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Negotiated Studies essay
← The Global WarmingThe Importance of Oils →

Negotiated Studies. Custom Negotiated Studies Essay Writing Service || Negotiated Studies Essay samples, help

This paper aims at asserting the significance of motor oils in ensuring effective and efficient operations of engines; therefore, motor oils have been classified according to their functionality. The identification of each type of oil has been done according to its best suited engine model. This has been done in light of the characteristics that determine the lifespan or durability of motor oil. The observation of the best method to drain the used oil from the engine has been in lieu of the benefits and drawbacks of each method. In light of this, the significance of oils in engine processes has been indicated; whereas the drawbacks associated with oil usage and environmental pollution have been observed and highlighted. Recommendations for future alternatives to current motor oils have been made.


Engine oils are a critical inherent aspect of engine functionality. Therefore, motor oil choice is critical in determine how best an engine will perform in light of physical and environmental conditions affecting the engine and oil. However, distinction should be made between Motor oil and Transmission Fluid which is used in lubricating the steering system. Significant difference are that transmission fluid is in closed system where it does not interact with other engine components, hence does not get contaminated through combustion leading to a longer life in contrast to motor oil. The decision to use a designated oil type should consider the type of engine, whether it uses gasoline or diesel, whether it is a new model, an old model or an obsolete model. Hence consideration should be made to determine whether the engine is exposed to extreme cold or hot weather. However, automotive maintenance is not only about oil selection and change but also includes changing the filters, protecting and cleaning the engine system.

Therefore, as a part of engine maintenance, oil should be changed to remove accumulated contaminants, which may cause damage to the engine; or when oil additives have been depleted leading to corrosion, depletion, oxidation and increased wear. The usage of motor oil is essential in the smooth operations of engine; therefore, it is critical to comprehend to impacts associated with poor or exemplary handling of motor oil to the engine.

Oil Types

The type of oil that is required for use in an automotive engine is determined by the manufactures manual or it can be determined through identifying the type of fuel, model, age and mileage of the vehicle. These can be classified into; Synthetic oil is made through laboratory synthesis of carefully controlled ingredients. These are created by scientists, chemists and oil engineers. Synthetic oils have higher engine lubrication and protection, hence offering better cleansing, enhanced durability, and improved protection at startup and against heat buildup (Miller, 2009). On the other hand, Synthetic blend oils are a combination of conventional base and synthetic oils. These create improved oxidation resistance and enable excellent low temperature affinity.

High mileage oils are blended for older vehicles indicating high mileage; these range from 120, 000 kilometers (Pirro & Wessol, 2001). On the other hand, high mileage oil based on its viscosity and unique additives, aids in sealing oil leaks and improving combustion chamber sealing; hence restoring engine compression, while reducing oil burn off. Conventional oil utilizes base oils enhanced through blending with chemical additives to aid in achieving the desired breakdown resistance, viscosity and necessary thresholds of heat tolerance. This type of oil is recommended for low mileage, recent model cars, which observe routine driving habits like commuting. However, automotive oils are graded using a system developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the American Petroleum Institute (API). The SAE classifies motor oils on the basis of their viscosity and general temperatures ranges, while the API classifies motors oils according to the type of fuel used.

API classification for gasoline engines are;

Oil type


Time frame



For all automotive engines presently in use. Beginning July 1, 2001.




For 2001 models and older automotive engines



For 1996 models and older engines. Valid when preceded by current C categories




1993 -1967 models and older engines



For older engines. Should only be used if recommended by the manufacturer

API classification for diesel engines

Oil type


Time frame



1998 models. For high-speed, four-stroke engines designed to meet 1998 exhaust emission standards.








1995. For severe-duty, high-speed, four-stroke engines using fuel with less than 0.5% weight sulfur




1990. For high-speed, four-stroke, naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines




1994. For severe-duty, two-stroke engines



1994. For off-road, indirect-injected and other diesel engines including those using fuel with over 0.5% weight sulfur




1987. For high-speed, four-stroke, naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines




1987 – 1940s models


The durability of automotive oil is depended on the period of use, depletion of additives and accumulation of oil contaminants. Since, motor oil is subjected to the oxidation process where the chemicals inherent in the oil react with oxygen. These affect the oil by changing the oil viscosity leading to corrosion, deposits, sludge and other insoluble oxidation remnants that affect the durability and performance of the oil. As motor oil is subjected to heat beyond specified temperatures, it begins to degrade despite the absence of oxygen (Lansdown, 1993). It leads to a change in the oil’s viscosity. The durability of motor oil is critically affected by increased temperatures, which increase thermal degradation of the oil, hence reducing its expected usable life span.

In cases where the engine does not reach proper operating temperatures, water can be accumulated in the oil. It can be a result of condensation due to humidity and temperature changes while go driving and short stops. When water is accumulating in oil for a designated time frame, it can cause emulsification of oil and form a corrosive mixture or form a sludge, which may block oil filters. Significantly, the effects of shear forces where the oils molecular structure is broken down under the heat and heavy load in a result of compression between two sliding or rotating forces (Gresham, 2002), can compromise the durability of the motor oil. On the other hand, contaminants like dust, sand, soot or unburned fuel and other elements can cause significant degradation of motor oil, hence making it harmful.

Oil Replacement Methods

Motor oil can be replaced using oil extractor method and gravity draining or the drip method. The extractor utilizes a mechanism where vacuum is generated through pumping, where the extractor hose is poked into the oil for drainage. Extractors are advantageous in that they do not require getting the vehicle on a ramp and squeezing under the vehicle to work the drainage plug. However, the extractor’s disadvantages are that it does not guarantee a complete drainage of oil and impurities accumulated in the oil sump pan (Kaufmann, 2010). In order for an extractor to work optimally, the suction hose should be placed at the lowest end of the sump pan. The disadvantage is that it is impossible to determine the actual placement of the suction hose since the sump pan is not transparent.

Most sumps have in built anti-slosh baffles placed vertically or horizontally; therefore, if the suction hose does not get through one of the holes there is a possibility of leaving an entire sump full of oil (Kaufmann, 2010). Meanwhile, congealed oils, clumps and clogs of oil will get stuck on the extractor leading to its blockage. The gravity method requires placing an oil pan under the drain plug where the plug is removed allowing the residue oil and residues to drip into the oil pan. The benefit of this method is that it facilitates drainage of all oil and sediments; however, its disadvantage is that it is tedious, untidy, and the drained oil may have health ramifications.

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