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Choosing the right oil for your car

Right oil for your car Image

Petrol may be the lifeís blood of your car, the essential component of its everyday running and the fuel that drives its parts. However itís not the only form of oil that runs through the veins of your vehicle. Motor oil is added to your engine and is crucial for keeping the engine healthy and ticking over effectively. It is made from two elements - a 95% base made from petroleum, synthetic chemicals or a blend of both and a number of additional cleaning chemicals.

Engine oil does a number of things. Firstly, the base part of solution ensures that the moving parts of the engine are kept from rubbing against each other, which could lead to damage or power loss. This is done by creating a layer of film that forms a greasy surface and helps the parts move efficiently. The engine heats during the combustion process, as petrol is burned, and the oil ensures that parts are kept at a cool temperature. The upper section of the engine is predominately cooled by the radiator, but the motor oil is responsible for cooling vital components such as the pistons and the camshaft, by passing through the lower system. Engine oil also protects against the decay of engine components, caused by the build up of dirt and acid.

A clean, well-oiled engine is an efficient one and, without a frequent change of motor oil, dirt and debris can develop within the engine stopping the oil from performing effectively. Manufacturers recommend changing the oil once a year and neglecting these changes could lead to serious engine damage and even the need to replace the whole thing. Changing the oil in your car is an affordable and relatively simple task, so itís well worth taking the time to do it properly.

There are ultimately three types of motor oil, each with negative and positive attributes:

1. Conventional oil - extracted from crude oil and made entirely of petroleum products. This oil is used at dealerships and is the cheapest to buy. It is ideal for frequent changes, but this will also be an added expense to the maintenance of your car.

2. Synthetic oil - extracted from a number of man-made chemicals. This oil is far superior and therefore is far more expensive, but the quality brings with it a longer life, improved lubrication and a better performance at high temperature.

3. Synthetic-blend oil - a mixture of both and designed for heavier engine loads and higher temperatures.

The additional qualities of the oil (the other 5%) control the viscosity - or the thickness - and this is another consideration when choosing oil for your car. Engine oils are rated depending on this viscosity, so itís worth asking experts with your engine type in mind. The most important thing to consider when choosing oil for your car is to follow the manufacturerís manual precisely. The car manual will state the oil requirements and specify the exact type needed to meet the needs of the engine. For example, using synthetic oil in a car that just doesnít need it will be no more than an unnecessary expense. Using the wrong oil may not necessarily cause immediate damage, but could lead to higher temperatures than required, which could increase wear and tear in the long term.

Changing the oil in your car neednít be an expensive chore and should only take a few minutes. Therefore it is important that you research your engine type before attempting an oil change, especially if itís your first time. If unsure, always ask a professional, in order to ensure the task is completed properly.

published: 16/10/2013 15:10:33

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