DIY

DIY

Back to Basics: What is Motor Oil and Why do You Need It?

Everything you wanted to know about oil but were afraid to ask

Much like blood is the lifeline to keep the human body moving and pumping, motor oil is the lifeline to keep vehicle engines working properly and efficiently, pumping out energy and power to get you where you’re going. 

“Engines are designed with oil in mind, and they are meant to work as a team together,” says Valvoline™ Senior Scientist Erin Findley.

In basic terms, motor oil coats all moving parts within an engine to allow for efficient, effortless, and continuous proper operation. But it’s also much more: not only does it lubricate parts to keep them functioning optimally, it also cools, cleans, and seals engines.

Without oil to coat moving parts, engines would immediately seize and break. Failing to properly maintain a vehicle with regular oil changes can be a recipe for eventual failure – and potentially high repair bills that come with it.

It’s a no-brainer: spend a few bucks regularly on a few containers of motor oil, or eventually spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on engine repairs down the road – all the way up to potentially necessitating a brand new engine under your hood. Most parts contained within an engine need the lubrication capability oil possesses to keep moving efficiently and at peak performance.

If a car owner fails to maintain the oil level in his/her vehicle (typically 4-5 quarts), or fails to change oil at regular intervals, the projected lifetime of the engine can be significantly shortened as a result. Working in conjunction with both the oil pump and oil filter, motor oil performs a plethora of jobs:

• Helps engines stay cool so that heat does not cause internal parts to break down.

• Reduces wear and tear on the parts.

• Seamlessly moves loose particles (especially from the combustion chamber) from the engine to the oil filter so that they're removed on the next maintenance service.

• Forms a protective layer to prevent corrosion of engine surfaces.

• Helps maintain or improve fuel economy.

Valvoline manufactures motor oil for virtually all uses, including specialized products for specialized uses. 

But just like different foods can provide a wide variety of nutrition, power, health, and energy to the human body and potentially extend its lifespan, different forms of motor oil for various needs and uses – particularly a member of the Valvoline family of motor oils – can help keep your vehicle running smoothly, operating optimally and efficiently, and will ultimately extend its lifespan. Which motor oil is right for you? To begin with, always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for compatibility and warranty information, and check out "Which Motor Oil Is Right For Me?" 

 

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