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AMSOIL TECH BLOG

03/01/2013

Most Vehicles Consume Some Oil, But Maintaining Proper Motor Oil Levels Helps Ensure Your Vehicle Is Protected

As an AMSOIL Dealer or Preferred Customer, you understand the importance of motor oil and its contributions to ensuring trouble-free, long-term vehicle operation. And you understand the value - in time, financial savings and reduced environmental impact - that can be realized using extended drain intervals. The days of the 3,000- mile oil change are gone, but many consumers still spend money unnecessarily - wasting time, labor and oil - by adhering to this antiquated schedule. Changing your motor oil to AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil can extend an oil change out to 25,000 miles or one year. Additionally, your engine will receive the superb and guaranteed protection afforded by AMSOIL products. However, it's also important to understand that extended oil drains do not mean "fill and forget until the next oil change."

As discussed in the November 2011 Tech Talk,"... almost all cars consume some oil, which is normal and does not cause any issues with extended drain intervals." One of the most important gauges in your vehicle is the oil dipstick. When was the last time you used it? Checking your oil level regularly is a quick and easy way to monitor oil consumption that occurs during normal vehicle operation.

What is a normal rate of oil consumption? It depends on the vehicle, its mechanical condition, how it is driven and other factors. Engines with higher miles typically consume more oil than engines with lower miles. One quart of oil for every 2,000 to 3,000 miles driven is considered normal oil consumption, but this is only a reference and varies from one vehicle to the next. Check a vehicle's oil level weekly until a pattern is discovered.

Let's suppose you have a vehicle with a five-quart oil sump where one quart of oil is consumed every 3,000 miles. After 3,000 miles, four of the original five quarts remain - a 20 percent reduction in oil volume. Consider a set of tires inflated to only 80 percent of recommended capacity. You could still drive on them, but fuel economy would suffer greatly and the tires would wear rapidly. There must be enough oil in the oil pan to cover the oil pump inlet, but not so much that the crankshaft can touch the oil. With a 20-percent reduction in oil volume, less oil is available to travel the oil gallery passages that supply lubricant to engine components. There is also less oil available to cool in the oil pan, which means the oil spends more time in the engine's high-temperature regions where heat and shearing conditions can reduce service life.

But motor oil must do more than just lubricate moving parts; it must also provide corrosion protection, control temperature and contamination, and serve as hydraulic fluid to actuate systems in newer engines. Lower oil volume means a lower volume of oil additives - antioxidants, detergents, dispersants, rust and corrosion inhibitors and anti-wear agents - all of which help motor oil perform its many duties. The greater the amount of contaminants present in motor oil, the faster the oil additives are depleted. Keeping motor oil at the correct level ensures the maximum availability of vital additives.

Just as low oil levels affect engines, overfilling an engine with oil can be detrimental too. If levels become too high, it's possible the rotating crankshaft will touch the oil, aerating and whipping it into frothy foam. This action creates more crankshaft drag and reduces fuel economy. In addition, the oil foam creates air in the system that can degrade or destroy the lubricating film between moving parts, resulting in increased friction and wear. Excessive quantities of oil may be thrown on the cylinder walls and some of it will work its way up into the combustion chamber. This results in higher oil consumption rates, which reduces oil volume and eventually brings us back to the previous scenario.

Keeping engine oil topped off at the proper level is peace-of-mind maintenance that all drivers should make a part of their routines. Published, AMSOIL Magazine 03/13.

SYNZILLA.com LLC is a large nationwide Dealer of AMSOIL Synthetic Lubricants and is now expanding into your area and surrounding states. If you have a business or are an individual with several vehicles, AMSOIL has several options available that may allow you to purchase AMSOIL products at wholesale prices. We can show you how to save money and extend equipment life with AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils, Lubricants, Filters and Fuel Additives. Please visit the AMSOIL Online Store for more information and to purchase AMSOIL Products.

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