If this is your first time owning a car, you might be wondering why you have to go for oil changes. You may also have heard friends and colleagues talking about engine oil.
But what is engine oil and what does it do?
Here are its three key roles.
1) IT LUBRICATES ENGINE PARTS
Your engine is made up of metal parts that literally smash against each other to produce power.
For instance, the pistons go up and down inside the cylinders as they are driven by the internal combustion cycle. Without engine oil, your powerplant would literally seize and cease to operate.
Motor oil lets these parts glide smoothly and your engine to run seamlessly.
2) IT KEEPS YOUR ENGINE CLEAN
You might be wondering how your engine can get dirty.
Well, one way is through the air that it breathes in. Air, more specifically, oxygen, is needed for the internal combustion process. Despite the air filter, some dirt still gets into the engine.
Motor oil is formulated with a certain degree of detergency to pull these contaminants away. These particles are then captured by the oil filter.
This is why the engine oil change includes an oil filter change.
3) IT KEEPS YOUR ENGINE COOL
Don’t get us wrong – oil is not meant to keep your engine cold.
Your motor, however, does need to operate at an optimal temperature range. This depends on the manufacturer.
Stop and go traffic, hard acceleration and hot weather can take a toll on engine performance. Motor oil ensures that everything runs within that optimal temperature range.
It also keeps those turbochargers from overheating. That’s right, those turbos that let you zip around effortlessly are kept in check by oil as well.
Without that “black gold”, turbos can crack if they overheat. If that happens, you’ll end up paying a lot more than you would have for an oil change.