In our everyday motoring, choosing the right oil is important for the performance and the life of your car’s engine and from sources inside Oando, Nigeria’s major player in the oil industry, the right lubricant choice helps optimise the seven critical engine factors.
The lubricant manufacturer identified the seven factors as wear protection, long oil life, performance under extreme operating conditions, engine cleanliness, power protection, fuel economy ang thermal control.
By optimising all the factors above, vehicle’s engine and transmission are protected from the harsh conditions of operations. Oando said car manufacturers typically recommends the appropriate engine oil for use. The service documentation contains recommendations about the necessary requirements the engine oil should meet. These requirements majorly cover the performance and viscosity parameters.
The technical requirement engine oils must meet (or surpass) to provide optimal performance in the engine is referred to as “performance level”. It is determined according to specifications, the most common of which are the API (American Petroleum Institute) and ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association).
Under the API & Performance Classification, the American Petroleum Institute distinguishes two types of engines, denoted as “C” for diesel and “S” for petrol. For the ACEA & Performance Classification, its specification regulates the precise parameters and values which service-fill oils designed for engines of passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and large goods vehicles must meet.
According to ACEA, oils fall into 3 major classes with relevant categories for each class and a designation of the year of implementation of the performance level. This level are classified into A/B – Petrol and diesel engines of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles; C – Catalyst compatible petrol and light duty diesel engines with exhaust after treatment devices in addition to other product categorization.
Furthermore, the viscosity grade (SAE) provides information on the measure of the engine oil’s resistance to gradual deformation. These are defined by the kinematic or dynamic viscosity (or, in other words, the thickness of oil at different temperatures).
Oils are classified as monograde and multigrade. Monograde oils, depending on the season in which they are used, are summer oils (SAE 20, 30, 40…SAE 60) and winter oils (SAE 0W, 10W…SAE 20W), where W stands for “winter”. Their use is climate-dependent and, with the exception of very old vehicles with very high consumption rates, in modern cars, it is ineffective and may lead to breakdown.
Multigrade oils are designed for year-round operation. They are identified in the following way: SAE 0W-30, SAE 5W-40, 15W-50. The number before the letter “W” provides guidance on the low-temperature properties of the oil. The lower this number, the quicker oil flows at low temperatures and the easier it is to start the engine. The number after the letter W indicates the oil viscosity at 100°C.
This means that oil grades SAE 5W-40 and SAE 10W-40 have the same viscosity at 100°C, but their low-temperature properties are different. Now the question is, what brand and product line should one choose? Every brand has developed its own product lines. The large product variety allows users to choose from a range of oils meeting different requirements according to the specific application.
Lubricant product lines are specifically designed for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, or large goods vehicles.