Never wait for the little oil can light to come on in your car before you change your oil. The light comes on as an indicator of something that is not right; and as we know, when something is not right, it is wrong. Simple theory, but true nonetheless.
Motor oil keeps your motor running properly by ensuring the metal parts inside are not rubbing against each other and creating unnecessary friction. All parts of the engine are coated with a thin layer of oil, known as the hydrodynamic layer, to prevent undue wear and tear. The boundary layer of oil is an even thinner coat of protection that eliminates frictional heat and galling.
Carrying heat away from the hot spots of the engine is also another important feature of motor oil. The heat is transferred to a different, cooler part of the engine – such as the crankcase – by convection, or the passage of heat from an object that is hot to one that is not. The motor oil is the conduit for heat transfer and stabilization.
And finally, perhaps one of the most important things motor oil does for the engine is it transports the combustion by-products away from the engine. The motor oil coats the by-products and suspends them to keep them away from the internal engine parts. What is a combustion by-product? Well, it a substance such as water or acid that would cause considerable damage to the engine if allowed to pass through the engine rings and into the internal parts. These by-products are the main reason the motor oil must be changed as part of a routine maintenance plan.
When the motor oil reaches its full capacity and cannot hold additional by-products suspended, the motor oil is considered dirty and the particles in the oil can cause damage to the engine. The by-products create sludge of sorts and without the lubrication aspect of the oil available to do its job, the engine will begin to wear substantially.
Since 1996, Wiygul Automotive Clinic has been providing the Fairfax Station, Clifton, Fairfax City and Springfield areas with affordable, reliable auto care. Burke offers a variety of services including routine maintenance such as oil changes and brake repairs, as well as tire care and installation.