All you need to know about lubricants: Part 1

Using the right engine oil with the right grade plays a vital role in improving the performance and the lifespan of your vehicle’s engine.

Firstly, the lubricant helps reduce friction among various engine components, at various stages of the combustion cycle, reducing the wear and tear of the internal parts of the engine. Secondly, the motor oil plays out the essential job of cleaning the ‘sludge’ — the sticky by-product left behind as petrol burns, from the engine block, which would in some way or another cause engine blockage. And thirdly, the engine oil also helps neutralize the acids that are discharged at any phase of the combustion procedure, from the fuel and oxidation of different oils and lubricants.

The viscosity of an oil is measured by its resistance to flow

Engine oils come in different grades as mentioned above. The grades are determined on the basis of their viscosities. The viscosity of an oil is measured by its resistance to flow. Different engine oils have different viscosities at room temperature and they also react differently to temperature changes. So, selecting the right grade largely depends on your geographical location and the climate of the area you are driving in. The grading is always mentioned on the body of the container, for example, a 5W-30 or a 10W-30. The ‘W’ stands for Winter; this measurement is related to how oil flows when it is cold (the temperature at engine start-up). Therefore, the smaller the number, the better it will flow. This is important to understand that these lubricants naturally thicken as they cool, and thin as they are heated.

It is wise to invest in a good lubricant than to waste both time and money at a workshop. Having sound good knowledge on the matter will ensure easier maintenance and longevity of your precious vehicle.