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What Are the Primary Functions of Motor Oil?

Motor oil is primarily utilized to lower friction and wear within an engine. Nevertheless, it also has other important responsibilities. In this blog post, we’ll assist you in understanding the true purpose of motor oil by going over the reasons for why it’s utilized, specific lubrication applications, and the various modes of lubrication.

The Main Purposes of Motor Oil

Decreasing Wear and Friction

Motor oil is most commonly utilized to reduce friction and minimize wear between the components of an engine. A protective lubricating film is formed on metal surfaces by all lubricants. The strength of that lubricating film is one of the most important factors that determines the effectiveness of that motor oil. When friction on metal surfaces is reduced, abrasion and excessive heat is prevented from negatively affecting vital engine components, such as bearings.

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Clean the Engine

Motor oil also has the important responsibility of maintaining the cleanliness of engine components. It does this by keeping contaminants suspended within the fluid and preventing them from clinging to components.

Base stock oils help in maintaining cleanliness within a motor through their solvency, which varies depending on oil type. Solvency refers to the ability of an oil to dissolve a gas, liquid, or solid. This solvency plays a vital role in maintaining engine cleanliness, but equally as important are the dispersants and detergents present within a motor oil.

Dispersant additives maintain the suspension of contaminants within the motor oil. Dispersants also play the role of a solvent by maintaining engine cleanliness and preventing the formation of sludge deposits.

Detergent additives prevent contaminants from clinging to vital components, particularly components that are very hot, like piston rings and pistons.

Keep Engine Parts Cool

The overall temperature within an engine is lowered through the reduction of friction on moving components. Engine oil also absorbs the heat from metal surfaces and transfers it to a region in the motor where it can be safely dissipated, like the oil sump. This ability to transfer heat depends heavily on an engine oil’s viscosity. The general rule is that engine oils with a lighter viscosity have an easier time transferring heat.

Performs a Sealing Function

Engine oils deliver a dynamic sealing functionality in areas like the combustion chamber, keeping oil out of these areas, and thereby lowering oil consumption. Piston rings are assisted in staying sealed against the cylinder walls, which effectively prevents high temperature exhaust gasses from becoming oil contaminants. Motor compression is also maximized by this sealing functionality.

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Decreases Shock

Motor oil serves the important function of decreasing the shock engine components are exposed to from mechanical operation. Strong oil films can offer protection by effectively resisting rupturing and taking on and dispersing influxes of energy over a wider area. When shock on components is decreased, their lifespan is prolonged since damaging forces and wear are minimized.

One useful example of how decreasing shock is useful is in the case of motorcycle transmissions. When an oil suffers from viscosity degradation and a thick, strong film fails to be formed on gears, shifting that is loud and clunky can be the result. This is obviously something that no motorcyclist wants.

Stopping Corrosion

A high-quality motor oil is supposed to stop corrosion from forming on internal motor components. In order to achieve this, the oil has to either create a barrier to separate the corrosive substance from the engine components or neutralize the corrosive substances chemically.

It is very important to make sure corrosion and rust doesn’t form on internal engine components. If they do indeed form, they can flake off while the engine is operating and contaminate the engine oil. They then will circulate throughout the engine and scour metal components, such as bearings. This can only lead to something vital breaking over time, leading to unnecessary repair costs. Thus it is important to use high-quality synthetic motor oil that provides sufficient corrosion resistance.

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Transferring Energy

Since lubricants can’t be compressed, they serve an energy-transfer function in valve lifters within automotive motors and in hydraulic equipment. Many modern engines come equipped with a variable valve timing mechanism that utilizes engine oil like a hydraulic fluid for component actuation. The engine oil has to maintain its viscosity and remain clean in order to properly fulfill this role.

We hope this blog post covering what are the primary functions of motor oil has been informative for you. Make sure to check back regularly for the latest lubrication content!

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