Oil Thy Engine | A Comprehensive Guide to Engine Oil
We see a lot of cars who come to us for maintenance. The most common problem is low oil or dirty oil . Although you may know that engine oil is essential for your vehicle, and is necessary for its function, have you ever considered what happens if your engine oil runs out? If you drive an older car, it can really increase your chances of getting in trouble. Unless you take care of your car well.
Role Engine Oil Plays
It lubricates all the metallic parts of the engine to reduce friction and allow them to move easily. It also reduces the noise generated by metal components working together. It diffuses the heat generated by the engine, thereby cooling the engine. This prevents the parts from melting and being damaged by heat. It collects dirt and debris, and moves it to the engine oil filter it.
What does dirty, gunky, old, grimy oil do?
- This causes friction.
- This causes more heating.
- It makes dirt deposit.
It does exactly what it was designed to do.
Let’s get to the science.
An engine that is extremely low in oil will cause it to stop heating and overheating. Even if your high school science class wasn’t as brilliant, you will likely remember that large amounts of oil are made up of carbon.
Excessive heating can cause oil to undergo several reactions (oxidation, thermal degradation, and compression heating). This causes oil to go bad much faster.
All this breakdown results in the regular: tar and sludge; varnish and soot; etc. All the nasty little creatures that a TVC might show! All of these carbon-loving creatures begin to build up on your engine’s internals. This includes the rings, bearings and cylinder walls. So now instead of cooling/lubricating/cleaning, the broken-down oil due to more friction is now heating, creating deposits, and making the engine a really filthy place.
What happens if a car runs low on engine oil?
You could end up with your engine ruined or grinding to a halt if you run out of oil. If your engine is not lubricated, it can cause damage and even a complete failure. You could end up stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Signs that your engine needs oil
The dashboard displays the ‘Low Oil’ warning light. The low oil pressure warning lamp should turn off after you have turned your engine on. It should go off if it remains lit while you drive.
- Strange engine noises.
- The dipstick has a low oil level.
- The colour of the oil on the dipsticks is unusually dark.
- The oil on the dipstick contains grit or other hard particles.
Low Oil Pressure Warning Light Could Signify More
- You are either losing oil. If you have an oil leak, gaskets or seals may need to be replaced. Or perhaps your oil filter was not installed correctly during your last oil change.
- Or burning oils, which can be a serious problem: A variety of internal engine parts may need to been replaced, including piston rings or valve guides.
- The oil pressure unit sending the alert has failed. This is a minor problem and you might feel lucky.
A worn or damaged oil pump, a plugged engine crankcase oil pickup screen, or a plugged filter could be the problem. You won’t be able to identify the problem unless it is checked.
There is a way to check the oil level.
It is important to not get a false reading when checking the dipstick. To get the correct reading, remove it from its holder. Wipe it with a damp cloth. The dipstick usually has two levels: one at the top and one at the bottom. These two lines should be in line with each other.