What Is The Purpose Of Engine Oil?

There’s no modern vehicle that doesn’t need engine oil to perform well. Engine oil is one of the most important elements of an engine. For a healthier and longer life, your automobile engine needs the right type of engine oil as there are various types of options available such as synthetic, semi-synthetic, mineral, etc. According to specialists in the field, a well-lubricated engine will make the most of fuel and therefore perform better. But lubrication is not all that the engine oil does, there are many other roles it performs. In this blog, we’ll discuss everything related to the engine oil and its purpose.

What Is Engine Oil?

There are many names for engine oil such as engine lubricant, motor oil, etc. Whatever name you call it from, the role of engine oil is always the same — to ensure the smooth functioning of your car’s engine.

In simple words, engine oil is a mix of base oil and certain additive compounds that serve a variety of purposes. For example, it is responsible for lubrication, cooling down the motor, removing dust, reducing friction, and many others. In the modern era, engine oils are also helpful in improving engine performance and fuel economy.

Types Of Engine Oil:

Conventional Motor Oil – This is a common type of engine oil and is also known as mineral oil. Conventional motor oil is standard motor oil that is made using raw crude oil and then refined in a factory.

1.Synthetic Engine Oil – This type of engine oil is made entirely in a factory and hence is a lot more consistent. The good thing about synthetic engine oils is that it is highly refined and is better suited for your car. It helps control engine temperatures and has a high viscosity.

2.Synthetic Blend Oil – Also known as synthetic blend motor oil, synthetic blend oil is made using both crude oil and synthetic ingredients. It offers the advantages of both conventional motor oil and synthetic motor oil. It comes with viscosity modifier additives to maintain the oil viscosity under changing temperatures.

3.High Mileage Oil – As the name suggests, High mileage oils are carefully formulated with a unique blend of additive compounds. The goal of this type of engine oil is to help reduce oil burnoff as well as prevent oil leak problems in older, which means higher mileage. According to specialists, for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles already run, it is suggested to switch to high-mileage oil.   

The Purpose Of Engine Oil

4.Less friction and engine wear – As the name suggests, engine lubricants can help greatly minimize friction of engine parts as well as reduce the wear between components when the engine is working. Engine oil will create a film of lubrication on metal surfaces, which helps reduce friction. As a result, this helps prevent heat and abrasion on the friction surface, such as engine bearings. So, the good choice you make when looking for engine oils, the better you can prevent your engine from friction and internal wear due to regular usage. 

5.Clean engine – Another important benefit and role of engine oil is that it helps keep the internal parts of the engine clean. To keep engine parts clean and free from dust particles, engine oils will suspend contaminants within the fluid. This helps prevent contaminants from adhering to components. The presence of base oils in engine oil comes with a varying degree of solvency, which helps maintain internal cleanliness. Wondering what’s solvency? A fluid can dissolve a solid, liquid, or gas. At the same time, engine oils also come with detergents that are useful in preventing contaminants from adhering to components.

6.Cool engine parts – When the engine is in running condition, its internal parts are also moving, which results in a lot of friction causing extreme engine heat. In case the heat is not controlled, the engine can overheat and its parts can also get damaged. This is why the engine needs to maintain a safe temperature. This is only possible with the help of quality engine oil, which helps reduce friction in moving parts. As a result, it helps reduce the overall operating temperature of the equipment. Engine oil will also absorb heat generated due to friction and then transport it to a location to be safely dispersed, such as the oil sump.

7.Form a seal – The engine runs with the help of fuel, which reaches almost every part of the engine when it is in running condition. While there are various engine seals available to ensure no leakage, but still there are chances for the fuel to leak, especially in the combustion chamber. Thanks to the engine oils, it becomes possible to create a dynamic seal in locations such as the combustion chamber. For example, the engine oil will form a seal of safety between the piston rings and the cylinder wall. This helps prevent hot exhaust gases from contaminating the oil and to maximize engine compression. The goal is to keep oil out of the combustion chamber to reduce oil consumption.

8.Dampen shock – One of the most useful functions of using good engine oil in modern vehicles is that it can cushion the blow of mechanical shock. Many people only believe that motor oils are only used for lubrication purposes. While it is a very important function, that’s not all they can do as the engine oils will also help resist rupture and absorb and disperse these energy spikes over a broad contact area. By dampening the mechanical shock to components, engine oil helps reduce the wear and damaging forces. As a result, it helps extend the component’s overall operating life. For example, if engine oil loses viscosity and fails to form a thick film on gears, it results in loud and clunky shifts.

9.Prevent corrosion – Not all parts of the engine are made from steel. Some are even made using metal that is likely to experience corrosion due to friction and continued use. So we can say that in the case of low-quality engine oil, it is very common for the engine parts to experience corrosion. Quality engine oil will have the ability to prevent or minimize internal component corrosion. Engine oil achieves this by either chemically neutralizing corrosive products or by ensuring a barrier between the components and the corrosive material. In case of corrosion, its particles can reach the engine parts and can cause damage. This will also reduce the overall life of the engine.

10.Transfer energy – Just like ensuring to prevent of wear and tear in the engine parts, a good engine oil will also help ensure maximum performance. This is achieved by transferring energy. Since lubricants in engine oils are incompressible, they act as an energy-transfer medium. This is why engine oils are largely used in machines like hydraulic equipment or valve lifters in an automotive engine. Many modern engines also use engine oils as a hydraulic fluid to actuate components.

How To Pick The Right Motor Oil For Your Car?

With so many engine oils and engine lubricants already available on the market, how do you pick the one that will match the requirements of your vehicle engine? This is one of the common problems that almost every vehicle owner will face. The reason is that choosing the right type of engine oil will require a good understanding of oil components as well as the engine itself. When you know your engine well, you can make the right choice by getting an engine oil with suitable components.

According to specialists, it is always safe to go with engine oils that offer the following additive compounds and dispersants:


2. Viscosity index improver

3. Viscosity modifier

4. Friction modifiers

5. Detergents

Making the right choice of engine oil will help make a great difference in the overall engine performance as well as its fuel economy. It is important to understand that engine oils that are suitable for gasoline engines may not necessarily be good for a diesel engine. The ideal way to get the right type of engine oil is to follow your user manual or simply consult with a specialist in the field who can guide you about your vehicle’s oil needs.

Final Words:

Whether you are driving a vintage car or a whole new Tesla with a self-drive function, quality engine oil is a good choice you can make for the longevity of its engine as well as its fuel efficiency. Make sure to know everything about the engine oil before you get the one for your vehicle because not all of them are made the same way.

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