two cut away onepiece vanes fitted in a slot at right angles to each other. The casing is so
shaped that each vane remains in contact with the casing at both ends in all
positions.

Pressure release valve


To control the amount of oil flowing in the lubrication system, it is necessary to
regulate the pressure. This is achieved by using a pressure release valve.
The oil pressure release valve is often fitted integrally in the pump body,
although it can be a separate item.

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Operation

When engine speed


is low

The oil pump circulates the oil to the filter, oil pressure not yet high enough to
push the valve off its seat.

When engine speed


is high

Pressure has built up to the operating pressure of the release valve, moving it
off its seat, the excess oil returns to the sump. The operating pressure is
controlled during the operation of the engine at all normal running speeds.

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Filters

The purpose of filters in the lubrication system is to remove abrasive particles


from the oil, which would cause an increase in wear and eventual damage to
the engine bearings.
Filters are replaceable and contain about 4 metres of resin-impregnated
paper. This is shaped to give a very large surface area to the oil passing
through it.

When the filter element is fitted with a by-pass valve and the element
becomes blocked by impurities, the differential in pressure between the inlet
and the discharge (outlet) side of the filter rises above a pre-determined level
1kg/cm or 14 psi. The by-pass valve opens and allows oil to by-pass the
filter element. Therefore unfiltered oil passes to the engine parts to prevent
seizure.
The small pores of the paper trap the small particles of around 25 microns.
There are two main types of filter used in motor vehicles.
These are:

full-flow

by-pass.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Full flow filter


By-pass
valve
Pressure
release
valve

Oil
pump

Filter

Bearings

Strainer

Sump

All the oil flows through the full-flow filter to the bearings - providing that the
filter is not blocked or the oil too thick (e.g. when it is cold).

By-pass filter

Pressure
release
valve
Filter
Oil
pump

Strainer

Bearings
restrictor

Sump

Only some of the oil is filtered, the oil flows directly to the bearings. The bypass filter is usually finer and will filter much finer particles than the full-flow
type. Filtering is done as the oil returns to the sump.

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Progress check 2
Answer the following questions:

1.

The main function of the oil strainer is to protect the ____________

2.

The oil filter is normally replaced between __________ mile; it is


recommended that the ___________ should be changed at the same
time.

3.

Oil pressure in the lubrication system is provided by the ___________

4.

The ___________ in the connecting rod is to allow cooling and to


lubricate the underside piston.

5.

The oil in a gear type pump is carried around the ___________ of the
gear wheels.

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Oil cooler
Heat is the enemy of oil and engines. While the cooling system cools the
cylinder block and cylinder head, the rest of the engines internal components
rely on engine oil for cooling, transferring heat, lubricating and cleaning.
Engine oil becomes quite hot during service as it removes heat from engine
parts. Normally, the only cooling of oil is from the air stream passing over the
engine sump.
The cooling system is doing its job if it is keeping the engine temperature
under control, so that the oil doesnt have too much to contend with. Oil loses
heat as it travels through the filter and the engine is radiating heat
continuously. For all of these reasons, it is unusual for engine oil to overheat.
However, there are some situations when oil cooling is necessary, such as
with high-powered engines, or engines that carry heavy loads. Almost all aircooled engines have oil coolers.
There are several types of oil coolers, but the two most commonly used in
motor vehicles are fitted between the engine block and the oil filter. Water
circulates around the oil and cools it.
Another type is fitted in the water-cooling radiator and borrows a small section
of the cooling area within the radiator. It is cooled by air ram action through
the radiator.
Some oil cooling systems use a separate radiator, which is fitted in the air
stream at the front of the vehicle. Oil coolers may have a thermostat fitted to
ensure that the oil is not over cooled and that the oil is prevented from
circulating through the cooler when the engine is cold.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Air cooled oil cooler


Oil filter

Oil cooler
Pressure
release valve

Part of the oil flows from the oil pump to the air-cooled oil cooler, then it
returns to the sump.
When the engine speed is low and the pressure falls to approximately
3.0kg/cm the relief valve for the oil cooler closes and oil is therefore
prevented from flowing to through the oil cooler.

To main oil
gallery
From
pump
Release
valve

To oil cooler

When the oil pressure rises as engine speed rises, the release valve opens
and oil flows through the cooler and back to the sump.
Temperature of engine oil should not rise above 100C. At 125C, the oil
begins to lose its lubrication properties.

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Water cooled oil cooler

Engine coolant
Engine
coolant

Oil filter
Oil cooler with
release valve

Pressure
release
valve

To main
oil
gallery

Engine
coolant

Due to increasing compactness within engine compartments, it has become


difficult in some cases to fit an air-cooled oil cooler. This is because the
space required is no longer available on modern vehicles. It has become
more common to fit a water- cooled oil cooler.

In this system, all the oil flows from the pump to the oil cooler, where it is
cooled. After being cooled, the oil flows from the cooler to lubricate the
engine parts.

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A pressure release valve is used to prevent damage to the oil cooler due to
increased oil pressure when the engine is cold, which increases thickness of
the oil at low temperatures.
When the differential between the inlet side of the cooler increase to more
than 1.5kg/cm on the outlet side, the pressure release valve opens and oil
flows from the oil pump, by-passing the oil cooler and continues to lubricate
the engine.

Oil pressure warning lamp

The oil pressure switch is mounted in the cylinder block and is usually directly
monitoring the oil pressure in the oil gallery.

Low pressure
The points inside the pressure switch are closed when the engine is stopped
or when the oil pressure falls below its predetermined pressure usually this is
about 0.2kg/cm, this causes the oil warning lamp to light.

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Oil pressure normal

When the engine is started and the oil pressure rises higher than the
predetermined value, the pressure acting on the diaphragm inside the oil
pressure switch lifts the points off their seat this causes the oil-warning lamp
to switch off.
The disadvantage of an oil warning light is that it does not warn of oil pressure
exceeding safety limits caused by a faulty pressure release valve e.g. when it
has become stuck or seized. However oil pressure release valves usually
stick open leading to low oil pressure. The oil warning light serves well in
monitoring low oil pressure caused by low oil level.

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Oil pressure gauge


The oil pressure sender is mounted in the cylinder block and monitors oil
pressure in the oil gallery in the same way as the oil pressure-warning switch
does.
When the ignition is turned on, current flows through the coils, which are
wrapped around the bi-metal strips this causes them to heat up and bend.

Low oil pressure

When the oil pressure is low, the points in the sender gauge make contact.
As the coil warms up, the bi-metal strip bends slightly causing the points to
open, so only a small amount of current flows through the coil to heat the wire
of the receiver gauge. The bi-metal strip bends slightly and as a result, the
indicator needle moves to the right by a slight amount.

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Oil pressure normal or high

When the oil pressure is high, the diaphragm is pushed strongly against the
points putting them in contact under more pressure. Since it takes longer for
the bi-metal strip in the sender gauge to bend (due to heat caused by current
flow) and for the points to open, more current is allowed to flow to the heated
wire of the receiver gauge. This causes further bending of the receiver gauge
bi-metal strip, causing the needle to move further to the right.

Positive crankcase ventilation


During the compression stroke, a small amount of gas in the combustion
chamber escapes past the piston. About 70% of these gases are unburned
fuel (hydrocarbons).
Unburned fuel can dilute and contaminate the engine oil, causing corrosion to
engine lubricated parts. It also contributes to sludge build up.
When engines are run at higher speeds, the leaking of gases past the pistons
increases crankcase pressure, which can cause oil leaks.
The purpose of the positive crankcase ventilation system (PCV) is to remove
these harmful gases from the crankcase before damage can occur.
Combining these gases in the crankcase with the normal air/fuel mixture that
enters the engine through the intake valve ensures efficient burning of the fuel
and therefore reduces hydrocarbon emissions into the atmosphere.
Two types of PCV are used. These are the fixed orifice type and the variable
flow PCV valve.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Fixed orifice type

Air filter

Orifice
Two fixed
valves are used
to balance the
vacuum
applied to
ventilate the
crankcase

This system is simple and provides crankcase ventilation based on the size of
two fixed orifice valves. The two fixed valves are used to balance the strength
of the vacuum applied to the crankcase as engine operating conditions
change. The biggest disadvantage with this type of system is that gases
entering the crankcase do not always match intake manifold vacuum
characteristics.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Variable-flow PCV valve

Acceleration,
high load
Vacuum
passage
large

Blow-by
gas

PCV valve
open

Blow-by gas
rises to top of
engine

Valve
Engine off
or backfire
PCV
valve
closed

The variable-flow valve system more accurately matches ventilation flow with
leakage past the pistons. By accurately matching these two factors,
crankcase performance is optimised and engine performance remains
unaffected. Like the previous system, it also uses manifold vacuum to draw
crankcase vapour into the inlet manifold.
Blow-by production is greatest at high speed and is very light during idle and
light load conditions. Since the manifold vacuum characteristics do not match
the flow requirements needed for proper ventilation, a PCV valve is used to
regulate the blow-by gas into the manifold.
During high speed and loaded conditions, blow-by is at a maximum. The
valve extends further from the restriction allowing maximum flow of blow-by
gas into the combustion chamber.
If the PCV valve cannot handle the full total blow-by, then excess blow-by
flows through the breather hose to the air cleaner housing where it can enter
the combustion chamber and be burnt.
When the engine is off or it backfires, the valve is closed by spring tension
completely preventing the release of blow-by into the intake manifold.
The valve closes during a backfire to prevent the flame from travelling into the
crankcase and therefore igniting the fuel vapours.
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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Progress check 3
Answer the following questions:

1.

When the engine speed is high the oil pressure valve is open/closed
(Delete the incorrect word).

2.

Two main types of oil filter are the __________ and __________

3.

A disadvantage of an air cooled oil cooler is that __________

4.

An oil warning lamp provides an indication of ___________

5.

A variable flow PVC valve is better than the __________

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Total loss system


Early motorcycle engines used a total loss system of lubrication, which a
pump full of oil was delivered to the crankcase by the driver at certain
intervals.
Oil was splashed around the engine by internal flywheels and connecting
rods, reaching the cylinder walls in a somewhat fortuitous manner. This type
of lubrication is known as splash. It occurs in modern engines inside the
valve cover, for example.
Unless the driver was attentive, the engine suffered over oiling and periods of
oil starvation, often with disastrous results. Dipper troughs on big end
bearings offered a more regular lubrication system for the engine. These
dippers would pick oil up from troughs in the sump and splash oil around the
engine. The crankshaft did not have holes drilled in it for the oil to flow
through.
Lubrication became a little more regular and the objectionable splashing of a
large body of oil in the crankcase was avoided, but the direction of oil to the
vital parts of the engine was insufficiently positive and certain.

Wet and dry systems


With a forced system of lubrication either a wet sump or a dry sump system
may be employed. The dry sump system is used universally for aircraft and in
engines, which operate at a considerable inclination to the horizontal and
employs two pumps.
The sump or oil tank retains very little oil, the oil is scavenged by a pump
known as the scavenge pump which delivers oil to tank situated in a
convenient position. This tank often doubles as a cooling radiator.

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Operation - dry system


The oil is drawn from the main tank by a pressure pump and is circulated
under pressure through a piping system to the various engine parts.
Sometimes two scavenge pumps are used, one at each end of the crankcase,
each in a small sump. When a single scavenge pump is fitted, it is usually
fitted in a deep sump in the centre if the engine is likely to operate at large
inclinations.
The scavenge pump is of a larger capacity than the pressure pump as its
work is likely to be intermittent as a result of the variation of the oil level in the
sump and also because of aeration of the oil as it is flung off the moving parts.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Lubricants
Characteristics of lubricants
Most engine lubricants consist of a petroleum base and a variety of additives.
Some are made from a synthetic base.
The primary functions of motor oils are to:

provide a barrier between the moving parts to reduce friction, heat build up
and wear

provides a means of carrying the heat away from engine components

facilitate removal of dirt and other particles (abrasive metals that have
been worn from frictional faces) that are suspended in the oil by carrying
them around to the filter

leave a protective coating on all parts when the engine is turned off, to
prevent rusting and corrosion

neutralise acids that build up in the oil that are a product of combustion

resist sludge and varnish build up and to be able to withstand extreme


heat without changing its physical properties leading to breakdown

stay fluid in cold weather, but remain thick enough to offer engine
protection in hot conditions

act as a seal to prevent leakage between parts such as pistons, piston


rings and cylinders.

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Lubricating oil additives


All engine manufacturers recommend oils that have been improved by
additives. The most important, listed below, are:

detergent-dispersant additives used to prevent sludge and varnish

foam inhibitors, designed to prevent the formation of foam

oxidation inhibitors, used to reduce the possibility of the oil being oxidized

viscosity improvers, used to improve the viscosity index, e.g. the change in
the viscosity of the oil caused by change in temperature (thickness or
thinness of an oil)

corrosion and anti-rust inhibitors, designed to prevent rust and corrosion of


engine parts

anti-wear additives - all top quality oils contain this additive which prevents
metal-to-metal contact.

Oil may be supplied to the parts of an engine by splashing or by pump


pressure (force feed). Usually, it is a combination of both. In the former
system, known as the gravity system, the oil is splashed about inside the
engine by the moving parts.
In the latter system - a pump generally of the positive displacement type - is
used to circulate the oil from the engine sump to the moving parts.

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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

API classification

API classification

Few people know what the letters mean on the side of an oil container, or
their importance when selecting oil for a vehicle.
The letters refer to the classification, a letter grading system established by
the A.P.I. (American Petroleum Institute).
Two letters are used to grade the oil. The first letter could be an S, which is
used for spark ignition engines (petrol engines).
Oils that have a first letter C are for compression ignition engines (diesel
engines).
Oils can be rated for both S and C usage. The second letter can be a rating
from A to the letter H, with the second alphabetical letters representing
higher quality oil. Current petrol engines use the SH rating and diesel
engines use the CE rating. It is important that the correct selection of oil for
the vehicle is adhered to. Check the manufacturers recommendations.

- 34 Copyright Automotive Skills Limited 2003


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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Petrol engine oil classification


SA
SB
SC

SD
SE

SF

SG
SH
SJ

For engines operating under mild conditions, no special capabilities


(mineral oil). Contains no additives
For light duty operation. Contains anti-scuff, resists oxidation and slows
bearing corrosion
Minimum requirements for all 1964 to 1967 cars and light trucks.
Controls high and low temperature deposits, resists rust and corrosion
(detergent and dispersant)
For 1968 and later engines, better high and low temperature deposit
control than SC. Also contains anti-corrosion and wear resisting agent
For 1972 and later petrol engines. It provides maximum protection
against rust, corrosion, wear, oxidation and high temperature deposits
which cause oil thickening
For petrol engines and some trucks beginning 1980, operating under
engine manufacturers recommendations. Top grade oil with
outstanding wear resistance and durability
This is for 1987 and newer car models (all of the above advantages)
This is for 1994 and newer car models (all of the above advantages)
The very latest classification exceeds all of the above

Diesel engine oil classification


CA
CB

CC

CD

CE
CH

For light duty normally aspirated diesel engines, provides protection


against high temperature deposits and bearing corrosion
For moderate duty normally aspirated engines operating on a high
sulphur fuel, protects against bearing corrosion and high temperatures
(medium-duty)
For moderate duty lightly super charged/turbo-charged diesel engines
and certain heavy-duty petrol engines. Protects against rust, corrosion
high and low temperature deposits
For severe duty supercharged/turbocharged diesel engines using fuels
of a wide quality range high sulphur content), provides a highly effective
control of corrosion and deposits
For supercharged/turbocharged heavy duty diesel engine made after
1983
The very latest classification has everything the engine needs

- 35 Copyright Automotive Skills Limited 2003


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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Viscosity SAE
rating

The number designation found on an oil container represents the viscosity


rating. Viscosity is a measure of the thickness or thinness (ease or resistance
to flow).
Oil viscosity numbers are assigned to the oil by the S.A.E. (Society of
Automotive Engineers). The W rating means that the oil has been rated for
winter use and that the oil meets the specification for viscosity at minus 20C.

O ils s h o u ld b e
s e le c te d th a t h a v e a
c o m b in a tio n o f
v is c o s ity in d e x a n d
A P I c la s s ific a tio n
th a t b e s t m a tc h e s
e x p e c te d a m b ie n t
te m p e r a tu r e s a n d
d r iv in g c o n d itio n s

Oil that has too low a viscosity level may break down and lose strength at high
temperatures. If the oil is too thick (high viscosity), it may not pump through
the engine quickly enough to lubricate the components sufficiently. Engine oil
should flow easily when the engine is cold and remain thick enough to protect
the engine when it is hot.

- 36 Copyright Automotive Skills Limited 2003


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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Interpretation of viscosity index


In the past, oil used in winter situations made engine cranking difficult due to
the oils thickness when cold. Car owners would use winter grade oil that was
thinner for winter running and summer grade oil, which was thicker. In
modern times, these two properties have been combined thanks to special
additives.

Multi-grade oils (multi viscosity)


Nowadays, special additives are used to reduce the change in oil viscosity as
a result of temperature variations. This means that the same grade can be
used throughout winter and summer. Oils that have this property are called
multi-grade or cross-grade. These oils can be identified by the SAE rating,
which has two numbers separated by the letter W. A typical rating of oil is
SAE 5W30. In this case, the oil is equivalent to SAE when tested at sub-zero
temperatures (hence the W to indicate winter conditions) and has a viscosity
of SAE 30 at the normal rated temperature.

- 37 Copyright Automotive Skills Limited 2003


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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Synthetic motor oils


All motor oils are made up of base oils and additives. In general, fully
synthetic oil contains non-conventional, high-performance fluids such as
polyalphaolefins (PAOs).
Semi-synthetic oils (also called blends) usually use a small percentage of
non-conventional, high performance fluids in combination with conventional
oil.
High temperature and protection against deposits are superior to conventional
oils. Conventional oils contain a greater proportion of impurities, such as
sulphur, reactive and unstable hydrocarbons and other undesirable
contaminants that cannot be completely removed by conventional refining of
crude oil.
Synthetic motor oils perform under extreme conditions such as severe
weather cold starting, extreme high temperature operations and high load
conditions.
Advantages of synthetic oils over conventional oil include:

superior protection under heavy load (such as towing)

low oil degradation

excellent protection at high temperatures

resistance to thermal breakdown

greater resistance to oil oxidation

the fact that some synthetic oils are so good they require no viscosity
improvers

flexibility to provide extended drain intervals (some manufacturers claim


25,000 between oil changes for normal operating conditions

reduced friction, therefore reduced wear

suitability for air-cooled engines, turbo-charged diesel engines and rotary


engines

start-up wear reduced to almost nil

provision of nominal film strength of 3000 psi, whereas conventional oil


handles just 500 psi.
- 38 -

Copyright Automotive Skills Limited 2003


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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1

Progress check 4
Answer the following questions:

1.

State three functions of motor oil.

2.

What type of engine would require an API classification do SF? Why is


it a better choice for modern vehicles?

3.

What type of engine would require an API classification of CE? What is


the latest classification?

4.

Explain the meaning of 10W30 SAE.

5.

State three reasons why synthetic motor oil is better than conventional
motor oil.

- 39 Copyright Automotive Skills Limited 2003


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LV07: Lubrication (1) Issue 1