WHY IS A MOTOR OIL’S ABILITY TO CLEANSE IMPORTANT?
Keeping engine components clean is essential, as it keeps them in good condition. If the engine components and oil ways are dirty, the oil may not be lubricating and protecting the engine properly. Dirt build-up can also lead to premature engine damage. Engine oils are designed to clean and protect engines for improved performance.
WHY IS THE CHOICE OF ENGINE OIL SO IMPORTANT?
Oil is lifeblood of a customer’s cars. If they use the wrong kind, they put their engine oil at risk of increased wear and corrosion, and the formation of blockages that ultimately lead to engine seizure.
By using the original engine oil in the engine, your customer can carry on motoring with confidence and may experience the feeling that their car has just been serviced – all for less than the cost of a tank of fuel.
HOW DOES OIL PROTECT MY CAR’s ENGINE?
In many ways:
- By cleaning the engine – motor oils are design to clear away dirt, debris and deposits from engine components and to prevent blockages in important oil ways. The oil helps to lock up the dirt and render it harmless until it is removed at the next oil change.
- By reducing friction and minimizing wear – motor oils from a protective film over the engine components and have special additives that act between the moving surface to prevent contact and reduce drag. This help your cars engines to operate as quietly and effectively as the designers intended.
- By removing heat – engine oils carry heat away from hot areas, such as around the piston rings where the temperature can reach up to 320°C, and redistribute it around the engine.
- By preventing corrosion and rust – engine oils protect your hard working engine components from corrosion beyond the normal oil-change interval. Bench marking studies have shown that engine oils provide best-in-class protection and can help to extend your engines’ life and avoid expensive repairs.
WHAT IS ENGINE OIL MADE FROM?
Engine oils are made up from three important ingredients: base oils, viscosity modifiers and performance additives. These are carefully selected and skillfully blended to enable the oil to provide maximum engine protection.
There are two main types of base oil: mineral and fully synthetic. Engine oils labelled as “part-” or “semi-synthetic”, or “synthetic technology” contain a mixture of these two types.
Mineral base oils come from crude oil that is processed in a refinery to seperate out the fractions with useful lubrication properties and remove unwanted components such as waxes.
Synthetic base oils give enhanced performance because they are manufactured using a more expensive chemical process than that used in mineral oil production. Because of this fully synthetic oils flow more easily at start-up temperatures, when most wear occurs; are more resistant to heat; are more easily protected by antioxidant additives (oxidation is a natural degradation process that occurs in oil over time); and are less volatile than mineral oils.
Viscosity modifiers increase the viscosity of oil at high temperature but have little effect on low-temperature viscosity. These enable the oil in your customers’ engines to flow properly when cold and also to remain thick enough to protect the engine components at high temperatures.
ADDITIVES – IN A NUTSHELL
Performance additives give extra protection to the base oil and enable it to protect and clean and engine, thus helping it to work harder for longer. They come in several kinds that must be carefully selected and blended to give top-class performance:
- Detergents keep your customers’ engines clean and neutralize the corrosive acids that forms as the fuel is burned.
- Dispersants remove soot and sludge, and hold it in the oil to prevent blockages. This dirt can then be removed from the engine at the next oil change.
- Anti-wear additives protect engines by forming a chemical layer between the moving parts. These additives are particularly important when motoring with high loads or during engine start-up.
- Antioxidants help to delay the natural degradation of engine oils, thereby protecting your customers’ engine more effectively for longer.
- Fraction modifiers reduce the drag between moving parts to increase fuel economy.
- Anti-rust additives are essential elements that prevent engines corrosion.
VISCOSITY GRADES MADE SIMPLE
You will notice numbers such as 15W-40 on oil pack label. These describe the viscosity of a multi-grade oil at low and high temperatures. The first or “W” number stands for winter and describes how the oil flows at low temperatures; the second number describes how thick the oil remains at high temperatures – the higher the number, the thicker the oil.
Lower-viscosity grades of oil, such as Shell Helix Ultra, make it easier for your customers’ engines to start from cold because they present less resistance to moving parts and, hence, take less power from the engine. This means that your customers get enhanced fuel economy.
WHEN SHOULD I CHANGE MY ENGINE OIL?
You should change engine oil and filter at or before the end of oil-change intervals indicated by their vehicle’s manufacturer. These are based on distance traveled or time. By doing this, you keep your engine oil in good condition and provide the best protection for all their engine components.
WHY IS THERE A RANGE OF MOTOR OILS AND HOW DO MY CUSTOMERS KNOW WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?
Your customers’ car-owner handbooks will give them a minimum oil specification. However, they may wish to trade up to a better specification motor oil. Choosing the correct motor oil for a vehicle depends on
- The car’s type – a high-performance car needs higher performance oil
- The car’s age – a lot is expected from new technology engines: high performance coupled with fuel efficiency.
Advanced oils have been developed to help keep pace with increased engineering demands. For example, modern cars have blow-by-gas re-circulation that can cause extreme oxidation in old-technology oils and sensitive exhaust gas after treatment devices that can be poisoned by inappropriate oils.
- The driving environment – modern motorway driving and heavy stop-start traffic requires higher quality oils to prevent increased engine wear and tear.
Use this rule-of-thumb advice when selecting the right oil for a car
IF MY CUSTOMERS DO NOT CHANGE THEIR OIL FREQUENTLY, WILL THEY REALLY NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE?
Not changing engine oil on a regular basis can significantly reduce the level of protection provided against engine wear. Engine oil acts as a reservoir for all by-products that from when the fuel burns, including soot, sludge, water and acidic material, as well as unburned and partially burned fuel. At the same time, the stress placed on the oil during engine operation gradually depletes the components that determine the oil’s performance. Refreshing the oil on a regular basis ensures that the right balance of components is present in the oil, and also removes waste materials that might otherwise result in increased deposit formation, corrosion of metal components and increased wear.
WHY NOT JUST KEEP TOPPING UP THE ENGINE OIL?
If you simply keep on topping up their oil, it puts more stress on the older oil that remains in the engine. And this stress issue has become worse in recent years, as the lighter, modern customers’ engines now run with about 25% less oils in their sumps.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT MOST PEOPLE DRIVE UNDER SEVERE DRIVING CONDITIONS?
A recent study showed that 75% of car journeys involved trips shorter than 10km. These trips often incorporate a high level of stop-start driving, which can result in greatly increased engine wear if the oil is not changed on a regular basis.
Know the right oil to buy for your car and always change as at when due.