THE LIFE OF ENGINE OIL
The longevity of any machine is directly dependent on the quality and condition of the working fluids. Our services are tailored to the operation of the majority of the vehicles in this locality. Before the late '70s, the factory schedule was close to what was best, but marketing considerations drove the manufacturers to longer intervals to "reduce operating costs" and petroleum demand. In the end the cost of ownership was more. The following is to give a general idea of the nature of oil change rationales.
THE BASIC COMPONENTS OF CRUDE OIL are paraffinic (long C-H chain) and naphthenic (short branched chains). Paraffinic has good lubricating qualities and resists breaking down. The more expensive ones have higher paraffin content.
THE EARLY PENNSYLVANIA CRUDE
Luckily for early machines the Pennsylvania crude was 50% paraffinic, now all gone. Today's crudes contain about 5 to 10% paraffinic base. Synthetic oil has replaced the paraffinic base.
MODERN MOTOR OILS
Oil viscosity is termed as "Grade", not "Weight". The lower the number the thinner it is, so that the flow rate increases with temperature, ie the colder the thicker. To flatten the flow rate curve, multi grade oil was devised ensuring adequate lubrication when going to road speeds straight away from a cold start. The added "liquid plastics" become thicker with rising temperatures, therefore flow rate remains the same at all temperatures.
OIL BREAK-DOWN IN AN ENGINE
Basically the oil goes rancid.
A lot of bad things happen inside an engine when gasoline + water + alcohol (in gasoline) + sulphur (in gasoline and oil) + warm environment + atmospheric oxygen occurs. The water enters as a vapor from the air when the engine "breathes" atmospheric air during the temperature changes (mostly over-night), condensing out and dropping to the bottom of the sump. Secondly, water is approximately half of the exhaust of which a small portion goes by the rings into the sump.
Recently, for an unknown reason, there has been an increase in ethanol. So now, we have the mix of all of these.
*FACT: oil and fuels contain natural and additive minerals including sulphur.
Now add some heat but not enough to evaporate the water where:
water+ sulphur + atmospheric oxygen + heat = acids
Stir vigorously, let sit, repeat.
Organic material (oil) + acidic liquid + sulphur + carbon = polymerization (cross linking hydrocarbon chains) making plastics.
*FACT: even the shortest of drives raises the engine temperature to polymerization levels, which remains for 1.5 to 3 hours after shut down.
The products are gooey messes, hard carbonaceous deposits and particles, varnish, sludge. The thrashing of the water in the oil can turn it into an emulsified blend. In certain engines very hard and abrasive mineral/carbon deposits are created in the combustion chamber .
*FACT: Until the engine is up to full temperature for at least an hour the moisture is not dried out of the oil ( the cold climates are 10 times worse).
ENGINE OPERATING SITUATIONS:
The oil in the sump is picked up from the bottom (including water and solids), and then to the filter. If the flow through the paper element is restricted due to cold oil, or particles, flow is kept up by allowing unfiltered flow around the element. From there it goes to the working parts, such as the internal cam rotation mechanisms (very close tolerances ), cam and crank bearings, and hydraulically adjusted cam followers. The crankcase breather system sucks up bits and pieces, and the oil vapor deposits in the piping, then enters the intake system, then on to the intake valves, and then into the combustion chamber. In Gasoline Direct Injection ( after about 2010) systems the extra ethanol in the winter increases the bad vapors in the breather, depositing on the runners, intake valves, and piston tops. It clogs the up the rings resulting in scored cylinder walls beyond fixing by cleaning. A major expense.
See online video at minute 10:00 for 5 minutes Use control+left click:
GDI damage ( or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJhFAwFv-O0&t=759s )
*FACT: single grade oil lasts longer and works as well if allowed to idle for several minutes allowing filtration to occur and thinning down.
*FACT: multi grades break down more and faster. *FACT: degraded oil loses slipperiness, wearing the cam lobes and timing chains that rely on the "cling" quality of the oil to prevent the sliding metal-to-metal contact. *FACT: the polymerization also occurs to the rubber components, i.e. crank seals, o-rings, valve cover gaskets, plastic components such as in the Crank Case Breather system. Oil leaks and repairs result.
ACTUAL CASE of a car with extremely noisy cam/valve train. History was1 mile to work, 0.5 mile out to lunch, 0.5 mile back, 1 mile home. That equals 3 miles and 7.0 hours daily of "cooking", the oil, times 5 days a week.
Over the 10,000 mile change interval: for each 3 miles driven with 7 hr hot parking time equals: 3,300 days, times 7 hrs/day, for 23,000 hrs of "cooking" the oil.
This case required three heroic solvent cleaning processes. After dissolving the muck/sludge/etc, the remaining hard pieces released from the muck clogged the oil pickup screen within 10 miles of highway driving, turning on the Oil Pressure Warning! which required removal of the oil sump.
IN THE END
The oil does not go to waste. Our collection is taken to a facility in Greensboro for refinement and re-purposing.
*FACT: If the oil passed through the engine only once, the engine might not ever wear out.
Non-synthetic: 3 months
Synthetic: 6 months
MILEAGE BASE: Vehicles that spend extended time on the open road usually runs out the 6000 mileage by the 6 months anyway. If the vehicle does 15,000 open road miles in 6 months, same same. Only difference is the road-worthiness checks.
All the fluids are of limited life. AutoWerks uses the very best commonly available for all applications. Cheap fluids follow the Rule: Pay me now, or, pay me more later.
2036 Juniper Lake Rd
West End, NC 27376 P