A lot of work goes into producing motor engine oil for your car, with major companies such as Fuchs, Shell and Mobil investing millions of pounds into research and development each year. Meanwhile, many vehicle manufacturers have their own compounds developed too.
Here are four key facts about the oil that is so essential to your car:
It’s as easy as A, B and C
The ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Auto mobiles) is the organisation that sets the quality of engine oil in Europe.
The classification of oil is set by a letter and a number combination. A and B are the most common designations, with ‘A’ representing passenger car petrol engine oil and ‘B’ diesel. Many high-grade oils carry the letter ‘C’ prefix too, which shows that it has been treated to be cleaner and more efficient. The number assigned after each letter shows the performance quality of the oil.
Through thick and thin
The measurement of the viscosity of an oil is set by the SAE committee (Society of Automotive Engineers).
This is also controlled with a combination of a number and a letter. This time though, it is as a number and letter together, followed by another two-digit number. The preceding combination reveals how the lubricant behaves at low temperatures, with the second pair denoting its performance at higher temperatures.
The natural solution
Mineral engine oils are the most conventional types of lubricant on the market, which are not as refined as the other available oils. As a result, these tend to be lower in viscosity. Mineral lubricants can be further refined, however, and are known as Hydrocrack oils, which increases the viscosity and offers lower temperature ranges.
Mineral oils are particularly well suited for conditions where an engine is put through near constant use, and where there are regular lubricant changes, which can offer better value.
Making it up
Improvements in the low temperature range for engine oils has come through further refinement, particularly from partially synthetic engine oils. They also typically offer lower wear and tear to engines. Further improvements still are to be found from fully synthetic oils, which offer the highest performance levels.
They can also increase the lifespan of an engine considerably, while offering a great solution for extending the intervals between oil changes.
No matter the vehicle that you have or how you drive it, selecting which oil is best for your motor should always see you referring to the car owner’s manual.