Lubrication - Engine Repair & Service

Oil and Filter Change

Lubricating oil keeps surfaces apart, reducing friction and absorbing heat while preventing rapid wearing of moving engine parts and controlling corrosion. A circulating lubrication system with oil sump and filters also helps remove particle contaminants

Using the wrong grade of lubricating oil (too thick or too thin) alters the ability of the lube oil to maintain a continuous film between metal surfaces which can lead to premature wear and poor performance.

Oil Too Thin

When oil is too thin (viscosity too low) it cannot resist the bearing pressure as moving surfaces roll or slide against one another. Oil is squeezed out of the gap by the bearing pressure.

Oil Too Thick

When oil is too thick (viscosity too high) moving parts will have to overcome the drag of the oil; wasting energy and affecting engine performance.

Anti Corrosion Properties of Lubricating Oil

Good quality lube oils contain anti-oxidants and water scavengers to help prevent corrosion. They can also contain visco-elastic polymers that can help reduce friction by forming a mono-molecular surface layer.

Anti Wear Additives - Organo-Zinc & Organo-Titanium

Zinc Dithiophosphate (ZDP) & Zinc Dialkyl Dithio Phosphate (ZDDP)are often formulated as anti-wear additives. They can bond to metal surfaces; helping prevent metal-metal contact. They also act as anti-corrosion inhibitors and antioxidants

The Phosphorous element helps with surface coating-bonding for the anti-wear effect but lube oil contamination of the engine exhaust gases can dramatically reduce the lifespan of catalytic converters as the phosphorous prevents the normal catalytic function.

Organo-Titanium compounds can also chemically bond to metal surfaces and provide anti-wear properties without using phosphorous. Future Anti-Wear oil additives may use titanium organo-technology to replace the older zinc-phosphorous compounds and improve catalytic converter life expectancy

Multigrade Oil

Oil viscosity changes with temperature. Not all engine parts are moving at the same speed and require the same oil viscosity.

Optimal lubrication performance over varying temperatures and driving loads means compromise. Multigrade oils are designed to work well over a range of conditions commonly encountered with different driving conditions and varying between cold starting in Winter to full engine operating temperature.

Oil Change - Frequency

Engine oil change every 3000 miles was a common rule of thumb. Many modern car manufacturers specify 5000 to 7000 miles oil change intervals. Following the manufacturers recommended oil change frequencies ensures you validate your warranty.

Oil Decomposition

Oil is not a single compound. It comprises a mixture of thousands of chemicals; each with subtly different strutures and ability to react.

Extreme temperatures, pressures and the presence of oxygen, moisture and transition metal catalysts provides conditions where reactions take place. Molecules combine, split, polymerise and react in 101 different ways that change the lubrication properties.

Corrosion Inhibitors and moisture scavengers get used up protecting metal surfaces. Detergents and Acidity regulators get neutralised by particle contaminants and fuel combustion residues. Eventually, there are too many contaminants to control.

Synthetic lube oils are designed to perform better and last longer. Their molecular structure is designed for lubrication while having fewer impurities compared to mineral refined lube oils. Their controllled composition and higher price can also justify them containing a better range of protective chemical additives.

Oil Change Advice

When topping up lubricant levels between oil change services; use the same oil rather than mix products from different manufacturers to ensure compatibility.

Compare the engine oil during routine engine checks with a small reference container of fresh oil. Changes in viscosity will be an indication that it's time for new engine oil.

Compared to the cost of a new car or engine rebuild; an oil filter and oil change is cheap.
Use regular maintenance and routine servicing to prevent problems rather repair engine wear faults.