Tech Tip: Additive Packages Play Key Role in Keeping an Engine Clean – UnderhoodService

Tech Tip: Additive Packages Play Key Role in Keeping an Engine Clean

As anyone who has even a small amount of experience working on engines knows, regular oil changes are one of the most important things that can be done to extend the life of an engine.

Premium quality motor oil will maintain its effectiveness over the life of the oil drain, allowing it to help in keeping the engine clean.

Additive packages are added to motor oil and play a key role in helping to keep an engine clean and protected from varnish and sludge, as well as wear from heat and acids. Additives can consist of anti-wear agents, friction modifiers, dispersants, detergents, viscosity index improvers and antioxidants. Some key cleaning ingredients that make up motor oil additive packages are detailed below:

• Anti-wear additives lay down a protective, sacrificial film between moving parts and also help stop oxidation of the motor oil.
• Dispersants grab dirt and sludge before they can build up during engine operation, holding them in suspension and preventing them from depositing on to engine parts.
• Detergents help keep high-temperature surfaces such as pistons clean. Changing the motor oil at proper intervals will help to prevent ring sticking and piston deposits.
• Viscosity index improvers are chemical additives that are added to motor oil to ensure proper oil viscosity at extreme cold and hot operating conditions, enabling the development of multi-grade oils such as SAE 5W-20.
• Friction modifiers help to reduce friction in critical areas of the engine, thus enhancing the vehicle’s fuel economy.
• Anti-oxidants stop oil oxidation to help keep the oil from becoming too thick.

Properly functioning engine oils help enhance fuel economy, prevent sludge and varnish deposits and maintain proper low-temperature pumpability. The additives in engine oils are consumed during use at different rates, which vary with vehicle, engine type and driving conditions; therefore, it is not possible to establish a universal oil drain interval. Always follow the recommended oil drain interval and oil specifications found in the owner’s manual.

Tech Tip courtesy of Pennzoil, www.pennzoil.com.

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