What is engine oil?

What is engine oil?

Engine oil, also known as motor oil, is one of the essential lubricants used in engine combustion. The primary function of engine oil is to provide lubrication to reduce friction and tear and wear of engine moving parts. It ensures that the piston rings are appropriately sealed and neutralises acids and oxidation of the detergents.

Not all car engines are the same, and different engine types require different engine oil. Using the wrong engine oil will not only impact the performance of your car’s engine, but it may also potentially cause damage to your engine. So you must ensure you choose the right auto engine oil type.

What you should know about car engine oil

Engine oil is graded based on the lubricant viscosities. The engine oil viscosity grade is a measurement of the fluid change in viscosity (friction of the fluid) relative to the change of temperature under a specific range of conditions. A good engine oil will remain stable in its viscosity under particular temperatures.

You may have noticed the word “SAE” in most engine oil packaging. What does the word “SAE” mean?

SAE is the short form of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), which is responsible for establishing the numerical system to grade engine oil based on viscosity characteristics.

There are two main groups of viscosity grades: single and multi-grades.

The format of single grade: SAE 30;
The format of multi-grades: SAE 15W-30

The letter “W” in the multi-grade system represents the “W”inter grade, specifying the viscosity at cold temperatures (during a cold start). The smaller the number (i.e. 5W-40), the better the fluid flow than 10W-40 in cold start.

The number after the “-” sign indicates the fluid flow index at normal operating temperature. For example, the 10W-30 will have a better fluid flow than the 10W-40 when the engine operates at a normal temperature.

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