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Why using degraded oil can harm equipment

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Delaying an oil change may seem like a way to save money by lowering lubricant costs and avoiding scheduled downtime, but continuing to use degraded oil can have a range of adverse effects on equipment.

Lubricant oils comprise base oils and additives; both of these can change over time depending on operating conditions. Over time, oil can be subjected to thermal degradation, oxidation, additive depletion and contamination. Although modern advanced lubricants are much more resistant to degradation and can therefore be used for longer periods, even they need changing at some point.

When an oil becomes degraded, its viscosity increases and its ability to minimise friction diminishes, meaning that equipment runs less efficiently. It may also fail to create a protective film on metal components, meaning that they will experience greater friction when they come into contact, leading to greater wear on them. Degraded oil may lose its capacity for dissipating heat, leading to equipment running hotter, and the depletion of anti-corrosion additives may mean that components are no longer protected from oxidation and corrosion.

There is a way to have your cake and eat it, however. Using services like Mobil Serv to monitor the condition of lubricants like the Mobil SHC gear oil can help you make informed decisions about the ideal time to drain and refill, potentially saving on lubrication and downtime costs. Here at TrAchem, we provide a comprehensive service that supplies multiple brands of lubricants, so speak with our knowledgeable team to learn more.

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