What Qualities Make the Best Motor Oil?

Present engines are smaller, brighter and produce more hp per cubic inch than previously and yet hold less oil volume, stressing the engines oil to the maximum. 2014 Ford Mustang Motor Oil

Horsepower increasing improvements such as turbo asking and super charging have become common place. Consist of ever stricter emissions adjustments with the stop and go commuting common in the current congested metropolitan areas and you have working conditions that are torturous for your cars motor unit oil. 

So what on earth qualities will motor oil must have to be able to make it through these conditions and still provide proper protection? Since they say, “the satan is really in the details” as it pertains to a properly formulated automotive products.

Most of us start with issues interacting with viscosity. Good auto products must be able to maintain a frequent viscosity when exposed to temperatures changes. It is also very critical that the oil be able to maintain steadily its proper viscosity for the complete length of its intended drain interval.

A oils put point tells you how well it handles cool temperatures without gelling (solidifying). Oils that contain too much paraffin; a feel found in petroleum engine oils tend to gelatinized at low temperatures. Herbal oils with poorly designed chemicals or low quality viscosity index improvers will also have this issue. Modern motors have tight tolerances’ and need the motor engine oil to flow quickly at low temperatures to reduce wear at start up.

Tip: Search for essential oils which may have low pour factors. The Pour Point Test out determines the lowest heat at which a lube flows. The lower a lubricant’s pour point, the better protection it provides in low-temperature service.

For high temperatures and stresses, motor oil must be able to resist shearing forces. The condition known as shear is in which the oil is literally split apart on the molecular level creating it to drop out of it is proper viscosity range (example: a 40wt oil shearing into the 30wt range)

This brings us to the subject of movements and heat related destruction. At warm an cooking oils lighter components can volatilize and boil off. This kind of is especially true of petroleum based motor natural oils that have a mix of hydrocarbon molecules of numerous sizes. At high temperatures, the lighter parts boil off leaving the heavier parts. This causes a steady increase in viscosity and brings about accelerated wear, sludge and engine deposits. The ability to resist shear and volatilizing is specially important in turbocharged applications where the oil passes through the turbochargers scorching hot bearings.

Full synthetic engine oils made from polyalphaolifin- a manmade engineered molecule, offer an uniform molecular composition that is far less volatile at high temperature ranges making them well suited for high temp/ turbo charged applications.

Volatility is measured using a market test called the NOACK volatility test and is measure in percentage of weight lost. Good oils will give you 10% or less loss on this test.
Synthetic engine oils will often be less than 8 % loss with some below 5%.

Tip: Shear stableness testing is done using the ASTM high temperature/high shear stability test (ASTM HT/HS test).
A test result greater than 2. 5 is regarded as very good. Results more than 3 are exceptional.

Tip: Look for oils with higher flash/fire points. The Flash/Fire Level determines the lowest temps at which application of a flame will cause lubricant vapors to fire up (flash point and preserve burning for five moments (fire point). Lubes
with higher flash and flame points tend to show more stable volatility characteristics.