Motor oil is the lifeblood of an engine and it has five main responsibilities or jobs. Lubricate, seal, clean, cool, and cushion.
Lubricate: The first one is easy, oil lubricates the metal surfaces inside of an engine. To put it bluntly, it’s all that stands between all of those metal parts and one another. Without the oil, those metal parts would all but weld themselves together from the friction. Lubrication minimizes friction and reduces component wear. Both of these mean the engine will last longer and run better.
Seal: Motor oil helps to seal in locations where metal surfaces ride against one another, such as between the piston rings and the cylinder walls. Sealing here helps to maximize compression and prevent hot exhaust gases from contaminating the oil.
Clean: Oil helps to keep the engine parts clean. While base oils naturally have a certain amount of solvency for its ability to dissolve a solid liquid or gas, additives are used to further boost its cleaning qualities. Detergents are additives which help to prevent contaminants from sticking the surfaces. Dispersants are additives which help to keep contaminants suspended inside the oil. They act like a solvent and help to prevent sludge from forming.
Cool: You may not think of oil as having cooling properties, but it does. Reducing friction minimizes heat, and this by itself can lower the operating temperature. Oil also absorbs heat from surface contact areas, transporting it away to be safely dispersed, such as the oil sump or in the oil cooler. This is especially important for engine components which are not cooled by the coolant circuit, such as the valve train. Oil squirters are oftentimes used to squirt oil onto the bottom of the pistons, helping to control combustion chamber temperatures.
Cushion: Finally, even a thin film of oil can function as a cushion between two metal surfaces. In some cases, shock can be cushioned and dispersed over a large contact area. The more the oil is able to cushion, the less the individual components will wear and they will last longer.
When it comes time to choose which oil you’re going to use for your application, be sure to choose one which is up to the task. Check the OE service information and the maintenance schedule, and always adhere to the specified type, grade, and viscosity of oil, regardless of mileage.
And there are of course, special applications, which require certain additives or supplements. Engines in classic or muscle cars, or any vehicle with a flat tappet camshaft, may need more zinc than today’s oils can provide. In this case, we suggest adding Rislone Hy-per Lube ZDDP Supplement. This formula is a performance booster, which helps to protect older internal engine components with real ZDDP, the best form of zinc and phosphorus protection available anywhere.
Hy-per Lube ZDDP supplement stabilizes the oil against viscosity and thermal breakdown and reduces friction and wear, especially on initial startup.
I’m Brian Sexton. Thanks for watching.
This video is sponsored by Rislone.