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This item has not been rated yet. Over pages of useful information, written in a way that just about anyone will understand it. The top 5 most frequently asked questions about motor oil answered in great detail. How can I use this format? Log in to rate this item. You must be logged in to post a review. So, What Will You Learn? Mobil, Castrol, some exotic brand? The questions go on and on, and, without a good working knowledge of motor oils, you can't really answer any of them in an informed way. Once you know the type of oil you need, you're then left with the task of comparing the various oils that are available that meet your criteria.
This can be a daunting task if you don't really understand what the data on the tech spec sheets means.
The Motor Oil Bible - Free
This book will explain clearly what each specification means, which ones will be most valuable to you, and how to compare them. This will give you the info that nobody else is giving you, the info that will actually help you evaluate which filters are right for you.
If so, how do you decide which one to purchase? Should you be using the OEM oil? What about your warranty? What else happens when I change the oil then? Engines pump about 10, litres of air for every litre of fuel consumed, and along with all that air, they suck in plenty of dirt and grit. A good air filter will stop everything bigger than a micron in diameter - everything smaller mostly just floats around harmlessly in the 0. Despite all of this, there will always be submicron particles that get in and there will be places in the engines oilways where they will gather.
Every time you empty the oil from your sump, you're also draining this fine grit with it. Checking the oil in your engine, and topping up. You'd be surprised by the number of people that don't know how to do even this basic task. When checking the level of oil in the engine, the car should be on a level plane, and should be relatively cold. Reading the oil in this way results in an erroneous reading because a quantity of oil usually about half a litre is still confined in the oilways and passages galleries of the engine, and takes some time to drain back into the crankcase.
On the image, the blue areas are where oil is likely to still be running back down to the sump. But on seeing what appears to be an abnormally low level on the dipstick, these people then add more oil to the crankcase. The oilways and passages all empty, and suddenly the engine becomes over-filled with oil, going way above the 'MAX' mark on the dipstick. The problem with this is that the next time the engine is run, the windage in the crankcase and other pressures generated by the oil pump, etc.
Eventually, often much sooner than the ordinary man in the street might expect, the rear main bearing seal ruptures, and the engine becomes a 'leaker'. If you've got a manual gearbox, this means one thing: A lubricated clutch is A Bad Thing. If this still goes unnoticed, the front seal is the next to go, and the engine then becomes a 'gusher'.
As well as smothering the clutch with oil from the rear, the oil now coming from the front leak will be neatly distributed about the engine bay as it hits the front pulley - often propelling it out as far as the brake discs. Oil filters and filtration. It's all very well changing your oil often, but it's not just the oil that helps prevent engine wear. The oil filter does its part too. Dirt is the prime cause of engine wear.
Not big dirt, like you'd see in a yard, but minute particles of dirt. It's dirt nevertheless, and it's abrasive. These contaminants vary from road dust which are razor-like flakes from an engine's perspective that doesn't get filtered out by the air filter, up to actual metal particles - the byproducts of the casting scarf from the original engine manufacture, and basic engine wear. All this nastiness is carried around by the oil into the minute parts of your engine, being rammed into the precision clearances between bearings and other moving parts.
Once in, they don't come out easy, but tend to stay there, wearing grooves, grinding and generally messing up your engine.
Ultimate Guide to Engine Oil
Other debris that causes problems are a by-product of the mere way an engine works - sooty particles from the combustion process can be forced past the piston rings and transported around in the oil too. This is definitely A Bad Thing - the soot acts like a sponge and soaks up other oil additives reducing the oil's anti-wear properties, and messing up it's viscosity.
All this dirt is why oil goes black when it's used. That lovely syrup-like yellow that it is when you put it in is pure oil. The black stuff that comes out at an oil change is the same oil full of contaminants and by-products from wear and tear. That's where the oil filter comes in. It's job is to catch all this crap floating around in the oil, and to stop it from recirculating.
Most oil filters we see are the spin-on type. They're shaped like an aluminium can and spin on to a threaded oil feeder poking out of the side of the engine somewhere. They're called 'full-flow' oil filters because they sit in the normal flow of the oil through the engine.
Because it sits in-line, it has to be designed not to restrict the flow of oil around the circuit, and thus can only really be effective at stopping the larger particles. Large, in this case, is around the 20micron size. So here's the catch.
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The smallest contaminants are in the micron size range. Not only is that "extremely small", but it means that they pass right through the oil filter and back out into circulation. This is why regular oil changes are a necessity, because these tiny little things can be the most damaging.
Ultimate Guide to Engine Oil - Carbibles
This is a cutaway of a typical spin-on oil filter used in automotive applications. I've put a few arrows in to show the normal flow of oil through such a filter. Typically the oil enters through the ring of holes in the outside, passes through the filter element and then down through the central core and back into the engine.
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Magnetised oil traps Recently, magnetic filter additions have started to surface. The idea is that the magnets will attract any metal debris in your oil and stick them to the inside of the oil filter wall, thus preventing them from going back into the oil circulation. Engine Oil Bible File: A couple of words of warning: If you've been driving around with mineral oil in your engine for years, don't switch to synthetic oil without preparation. Synthetic oils have been known to dislodge the baked-on deposits from mineral oils and leave them floating around your engine.
It's wise to use a flushing oil first. If you do decide to change, only go up the scale. If you've been running around on synthetic, don't change down to a mineral-based oil - your engine might not be able to cope with the degradation in lubrication. Consequently, if you've been using mineral oil, try a semi or a fully synthetic oil. Thicker mineral oils mean thicker layers of oil coating the moving parts by microns though. Switching to a thinner synthetic oil can cause piston rings to leak and in some very rare cases, piston slap or crank vibration.
With the makeup of synthetic oils being different from mineral oils, mineral-oil-soaked gaskets and seals have been known to leak when exposed to synthetic oils. Perhaps not that common an occurrence, but worth bearing in mind nevertheless.