Engine Oil

Common Engine Oil Jargons & Terminologies Explained

Engine oil is the lifeblood of any vehicle. Also called motor oil, lubricant or lube. The engine is a critical component of vehicle longevity and life expectancy. Simply put, engine oil reduces friction and heat to prevent metal parts and gears from breaking apart. It also cleans up any sludge and other debris.

What if we said that not all oils are created equal and there are distinct characteristics that distinguish different types of engine oils? Let’s now take a look at 10 common terms and jargons used in engine oils.

We will not cover other terms related to engine oils such as synthetic, semisynthetic and mineral. Instead, we will focus on common terminology related to engine oils.

Base Oil

Base oil is used in the manufacture of different types of lubricants, such as grease, specialised oils or engine oils. Different products have different requirements for oil compositions and properties. Base oil is basically crude oil that has been refined and then added to make different forms.


To enhance or improve certain properties, such as performance, lubrication, sludge protection and wear-tear resistance, additives are chemical compounds that can be added to the engine oil.

Different additives can add properties like anti-wear, anti-foam, anti-corrosion, acid-neutralization, viscosity-maintenance, detergency etc.


The engine oil viscosity is the ease with which oil flows at a given temperature and under certain conditions. Simply put, thinner oils flow at lower temperatures and are more fluid, while thicker oils flow better under certain conditions and have higher viscosities.

High viscosity oils perform better at higher temperatures and with greater loads. Low viscosity oils help reduce friction and speed up engine start-ups in cold weather.

Running Temperature

The engine oil’s optimum temperature at a given load is called the running temperature. The engine oil temperature is a crucial factor in engine oil dynamics.

API (American Petroleum Institute).

API may also be written on bottles. This stands for American Petroleum Institute. American Petroleum Institute, a trade association in the United States for the oil- and natural gas industries, is known as API. API ratings of engine oils refer to the oil’s performance (e.g. SM for petrol, CF for diesel).


JASO, or Japanese Automotive Standards Organization, is the grading system specifically designed for Motorcycle Engine Oil. JASO was established to replace the API specifications by the Japanese Petroleum Institute. These were not appropriate for modern Japanese engine specifications.


Ester is a variant of generic synthetic oil. Ester oils are derived from natural sources. They are synthesized in smaller amounts than regular synthetic oil. Ester oils are attracted to metals and stick to them. If they burn, the oil leaves almost no residue in the engine.

Advanced Polar Technology

Advanced Polar Technology a new engine oil technology. It contains negatively charged electrons that are infused into the oil. This helps the oil cling to your car’s engine, and provides better wear and tear protection. This technology opens up new avenues in engine oil innovation.

In the beginning, the term “Polar Attraction Technology” was used to describe a technology that uses molecules to form a bond with the surface. This allows for reduced friction and wear of the metal surfaces under extreme conditions. The ‘Advanced Polar Technology” was also modified by the inclusion of fullerene in engine oil.

Fullerene, a type of hollow spheroidal CO isotopes, is also a very popular component in engine oils that reduces friction. Because of its unique shape, it traps engine oil within its cage-like structure. This provides the dual benefit of reduced friction as well as increased metal retention.


When the engine oil becomes less liquid (age), it thickens to form a black substance that is tar-like. Sludge formation occurs because your engine is constantly exposed to external agents such as moisture, oxidation and foreign contaminants.

Sludge formation accelerates wear and tear by increasing engine temperature.

Anti-foaming agent

Anti-foaming agents are chemical additives that reduce foam formation in engine oil. Silicone is commonly added to engine oils to prevent foam formation, destroy surface bubbles, or reduce internal bubble count by polymer.

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