Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Motor Oil Grades, Quality Performance Standards


Expert Author Chris Filips
A key consideration for engine care is choosing motor oil grades which will best deliver good, reliable engine performance, depending on the conditions under which you use your vehicle.
So what does a car owner look for to give them confidence the motor oil they choose will be the most appropriate one for their particular make and model? There are a number of benchmarks or performance standards which indicate the motor oil grade and when a particular lubricant can be used.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (or SAE) is one such rating which explains the function of the motor oil and its viscosity. The viscosity of a given engine oil is a measure of how easily the oil flows as temperature changes, bearing in mind the oil will flow more easily when the engine is hot compared to when you first start a cold engine.
You will find a logo or benchmark on cans of motor engine oil, which is effectively a stamp of approval by respected organisations and so gives credibility to the engine oil and lubricant retailer, and reassures the purchaser that a widely accepted standard has been met.
Depending on which part of the world you live in, there will be one of the following two designations. The API (American Petroleum Institute) is one such accreditation given to an engine oil product. The customer will have confidence that the API standard makes a statement as to the performance level to be expected from the oil, whether it is for cars, vans or light trucks.
The performance of a motor oil has various service (=S) categories, and the container holding the engine oil product will show this within the benchmark logo, for example, look for the symbol SN or SL. For diesel engines, as these come under the Commercial sector, the symbol begins with a 'C'.
The other certification which you should look out for is the ACEA (=Association des Constructeurs Europeens d'Automobiles) and is more likely to be displayed in EU countries. It is possible the product you buy displays both standard marks for motor engine grade and performance. Under ACEA, the letter 'A' stands for petrol engine, while 'E' denotes heavy duty diesel. For example, the designation A3 means 'high performance, and /or extended drain.'
In addition to the retail product bearing the stamp of approval from either or both the API and the ACEA, sometimes the motor oil will also show approvals by some of the motor car manufacturers (or OEM's original equipment manufacturer) themselves.
So in looking specifically at viscosity or the flow rate of the lubricant, the benchmark on the motor oil container may state for example SAE 5W-30. When compared to other oils this will tell you how this particular motor oil grade will perform under different conditions.
The number without a 'W' preceding it refers to oil viscosity that has been tested at 100 degrees centigrade or the assumed temperature for an engine running normally. But the challenge is to have a motor oil grade which gets the oil flowing to the moving parts in a cold engine, such as when you start up in the morning. The quicker cold engine oil flows, the less wear and tear on the key engine parts over time.
So for example, the above 5W-30 motor oil grade would perform like a SAE 5 oil at the lower temperature specified, yet would have the viscosity of SAE 30 grade at normal engine temperatures (given as 100 degrees centigrade). It is best to refer to the manufacturer's engine manual to be clear about which motor oil grade is best for your vehicle.
There is also another body, the International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC), jointly set-up by US and Japanese motor manufacturers, which also recommends motor oil grades which comply with the API standard.
With these various benchmark approvals displayed on lubricant and engine oil containers, together with the information from the manufacturers manual, the car owner should be confident they have the optimum motor oil grade for their car.
Chris Filips, Senior Manager and Author at Ultimo GT.
Visit us today at http://www.ultimogt.com for more information about us, our products or simply to contact us with any questions or enquiries.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_Filips

No comments:

Post a Comment

LinkWithin