What Does Motor Oil Do for a Car’s Engine? | Carson Cars Wants You to Know!

October 10, 2011  

Every engine in every car requires oil to operate. One of the most important general maintenance issues for a vehicle is changing the oil on a regular basis. The Oil Change Experts at Carson Cars explains exactly what motor oil’s function is in your car’s engine.

1. Lubrication

The primary function of motor oil is to provide lubrication between the many metal surfaces within the engine’s components. The oil actually forms a layer between the metal surfaces to eliminate the metals from direct contact. This also reduces friction between the metals.

2. Sealant

Oil fills all the microscopic voids in the metallic surfaces within the engine. By filling the divots present in any metal, the efficiency of the engine is increased.

3. Cleaning

Particulates present in a vehicle’s engine are carried away by the oil and filtered out through the oil filter. The oil must be changed on a regular basis once it has absorbed maximum particulate. It is essential that the filter be changed to assure unfettered flow of the oil through the engine.

4. Detergent

Oil additives reduce the effects of the byproducts of combustion. Combustion produces:

  • moisture
  • acids
  • soda
  • ash
  • other contaminants
Detergent additives prevent the byproducts from forming build-up of sludge and other harmful compounds (varnish).

5. Cooling

Inside the engine, the oil directly cools the:

  • underside of the pistons
  • Valve springs
  • cam shaft
  • rods
  • crankshaft
  • bearings

Oil also absorbs and removes the heat produced from friction and combustion. Although the oil in the crankcase does assist with heat transfer, Carson Cars Engine Cooling Experts recommend  adding an engine oil cooler for extreme use conditions like:

  • Extremely hot climates
  • Towing trailer(s)
  • Carrying/hauling heavy loads
In such cases, an engine oil cooler may be required to assure the engine remains within optimum operating temperatures.
How Do You Drive? 

Oil Change Experts at Carson Cars can help determine the best product for your car, according to the way you drive. The following factors are taken into consideration:

  • Is the majority of your driving highway at high speeds?
  • Is the majority of your driving stop and go at low speeds (city/town)?
  • Is the climate in which you drive extremely hot?
  • Is the climate in which you drive extremely cold?
  • Do you carry a variety of loads?
  • Is the atmosphere of operation excessively dirty?
Each of these questions will help determine the best oil for your vehicle, and the recommended schedule for oil change. If you operate under heavy loads or in very dusty conditions, you will likely require oil/filter changes more often than a vehicle that is operated in moderate temperatures with no excessive load considerations.