What’s so cool about engine oil?

Photo credit: jiffylubeca.com

Photo credit: jiffylubeca.com

It's relatively easy for us to adapt to hot weather. We reduce the layers of clothing, wear loose cotton clothes and stay in the shade as much as possible. But a vehicle’s engine has a tougher time coping with summer temperatures.

So how do engines keep cool when the temperature soars?

“Your motor's first line of defense against high temperatures is engine oil” says Basem Wasef of DriverSide, a car owners’ website based in San Franciso.

Air-cooled engines simply direct air flow over the outside of the engine and are quite inefficient. With water-cooled engines, water circulated through the radiator dissipates about 60 percent of the heat produced by a vehicle’s engine. It’s the engine oil that does the rest!

Yes, believe it or not, the majority of the oil in your engine is used to carry heat away from hot surfaces down to the sump where the heat disburses into the atmosphere. Only a small portion of motor oil is needed for lubrication.
The vicious circle of thermal failure.    Photo credit: machinerylubrication.com

The vicious circle of thermal failure. Photo credit: machinerylubrication.com

Engine oil has to be thin enough to move easily around the engine. But it must not be too thin to lose its cooling efficiency. If it is too thin, this can result in thermal failure – your engine getting hotter and hotter – something you definitely don’t want to happen.

So, warmer weather calls for thicker oils so they don’t become too thin when the engine heats up further.

A motor oil must remain stable at high temperatures to protect your gasoline and diesel engines. The more thermally stable the oil, the better fuel economy, engine cleanliness, and wear protection it will provide. Therefore the engine oil you choose should not just depend on your budget but also on the climate in which you drive and, of course, compatibility with your vehicle. 

As vehicle experts we have carefully selected engine oil brands and products that withstand the demands of Zambia’s driving environment. So, check your car’s manual for engine oil specifications and visit in-store to discuss what’s best for your vehicle.

The November special offer includes Castrol, Caltex, Shell and Engen lubricants. The offer starts on Thursday 5th November 2015 and ends on Wednesday 11th November 2015.