What are the 3 Main Functions of Motor Oil?

by | May 10, 2023 | Motor Oil | 0 comments

Motor oil is a vital component of any internal combustion engine. It lubricates moving parts, protects against corrosion and wear, and helps cool the engine. In this article, we’ll explore the three main functions of motor oil in more detail, as well as answer some common questions about motor oil.

Function 1: Lubrication

The primary function of motor oil is to lubricate the moving parts of an engine. This includes the pistons, cylinders, camshaft, and crankshaft. Lubrication is essential to reduce friction between these parts, which would otherwise cause excessive wear and tear.

Motor oil contains additives that help reduce friction and wear. These additives are designed to bond to metal surfaces, forming a protective layer that reduces friction and wear. The viscosity of the oil is also important for lubrication. The thicker the oil, the better it can withstand high pressure and temperatures.

Function 2: Protection

Motor oil also provides protection against corrosion and wear. Over time, exposure to heat, moisture, and other factors can cause metal parts to corrode. Motor oil contains additives that protect against corrosion by neutralizing acids and preventing rust from forming.

In addition, motor oil helps protect against wear by forming a protective layer on metal surfaces. This layer helps prevent metal-to-metal contact and reduces the risk of damage to engine parts.

Function 3: Cooling

Finally, motor oil helps cool the engine. As an engine runs, it generates a lot of heat. This heat needs to be dissipated to prevent damage to the engine. Motor oil helps transfer heat away from the engine by circulating through the engine and absorbing heat.

In addition, some motor oils contain additives that help improve heat transfer. These additives can help reduce engine temperatures and improve overall performance.

Common Questions About Motor Oil

Now that we’ve covered the three main functions of motor oil, let’s answer some common questions about motor oil.

How much does a gallon of motor oil weigh?

A gallon of motor oil weighs approximately 7.5 pounds (3.4 kilograms).

What temperature does motor oil freeze?

The exact temperature at which motor oil freezes depends on the type of oil and its composition. However, most motor oils will start to thicken and become less effective at temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit).

How hot does motor oil get?

The temperature of motor oil can reach up to 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit) in normal driving conditions. However, in extreme conditions such as racing or towing heavy loads, the temperature can exceed 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit).

How flammable is motor oil?

Motor oil is flammable and should be handled with care. The flash point of motor oil varies depending on the type of oil, but most motor oils have a flash point between 200 and 250 degrees Celsius (392 to 482 degrees Fahrenheit).

What does motor oil smell like?

Motor oil typically has a distinct petroleum smell. However, if the oil smells burnt or has a strong gasoline odor, it may indicate a problem with the engine.

Why does my motor oil smell like gas?

If your motor oil smells like gasoline, it may be an indication that fuel is leaking into the engine oil. This can be caused by a variety of issues, including a faulty fuel injector or a damaged piston ring.

What does the “w” stand for in motor oil?

The “w” in motor oil stands for “winter”. It indicates that the oil has been tested and approved for use in cold temperatures. The lower the number before the “w”, the better the oil will perform in cold weather.

What is the oil mixture for an outboard motor?

The oil mixture for an outboard motor depends on the specific make and model of the motor. However, most outboard motors require a two-stroke oil mixture, which means that the oil is mixed with gasoline before being added to the fuel tank. The oil-to-gasoline ratio will typically be listed in the owner’s manual or on the motor itself.

What does dexos mean in motor oil?

Dexos is a specification for motor oil set by General Motors. The specification is designed to ensure that the oil meets certain performance and quality standards. Dexos-approved oils are tested for their ability to reduce engine wear, improve fuel economy, and protect against deposits and sludge.

Motor Oil Viscosity Chart

Viscosity is a measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow. In the case of motor oil, viscosity is important for lubrication and protection. Motor oil viscosity is measured using a rating system established by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

The SAE rating system uses a numerical code to indicate the oil’s viscosity at different temperatures. The code consists of two numbers separated by the letter “w”. The first number indicates the oil’s viscosity at 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), while the second number indicates the oil’s viscosity at 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit).

Here is a helpful motor oil viscosity chart:

SAE Rating Viscosity at 0°C Viscosity at 100°C
0W less than 660 less than 3.8
5W less than 660 less than 3.8
10W less than 700 less than 4.1
15W less than 700 less than 5.6
20W less than 900 less than 5.6
25W less than 900 less than 9.3
0 not tested greater than 5.6
5 not tested greater than 5.6
10 not tested greater than 5.6
15 not tested greater than 5.6
20 not tested greater than 5.6
25 not tested greater than 9.3
30 not tested greater than 9.3
40 not tested greater than 12.5
50 not tested greater than 16.3
60 not tested greater than 21.9

The lower the number before the “W”, the better the oil will perform in cold weather. The higher the number after the “W”, the thicker the oil will be at high temperatures.

Conclusion

In conclusion, motor oil serves three primary functions: lubrication, protection, and cooling. It is essential for maintaining the performance and longevity of any internal combustion engine. By understanding the importance of motor oil and how it works, you can ensure that your engine is running smoothly and efficiently. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil type and viscosity, and check your oil regularly to ensure that it is at the proper level.

Dmitry Petrov

Dmitry Petrov is an engineer who specializes in materials science, and has a deep passion for all things related to automotive technology. He is a true motorhead at heart, and spends much of his free time tinkering with engines and studying vehicular dynamics.

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