The Functions of a Lubricant
Modern motor oil is a highly specialized product carefully developed by engineers and chemists to perform many essential functions. A motor oil must:
- Permit easy starting
- Lubricate engine parts and prevent wear
- Reduce friction
- Protect against corrosion
- Keep engine parts clean
- Minimize combustion chamber deposits
- Cool engine parts (heat transfer properties)
- Seal combustion pressures
- Resist foaming (air bubbles do not lubricate and cause wear)
- Aid fuel economy
Motor oil quality has changed dramatically in the past 30 years, and new demands on lubricants in modern engine designs call for oils that meet stringent requirements. Think about the challenges, for example, of air cooling an engine that is covered up with aerodynamic shrouding and more emissions systems, which require hotter operating temperatures. Variations in an oil's ability to meet the requirements determine which service classification rating and viscosity grade it receives. Quality of the motor oil determines how well it performs these functions, and determines its service life.
A motor oil is made up of two basic parts: base fluid and additive packages. A motor oil consists of about 3/4 base stock, and 1/4 additive packages. The quality of both determine the performance characteristics of a motor oil. Some are formulated to meet the lowest threshold set forth by the API (U.S. specifications) and ACEA (European specifications), primarily for cost-cutting reasons. AMSOIL is formulated and designed to far exceed requirements, and to outperform any other motor oil. Most companies formulate and design to "cost;" AMSOIL formulates to "quality." Other companies look for ways to minimize costs and still meet the minimum standard, while AMSOIL's philosophy is to provide the best product, without considering cost as a factor. You get what you pay for.