There is nothing more important to the longevity of a vehicle than motor oil. Still, a remarkable number of vehicle owners choose either to neglect necessary oil changes or to use substandard motor oil. This article will discuss the importance of quality motor oil and the reasons for its importance.
What Exactly Is Motor Oil For?
Motor oil lubricates the moving parts in your vehicle’s internal combustion engine. It also cleans, inhibits corrosion, improves sealing, and cools the engine by carrying away the heat generated by moving parts. Made from petroleum based and non petroleum synthesized chemical compounds, motor oil is derived from crude oil with certain additives that improve properties like viscosity, flash point, and acidity.
So What’s the Difference Between Different Kinds?
Just as different types of engines require certain types of gasoline, they also require certain types of motor oil. If you bring your car to get an oil change, the mechanic will probably know which type to use. For those choosing to change their own oil, however, it is important to buy motor oil that is appropriate for your vehicle.
The owner’s manual for any vehicle will list the right viscosity grade and performance level, but there’s more to it than that. Motor oil manufacturers recommend oils that meat API standards. The American Petroleum Institute has set minimum standards for the performance of engine lubricants and rigorously tests motor oil for sufficiency.
How Do I Know if My Motor Oil Meets API Standards?Why Does It Even Matter?
The use of substandard motor oil for a vehicle can deteriorate quickly, causing frequent oil drain intervals and top ups. Engine performance can also be compromised in terms of power, fuel can be used up more quickly, and the engine is more affected by heat and stress. Ultimately, bad motor oil reduces an engine’s life.
What About Sustainability?
The API also tests re refined motor oil for the same quality indicators. Given that U.S. drivers alone account for 1.3 billion gallons of used motor oil a year, it’s not difficult to see why recycling motor oil is an important option. Here are a few facts about re refined oil:
- Two gallons of properly recycled oil is enough to support 24 hours of electricity in the average home.
- The used motor oil from only one oil change is enough to ruin a million gallons of freshwater.
- Only 10 to 15 percent of American motor oil is re refined, compared with 50 percent of European motor oil.
Many vehicle owners don’t recognize the amazing level of choice they have when it comes to motor oil. Choosing the right motor oil for a car and for the environment is the responsibility of each vehicle owner, and there’s no excuse not to try.