Role and benefits of motor oil
What are the functions of motor oil?
Motor oil plays many roles in allowing an engine to run properly over time. Here are the most important ones:
Motor oil’s main role is to lubricate the engine parts, which are constantly in motion and experiencing friction on metal surfaces. It therefore, reduces friction and saves energy, but also reduces wear by separating moving surfaces which makes your engine last longer.
The combustion of fuel and the friction from moving engine parts results in an increase in the engine’s temperature. It’s important to take note that if this heat is not removed from the engine, it will result in engine failure. Your motor oil helps move this heat energy within the engine, through the lubrication circuit. It supplements the coolant, which can only cool certain parts of the engine in closer proximity to the coolant chambers.
Motor oil’s cleaning power is fundamental. Microscopic deposits build up in the engine and remain in suspension or accumulate on surfaces. They can consist of dust, debris or combustion residue. Without motor oil, this residue will clog the engine or foul its surfaces and decrease its performance. The flow of motor oil continuously carries these impurities to the oil filter, where they are trapped and prevented from causing further problems.
- Protection against corrosion
Fuel combustion generates corrosive acids that can damage metal parts in the engine. With the additives added to modern motor oils, corrosion is slowed down. Nonetheless, over time, motor oil will oxidise with exposure to heat and air and therefore no longer play its corrosion inhibiting role. That’s why motor oil must be changed regularly. Synthetic oils oxidize at a slower rate than mineral oils, like TOTAL QUARTZ 9000 5W-40.
Motor oil also enhances engine sealing, and more specifically the sealing of pistons and cylinders. A protective layer is formed between the various parts, sealing any clearances that may arise.
Keep in mind
For motor oil to truly serve all its purposes, the level must be checked regularly in order to change the oil at the right time. Overused oil no longer plays its role fully, which is detrimental to the general condition of the engine and its parts.
What are the main benefits of motor oil?
For vehicle owners, motor oil firstly helps one avoid costly repairs. Without a lubricant, the engine would quickly become seriously damaged from excessive wear. In simplified terms, this is what a high performance and quality motor oil offers.
- Ensures a longer engine lifespan
By reducing friction between parts and by cleaning the entire engine, motor oil prevents the engine from clogging, running inefficiently, and becoming damaged. Mechanical parts therefore last longer and corode less. The engine therefore performs better and its lifespan is increased.
- Ensures proper running of the engine
If a motor oil is overused, or if its level is too low, the resulting friction alters the engine’s energy efficiency, which in turn increases fuel consumption. More energy is required to overcome more friction. A high-performance oil also reduces pollutant discharges into the atmosphere.
Choose the right motor oil to ensure optimum efficiency
Not all motor oils are the same. It is important to choose an oil that is suited to your vehicle and local climate conditions to enjoy all its benefits. There are three types of oil:
- Mineral motor oils – TOTAL QUARTZ 5000 range
- Semi-synthetic motor oils – TOTAL QUARTZ 7000 range
- Synthetic motor oils – TOTAL QUARTZ 9000 range
- Low SAPS Oils, for cars with after treatment systems – TOTAL QUARTZ INEO range
In addition to the type of oil, there are various parameters such as viscosity, which is expressed in two grades that are marked on the oil container (for example “5w-30”): the grade when cold during start-up of the engine, and the grade when hot, when the engine is running. These grades indicate oil fluidity according to temperature (high or low). Depending on engine design, the oil should be either more or less fluid (or more or less viscous). To choose the right oil, see your vehicle owner’s handbook or get advice from a professional.
A well-oiled engine runs better. Good lubrication is in fact essential to avoid serious mechanical damage. In addition to engine performance, the cost of maintenance is also affected.