Motor Oil 101: Understanding Engine Protection and Performance

Keith Klein

Publisher's Note: Welcome to our first edition of Tech Tips Tuesday.  We'll be re-publishing an edition of AMSOIL Tech Tips for you every Tuesday.  Click on the Blog Category "Tuesday Tech Tips" to see everything published to-date.

Motor Oil 101: Understanding Engine Protection and Performance

John Gardner: What's an engine with no motor oil? It's a big molten metal pile; it's not going to function at all. This AMSOIL segment's all about Motor Oil 101, and, Len, everybody knows it protects and it lubricates. So, let's do a little demo here. Listen to this. These are two pieces of metal with no oil between them, and you can hear that. Just a couple of drops—we don't need a whole lot. See how accurate you are, Len. Pretty good. Put it between there, and ah, you can't hear it. It's actually producing that layer between there, and that's the job of the motor oil, but it's a lot deeper than that. Speak to this graphic here. That's how it actually works, right?

Len Groom: This graphic represents the yellow represents the oil that's being forced into that bearing clearance by the pump. And what you're looking for there is as the shaft turns, it actually builds an oil wedge that those parts are riding on, and you want to maintain that at all costs. You don't want to see parts touching.

John Gardner: Yeah, and if you do, you end up getting something like this here. Now, you can see this bearing, this is a main bearing, and this is a thrust bearing, and it's totally wiped out from that metal to metal contact. It should look something like this, and this one's been in there for a while, did a good job. We ran AMSOIL.

Now, you can see the graphic right here. There's the leading competitor and AMSOIL, bearings and oil go together, and it makes a big difference. So, right there's the oil gallery as well. Oil has to travel through the engine, and these new technologies have stuff on the top of the engine. It's got to get there. It's like a balloon. You need oil pressure. Oil is responsible for that.

Len Groom: That's correct, and it's quite a distance that it has to travel, so that takes time. So, the oil needs to move. You get into some of these new technologies—start-stop technology—the engine shuts off when you're at a stop sign. When you let your foot off the brake, it starts back up. You could be partway through the intersection before that vehicle has any oil pressure. So, it's critical that the oil have good quality base oil, that you have the proper amount of anti-wear additive to keep those bearings in great shape and to keep that engine running properly.

John Gardner: Wow, that's amazing. I'm an automotive instructor and never thought of that. Every time that car's stopping, 10, 20, 30, 50 times a day, now with start-stop technology, you're losing oil pressure.

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Please contact Keith for Motor Oil, at 262-853-7900 for information about the AMSOIL preferred customer program, including the discounts you get to be able to buy at wholesale prices.  And, as we said, Preferred Customers get a print copy of the AMSOIL Preferred Customer Magazine FREE via US Mail - as well as wholesale pricing on AMSOIL products.  Click here to become an AMSOIL Preferred Customer, or contact Keith, at 262-853-7900.


Keith Klein
Organizer, Wisconsin Business Owners
Founder & CEO, OnYourMark, LLC

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