How important is the engine oil that goes into your car?

In our previous article you were  informed about the differences between old car engines and modern car engines, so this piece will continue on the same engine oil theme and  shed more  light on the importance of engine oils–especially to modern cars.

2016-30-5--11-17-45              The engine compartment of a 2012 Toyota Corolla

The oil that goes into your car’s engine is very important because oil performs multiple  functions in the engine  and these are summarized below:

1. To lubricate engine parts and prevent wear

The primary function of engine oil is to minimize metal-to-metal contact reducing friction and wear. You may remember from your Secondary school physics lessons that friction is the force that resists the motion of one surface relative to another with which it is in contact. Friction produces heat, which causes more wear and distorts moving engine parts.The oil in your engine maintains a thin, lubricating film on all metal parts that lets them glide over each other safely and efficiently, reducing friction.

2.Cooling of engine parts

Besides the lubrication function, the oil also  assists in cooling the engine because the constant flow of oil carries heat away from the engine to keep the operating temperature down. In most modern internal-combustion engines there is  a centralized pressure-feed lubrication system equipped  with an oil cooler  where the heat in the oil is transferred to the water circulating in the water cooling system.

3.Protection against rust and corrosion

The oil  protects the engine against rust and corrosion by coating metal parts and by flushing debris from between moving parts.

4. Keep engine parts clean

The oil in your car’s engine  circulates through the  engine and collects many kinds of contaminants that cause engine wear and damage. The oil and the oil filter help remove these contaminants.

5. Helps to protect  the emissions system

The right engine  oil also helps protect your emissions systems. You might not be aware but most new cars are equipped with catalytic converters –in an effort to control emissions. These catalytic converters can deteriorate over time and are expensive to replace. A high-quality motor oil helps protect the emissions system by minimizing its own impact on these devices.

6.Helps to improve fuel economy

In recent years, modern automobile gasoline engines have been getting more and more efficient to meet the demands of government regulations for increased fuel economy–especially in the developed countries such as the the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom.


engine oil and  engine oil caps indicating the recommended oil viscosity grade

This has also pushed oil companies such as Mobil to produce lower viscosity oils which can help support efficiency and help improve fuel economy by decreasing engine friction.Perhaps, it’s the ability of these lower viscosity oils to improve fuel economy that is driving  car manufacturers to recommend SAE 0w-20 grade as the oil  of choice in most new cars.For instance, the ubiquitous  2012  Toyota  Corolla and all the model years that followed require SAE 0w-20 oil in their engines.

Now that you’ve been adequately informed about the importance of oil in your car’s engine, in the next article we’ll delve deep into the oil viscosity grade ratings and why they should matter to you.







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