View Full Version : Why is Oil So Critical to My Engine?

03-06-2011, 08:52 AM
Inside an engine are hundreds of moving parts, made out of metal and operating in extreme conditions of heat and pressure. A good example of this is the piston head moving up and down inside the cylinder. Imagine metal grinding against metal in these conditions. It wouldn't take long for even the strongest materials to be worn down and permanently damaged. It is oil's main purpose is to prevent this damage by providing a cushion on which the moving parts can glide smoothly with as little friction as possible. The more friction there the hotter the engine gets and this places extra stresses on the car's cooling systems. It is not unheard of for the parts in an overly heated engine to even friction-weld themselves together causing damage which is either very expensive to fix or could even be beyond repair, rendering the engine useless.

Oil not only helps the car's engine keep cool by reducing friction but it also carries away some of the heat itself. The oil system constantly circulate oil around the engine with the oil pan being the reservoir where oil collapse after it has been through the engine and before it is circulate again. When the oil returns to the oil pan, usually positioned underneath the engine, it gets cooled somewhat by the flow of air beneath the engine as the car travels along. This is not enough cooling by itself the car also needs a separate water-based cooling system and some engines even have a specialised oil cooler as well.

Oil also has a role to play when it comes to cleaning and preserving the engine. It keeps engine surfaces clean. Detergents are added to the oil for this purpose. Keeping the surfaces clean prevents the build-up of a black sludge inside the engine which if left untreated can reduce the efficiency the engine by restricting the flow of oil and can lead to excess temperatures as the black sludge absorbs heat.

Have you ever wondered why new motor oil is amber and semitransparent in colour while the used oil is black? This is because oil is used to hold microscopic particles that are worn off the engine, by-products from the combustion process, acids, and any other deposits found in the engine, in suspension. In other words the oil "holds" these elements and prevents them from coming into contact with the metal parts of the engine so they cannot cause damage. Over time the accumulation of these particles makes the oil black and this is also why oil needs to be changed on a regular basis.

Finally, the oil also helps to protect against rust and corrosion by coating the services of the engine in oil thereby preventing oxidisation, which usually occurs when metal is exposed to the oxygen in the air. As you can see oil is the" blood" in your engine. It is vital that there is enough of it in the engine and that it is changed on a regular basis. For information about when to change the oil consult with your car manufacturers Handbook.

03-06-2011, 10:04 AM
This is a trolling post - and I've changed the link in the signature to foil the troll.

The post actually has some useful info, so I'll let it stay and for the moment I won't ban the troll, but if he posts trolling info again, poofkaboom.

Thread locked.