Farm Guide VIC : 2014-15
68 Automotive Depletion of oil additives - Additives are consumed as they perform their vital role. If the additives are depleted, corrosion, oxidation and accelerated engine wear can occur. For this reason, engine manufacturers recommend that the oil be changed at certain time or distance intervals to ensure protection of your equipment is not compromised. Choosing the right motor oil What is SAE? Society of Automotive Engineers or commonly referred to as SAE, designates the rating system for the engine oil viscosity. The rating system simply put indicates how thick or thin an engine oil is at a certain temperature. There are two common types of SAE classifications, monograde and multigrade. Multi-Grade Engine Oil - Multigrade oils can be used across a broad range of temperatures and are expressed as SAE 5W-30, 10W-30, 5W-40 etc. Multi-grade engine oils are designed to flow quickly like a thin oil on “start-up” and circulate through the engine quickly and maintains viscosity when hot, to provide the necessary engine protection. With multi-grade oils, the first number indicates oil viscosity at start-up or in cold temperatures and the second number indicates viscosity at equipment operating temperature, the larger the number the more viscous the oil. Mono-Grade Oil - Mono-grade engine oils are expressed as SAE 30, SAE 40, SAE 50 etc. Some applications may require a mono-grade oil however Monograde engine oils have cold weather limitations. What is API Classification? American Petroleum Institute designates service classifications as a two-letter rating system for petrol and diesel engine oils. For example API SN, the first letter “S” denotes petrol engine oils and second letter “N” designates the oil’s performance standard. API CJ, again the first letter “C” denotes commercial diesel engine oils and the second letter “J” designates the oil’s performance standard. Many engine oils meet standards for both petrol and diesel engines and will be marked with a dual service classification. For example API SN/CF meets the petrol performance level of “SN” and diesel performance level of CF. Older vehicle owner’s manuals would specify a superseded service rating. Where a vehicle owner’s manual lists oils that are no longer readily available, a higher specification engine oil can be used. What are ACEA ratings? ACEA stands for the Association des Constructeurs Européens de I’Automobiles and represents a large group of European engine manufacturers. ACEA has established four performance categories: the A category for petrol engines; the B category for passenger car diesel engines; the C category represents catalyst compatible oils and the E category for heavy duty diesel engines. Within each category there are different performance levels, eg: A1, A3, A5, these performance levels are continually introduced as equipment advances over time and higher quality oil is required to ensure their efficient operation. Generally speaking, the higher the number, the more modern the equipment or vehicle and the more advanced the oil needed. What are ILSAC ratings? ILSAC stands for International Lubricants Standardization Approval Committee denoted by a GF rating prefix GF-5, GF-4. Engine oils with GF rating must meet the standard specified by ILSAC for engine sequence and bench tests including physical and chemical properties. Engine Oils meeting the GF-5 specification must prove energy conserving and resource conserving and applies to low viscosity oils such as 0W-20, 5W-20, 0W-30, 5W-30 and 10W-30 . ILSAC GF-3 was introduced in 2001, GF-4 in 2004 and GF-5 in about 2010 and is current. Each change in rating requires significantly more severe test conditions to be met therefore the higher ratings will outperform previous ILSAC rated oils. What are OEM approvals? It is common for vehicle and engine manufacturers to define a particular oil specification for their vehicle or engines. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) specify that engine oils must meet a range of stringent OEM specifications and requirements before it can be used and warranted in their engines. The owner’s manual will provide any specific OEM requirements. So, what grade of engine oil should I use? There are a number of ways to determine what engine oil is suited to your vehicle or equipment. The best way to find the correct lubricant grade and recommendation is to refer to your vehicle owner’s manual. In here you should be able to locate the Viscosity or SAE rating, API, ACEA, ILSAC and OEM approval/requirements. Article kindly provided by Valvoline.