I upgrade to a synthetic motor oil
Why would I upgrade to a synthetic motor oil!
Despite all the amazing technological innovations of humanity, some of the most important machines in human history require dinosaur-era materials. Motor oil is essential for motor vehicles with internal combustion engines.
Oil serves many purposes in an engine. Oil reduces friction between moving parts and reduces wear. Oil transfers heat from the very hot parts of an engine to cooler parts. It also stops corrosion when metal parts are exposed to too much oxygen. Oil can also be used to clean dirty parts of the engine, thanks to additional detergents that prevent oil sludge from forming.
There are three major categories of consumer oil. There are two main types of consumer motor oil: conventional petroleum-based oils and synthetic versions made from chemicals. Part synthetic products, which combine conventional oil with artificial chemicals, are the third category.
Conventional motor oil is made from crude oil, which has undergone extensive refining to be suitable for engine use. However, synthetic oil is made through chemical reactions. Synthetics, like many technological breakthroughs, were created during times of conflict.
During World War II, the United States and Germany began using synthetic oils to power their aircraft engines and tanks. Both countries required more oil to support their war efforts. However, synthetics were also necessary because they needed better oil.
Germany and the United States wanted lubricants that could be used in extreme environments, such as very low temperatures. Conventional mineral oils are made up of wax and thicken quickly when exposed to cold weather. Conventional oils were a major factor in the slowdown of military operations in Europe during World War II.
Thickening oil was a problem for these aircraft and vehicles. The new synthetics were much more effective in subzero temperatures and greatly improved the ability to keep vehicles running no matter what the weather was.
Properties of Motor Oil
After the war, these lessons in lubrication were transferred to consumer vehicles. Synthetic oils have gradually caught up to traditional motor oil over the years. There are still many misconceptions about synthetic oils and their uses. Continue reading to learn more about oil and how to decide if you should upgrade to synthetic oil.
Motor oils are complex mixtures of many ingredients. However, they only contain two main elements: base oil and additives. Crude oil, a conventional oil, is extensively refined until it becomes a suitable base oil. The crude oil is thicker and can be used in different ways, like roofing tar or road asphalt.
Oil additives serve a variety of functions. They prevent oil from deteriorating due to high engine temperatures. They prevent corrosion, increase engine cleanliness, protect metal parts from wear, and improve oil flow characteristics.
You will find the performance information on each oil label when you shop for motor oils. First, ensure you are choosing the correct oil for your vehicle. S type oil is used for gasoline engines. C-type oils can only be used in diesel engines.
On a product’s label, you will also find the viscosity rating. High viscosity oils have a thicker consistency and flow slower than lower-viscosity oils. They are thinner and more fluid.
As an engine heats, oil viscosity changes. The oil’s viscosity changes as engine temperatures rise from very cold to very high. As a result, it loses its lubricating qualities. For example, a 5W-30 oil has a viscosity that is 5W in cold and wintry conditions (the W represents winter) and a viscosity that is 30-weight at normal engine operating temperatures. Manufacturers add polymers to oil to address this problem.
Synthetic oils can withstand extreme temperatures more than traditional oil. A 0W-30 synthetic oil can flow smoothly at temperatures as low as -62° Fahrenheit (-52.2° Celsius) and lower temperatures. In stark contrast to conventional oil, these temperatures effectively freeze it to a halt. This means there is no equivalent in conventional oil to this new grade.
Scientists spent many years researching synthetics to improve their performance and viscosity. New types of oils were created as scientists discovered new blends and synthetics.