Checking the engine oil is one of the first things we learn when we get a new car. The liquid is crucial for any type of motor as it provides the necessary lubrication. That being said, changing your oil every once in a while allows for optimal performance of the engine while also increasing its longevity.
All types of oils can be placed in three main categories: mineral engine oils, semi-synthetic engine oils, and fully-synthetic engine oils. Not only that but there are also oil grades making things that much more complicated. Generally speaking, when you make an oil purchase, it is best to consult the vendor, so they recommend the best solution for your particular engine.
Understanding lubricating oil standards
All engine oils have to adhere to strict lubricating oil standards. Like in many other industries, there are organizations that test oils, their ingredients, and overall quality. That way, a buyer knows exactly what they’re getting. Lubricating oil standards also help us compare different products.
A regulatory organization analyzes various properties of the oil, including soot build-up, oxidization, fuel economy, sludge, etc. Each one of these properties is given a score, and the total score is tallied.
Each country or region has its own regulatory body that tackles this issue. For example, engine oils in the US are tested by API, while engine oil in Japan is tested by JASO. It is also worth noting that different types of oils have different standards.
3 Types of engine oils
Keep in mind that different machines use different types of oil. Every motor has specific requirements, and manufacturers usually recommend certain products for certain types of engines. This makes it much easier for consumers who have limited knowledge of the matter. Anyway, here are the 3 types of engine oils:
1-Mineral engine oil
The great thing about mineral oils is that they can work for different ranges of temperature. Companies make these substances by refining petroleum oil, and most people use them for motorcycles and cars. Although this type of product is significantly cheaper, it offers less protection compared to other types. They are especially bad against friction heating.
Although you can use them in different scenarios, they work the best at a regular temperature. In other words, their efficiency plummets as the temperature becomes too high or too low. It is also worth noting that this type of oil is significantly cheaper than its two counterparts.
2-Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil
Semi-synthetic engine oil provides the best of both worlds. It is somewhere between mineral engine oil and fully synthetic oil. Although it is more expensive than mineral oil, it provides much more protection to the engine. In fact, it has similar traits as synthetic oil but at a lower price.
The manufacturers make this product by mixing synthetic and mineral oil. That way, the liquid becomes much more efficient without being too expensive. Semi-synthetic engine oil makes the engine much more efficient at lower temperatures while providing high resistance and viscosity at higher temperatures.
3-Fully-Synthetic Engine Oil
Basically, this is the best option out of the three, but also the most expensive one. It significantly increases the performance of your engine while giving it more lubrication. Although the oil is quite expensive, it can help you save money by providing increased fuel efficiency compared to its counterparts.
The companies that make this oil break down the liquid to its basic ingredients. After that, they remove any additives and impurities. All the molecules within the oil are of a similar size, which is why these products offer such a stable performance. There won’t be any reduction in efficiency as the temperature soars high or drops low.
As you can presume, the process of creating full-synthetic engine oil is much more complex and requires more sophisticated equipment, which is why the end product is so expensive.
Monograde and multigrade engine oils
Aside from having different product types, we can categorize engine oils based on their grades.
Monograde engine oils are optimal for smaller ranges of temperature. Most people use them for old cars, and we can further categorize them as low and high viscosity monograde oils. Low viscosity oils have a quicker flow. On the other hand, high viscosity oils are slower but provide higher protection.
Multigrade engine oils are the more popular solution. They are amazing both in the summer and the winter, providing almost the same performance regardless of the outside temperature.