What Happens if You Put Synthetic Oil Instead of Regular?

This blog post is the first in a series of posts about the fundamentals of automotive lubrication and what happens if you put synthetic oil instead of regular or conventional motor oil in your car’s engine.

Why Does An Engine Need Oil?

Without lubrication, an engine would only endure a limited period of time. The engine’s bearing surfaces would get hot and scuffed. The engine would eventually lock up, or seize. This happens when an engine’s moving parts expand and overheat, causing them to separate from each other. The parts will eventually become stuck and unable to move. Friction is the force that wears and heats the engine and reduces its potential power.

What Is The Cause Of Friction Between Two Surfaces?

In physics, friction is the force that opposes movement between any two things that come into contact with one another. The degree of friction depends on the type of material, surface polish or finish, the amount of pressure holding the two items together, and the proportional amount of movement between the two objects. It doesn’t matter how well polished the contact surfaces of the two metals are; a series of sharp points and grooves will still be visible under a microscope. With their sharp edges touching, these two objects come together.

Friction Generates Wear and Heat

The edges of the two metal surfaces meet as soon as they begin to move, obstructing their movement. In a standard engine, bearing pressures can exceed 1000 lbs. (or 450 kg) and the movement will continue if the two metal surfaces are held together by a significant amount of pressure. Each metal surface will then rip apart the other metal surface in a matter of milliseconds. Under the surface of the metal, these tiny particles grind away at the back edge. Wear and tear will occur over time as these pieces are removed.

Heat is another result of friction. Put your hands together and stroke them back and forth quickly. By rubbing two sticks together, you can create a fire. These are some examples of frictional heat. The rubbing speeds and pressures in an engine are enormous. Without lubrication, friction generates enough heat to melt the bearings in a short period of time. It is impossible to eliminate all friction between moving elements. Perpetual motion machines could be simply built if this were possible. The most that can be done is to keep friction as low as possible.

How Friction is Reduced

Friction can be classified into two types: dry friction and wet friction. So far, we’ve just dealt with dry friction in this article. When both rubbing surfaces are clean and free of additional materials, this is referred to as dry friction. Wet friction occurs when rubbing pieces are sandwiched between two or more layers of another substance or materials. Have you ever tried to play a quick game of basketball on a gym floor that has been freshly waxed? Putting something between your shoes and the floor, in this instance, wax, is an excellent example of dry friction being transformed into wet friction. It goes without saying that an engine must run in wet friction environments.

Reduce Friction & Improve Fuel Economy

“Here’s what happens if you put synthetic oil instead of regular motor oil in your engine. Base oils in conventional engine oils are made up of a wide range of molecules and undesirable elements, such as wax, which may affect performance. Fuel economy might suffer as a result of this since more energy is required to flow through your engine. Because of their molecular uniformity and absence of contaminants, AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are ideal for use in modern vehicles. Reduced friction and increased fuel efficiency are two of the benefits of using anti-friction AMSOIL synthetic lubricants.

Bearing Construction and Friction

Additionally, the design of the bearing has an impact on the amount of friction that is experienced. There are two major categories of bearings that are employed in engines. A friction bearing is the name given to this type of bearing. Two smooth surfaces sliding against each other constitutes the friction bearing in its literal sense. The only motion that occurs is due to a sliding effect. These include the babbitt insert and the crankshaft journal, to name a couple of examples. The friction bearing is a low-cost component that performs well enough to be utilized in virtually all vehicle engines.

The other form of bearing is referred to as an anti-friction bearing. Between the moving parts, this bearing makes use of balls or rollers to provide lubrication. Anti-friction bearings are found in practically every aspect of a vehicle, with the exception of the steering wheel. Both types of bearings must be used wet in order to function properly. A large number of tiny, high-speed engines, such as motorbikes and outboard motors, rely on ball and roller bearings.

Why Does An Engine Need Oil?

Why does an engine need oil? The use of high-quality lubricating oil has proven to be effective in reducing friction. Engine oil, or motor oil, is the name given to the oils used to lubricate engines. The word “motor oil” may appear out of place because automobile engines aren’t technically motors. Early automobiles were referred to as “motors” since the entire vehicle was referred to as such.

What Does Oil Do For The Engine?

Oil’s primary function is to lubricate the engine’s interior components. Besides lubrication, oil performs a variety of other functions in the engine. Cooling is an important function of motor oil. Much of the heat that is generated is absorbed by the constant flow of oil through the bearings. When oil comes into contact with the piston head, it generates heat. Before returning to the bearings, the oil is returned to the sump and cooled by the time it reaches the sump.

Oil must also be able to seal. Despite the fact that the piston rings are tightly attached to the cylinder, they would not form much of a seal if motor oil were not used as the ultimate sealing fluid. Engine oil also aids in the sealing of the area around the valve stems. A good oil can also be used to clean. The detergents in the motor oil aid in the removal of dirt and other pollutants from the surface of the water. They are responsible for keeping these contaminants suspended so they can be filtered away.

How Is Synthetic Motor Oil Made?

While conventional motor oil is processed from crude oil, AMSOIL synthetic motor oil is not. Sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen, and metal components such as nickel or vanadium are naturally occurring contaminants in crude oil that cannot be entirely eliminated during the refining process. Oil refining separates the different kinds of molecules in the oil by weight, leaving molecules that are similar in weight but structurally diverse, lowering performance.

How Is Motor Oil Made?

We’ve offered some obvious reasons to the question, why does an engine need oil? Next, let’s look into how engine oil is made.

In order to make motor oils, crude oil or petroleum must first be extracted from the soil by drilling wells. Heat is applied to the crude oil, and it is then pushed into a towering fractionating tower, where trays of varying heights can be found. Crude oil can evaporate at a variety of temperatures due to the varying volatility of its constituent components. A “flash” or “vapor” is formed when the lighter or more volatile components of the crude oil are heated and begin to rise to the top of the tower.

The heavier or less volatile elements of the crude oil vapor will condense and settle on the trays as the vapor goes up the tower. They can reach the top of the tower since they are lighter. At each tray height, a series of pipes are linked to the fractionating tower. Each pipe will discharge a distinct type of fractionated liquid or gas if the tower is working properly and operational circumstances are ideal. A cooling tank will be used to condense the liquid or gas before it is stored in storage tanks.

Even after it has exited the distillation tower, the lubricating oil must be refined and processed in order to be useful. The technique of removing contaminants is a multi-step procedure. It is also possible to customize the oil by adding a range of additives to fulfill specific requirements.

Conventional vs. Synthetic

“No other oil on the market comes close to AMSOIL synthetic lubricants in terms of engine cleanliness, wear protection, and fuel efficiency. They improve the performance and lifespan of your cars.”

Motor Oil Additives

Learning about the process of how is motor oil made, is only the first step. Next,  the required ingredients are critical to know. Several other components referred to as additives are
introduced into the motor oil refining process as part of the refinement process. Different additives can be used to customize the oil to fit the specific needs of the consumer, depending on the situation.

“Incorporating exact quantities of the finest additives into AMSOIL synthetic motor oils results in enhanced advantages above industry standards. AMSOIL employs heat-resistant compounds to extend the oil’s service life and prevent lubricant degradation. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are designed to safeguard equipment in the most extreme environments by balancing protection and performance.”

Detergent and dispersant agents, oxidation inhibitors, corrosion inhibitors, pour point depressants, and viscosity enhancers or improvers (VI) are examples of such additives. Additional benefits include minimizing the development of carbon and other impurities in the engine, as well as preventing the production of undesirable byproducts such as water and lacquer, which help to reduce engine wear.

What is synthetic motor oil, and how does it work?

“This is what happens if you put synthetic oil instead of regular motor oil in your car’s engine. Unlike conventional lubricants, AMSOIL synthetic lubricants are chemically developed to produce pure lubricants. They do not contain any impurities or chemicals that are not intended to perform a certain function. Their adaptability and clean, uniform molecular architectures impart features that are superior to conventional lubricants in terms of friction reduction, fuel efficiency, maximum film strength, and extreme-temperature performance, among other things.”

Why Are Detergent And Dispersant Additives Used In Engine Oils?

Modern motor oils contain a high detergent capacity, which helps to prevent acid, carbon, lacquer, and gum deposits from forming in the engine’s pistons and cylinders. Most unwanted contaminants are produced by unburned gases and raw fuel traveling through the piston rings and into the crankcase. Consequently, it is vital that the detergent and dispersant additives in the oil suspend these impurities until the oil filter is able to collect them.

What Is Motor Oil Viscosity?

What does the viscosity of oil mean? It is a measure of the thickness or fluidity of oil. To put it another way, it is a measure that is used to determine the resistance of an oil to flow. For oil at low (0°F or -18°C) and high (210°F or 99°C) temperatures, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has developed temperature standards for the oil. What does W mean in engine oil? The addition of the letter W to the viscosity value, for example, 10W, indicates special SAE low-temperature criteria. What do engine oil numbers mean? A letter is not allocated to oils that meet the high-temperature requirements. Instead, they are denoted by a number, such as 30.

The viscosity of an oil is determined by heating it to a specified temperature. Following that, the heated oil is allowed to flow out of a very precise hole. Its viscosity rating is determined by the time required for it to flow. The lower the rating, the faster it flows. A viscosimeter is the technical term for this testing apparatus.

Viscosity Index

When heated, oils get thinner, and when cooled, they become thicker. The viscosity index (VI) of an engine oil is crucial because a decent motor oil must be reasonably thin for cold starts and thick at high temperatures. The viscosity index (VI) is a measure of an oil’s capacity to resist changes in viscosity as a result of temperature variations. When oils are heated, they lose their ability to retain their body (resistance to oil film failure). When an engine oil is thin at cold temperatures and does not thin out significantly more when heated, it is considered to have a high viscosity index (VI). If the heating causes a significant change in viscosity, the motor oil has a low viscosity index (VI).

What Is The Best Oil For Cars?

“Should I put synthetic oil in my car? There are a lot of factors that contribute to AMSOIL synthetic motor oils’ superiority over traditional motor oils when it comes to protecting the vital components of a vehicle at all temperatures. As a result of their high VI levels, AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are more stable than traditional engine lubricants and provide superior protection.”

How Does Multi-Viscosity Oil Work?

Exactly how does multi-viscosity oil work? An engine oil with a high viscosity index is made up of unique hydrocarbon molecules known as polymers, which are present in high concentrations. While at room temperature, polymers thin the oil, while at high temperatures, they thicken it.

Multi-viscosity engine oils are able to meet the low-temperature needs of a light oil while also meeting the high-temperature requirements of a heavy oil because of the use of polymers. Because they meet the viscosity and performance standards of two or more SAE classes, they are marketed in weights such as 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40, and 20W-50 to meet the needs of different applications & customer needs. They are referred to as multi-grade, multi-weight, all-season, and all-weather motor oils, among other designations.

What Weight Motor Oil Should I Use?

Knowing what viscosity or “weight” oil to use is important. The answer to this common question, what weight motor oil should I use, is as follows.

Always follow the manufacturer’s advice for viscosity rating to the letter. The most commonly used oils are 30, 10W-30, 10W-40, and 20W-50. When the weather becomes colder, 5W-20, 10W, or 5W-30 are recommended for use in locations where the temperature regularly dips below 0°F (-18°C). These recommendations are based on the engine’s architecture as well as the lowest temperatures that are expected.

API Engine Oil Service Classification

There are now five motor oil service grades available for automobile gasoline engines. The American Petroleum Institute (API) has categorized these oils for use in gasoline engines as SJ, SL, SM, SN, and SP. The letter S denotes that the oil is intended for use in gasoline-powered spark-ignition engines. Your car’s owner manual will answer the question, what engine oil does my car use.

There are eight obsolete oil service classes for classic and antique automobile gasoline engines. These oils are classified by the API as SA, SB, SC, SD, SE, SF, SG, and SH.

What Oil Do Diesel Engines Use?

What oil does a diesel engine take? API diesel engine oil classification is as follows: CH-4, CI-4, CJ-4, CK-4, and the brand-new FA-4 are the classifications assigned by the API for oils intended for use in diesel engines. Engines using compression ignition (diesel engines) are designated by the letter C on the oil’s designation label. The second letter denotes the amount of anti-wear additives, oxidation stabilizers, and detergents present in the formulation. The letter F stands for “fuel efficiency” in the brand new FA-4 classification system.

The following API-classified oils for older diesel engines are now deemed obsolete: CA, CB, CC, CD, and CE. The API designated SA and SB motor oils as the first engine oils. They are ideal for light loads, moderate speeds, and clean environments. They are non-detergent oils since they include no additives. These lubricants are still available for use in a very old vehicle and stationary engine transmissions and are occasionally utilized in two-stroke cycle engines. They should never be installed in modern cars.

SC was the first grade of detergent oil, followed by SJ, SL, SM, SN, and SP. SP is the most recent oil classification. Additionally, this oil will supersede all previous oil categories. The majority of producers no longer bother to label their oil with the earlier grade designations, as they have been supplanted by grade SP. CK-4 is the most recent diesel engine oil grade and replaces CJ-4, CI-4, CH-4, and CH-4 oils. Numerous oils are classified in more than one way.

In order to keep the engine clean and free of dirt, soot, and sludge, detergent oil is utilized. Until they’re caught by the oil filter, contaminants are held in suspension in the oil. If you’re looking to replace SA or SB with detergent oils, keep in mind that detergent oils can loosen up internal engine deposits, potentially clogging oil filters or oil passageways.

When Should I Change My Engine Oil?

When should the engine oil be replaced? So many factors come into play that a blanket recommendation can’t be made here concerning oil drain intervals. Many automakers claim that under normal circumstances, oil changes are not necessary until the vehicle has traveled 7500 miles (12000 km) or even six months.

A normal state of affairs is defined in several ways. Any motor oil’s lubricating characteristics will last longer if each time the engine is started, it is allowed to run for a reasonable amount of time. In terms of mechanical condition, the engine is in excellent shape.

Most of the time, the engine is running at or above its typical operating temperature (more than 180°F (93.3°C.) In addition, the oil filter on the engine is in good working condition. Moderate to moderately high engine speeds are used to propel the vehicle. A high-efficiency air cleaner is installed in the engine. Ensure that the fuel system is functioning properly. Engine operation takes place in a clean environment.

“Can I put full synthetic oil in my car? If you choose to use AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Engine Oil, you will be able to go further between oil changes. It is possible to lengthen oil drain intervals for up to twenty-five thousand miles or 700 hours of operation, or for a year. As long as you use AMSOIL’s Signature Series Engine Oil, your oil changes will be completed on schedule.”

The circumstances just described would be ideal. If an engine is capable of operating under these conditions, the motor oil can be used for the maximum amount of time advised. Changing the motor oil on engines that are run in dusty or unclean conditions, engines that are in poor mechanical condition, or engines that do not have a filtration system should be done at least every 3000 miles (1800 km) or three months. Engines with turbochargers or superchargers should have their motor oil changed every 3000 miles (1800 km) or so, regardless of the conditions.

“Here’s another compelling reason as to what happens if you put synthetic oil instead of regular motor oil in your car’s engine. Because AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are more resistant to degradation than traditional petroleum lubricants, they offer longer drain intervals. Performance-robbing deposits may be prevented by using AMSOIL motor oils, which are engineered to resist volatilization (burn-off), which changes the viscosity and increases the oil consumption. AMSOIL motor oils include improved additive packages, which are critical to the oils’ ability to perform and hold up under engine conditions, allowing them to last the whole specified drain interval.”

In this blog post, we’ve discussed the fundamentals of automotive lubrication and have presented some interesting information on what happens if you put synthetic oil instead of regular motor oil in your car’s engine. Stay tuned to our next in a series of blog posts about automotive lubrication systems.

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