Ever wondered why it’s so important to keep your diesel engine well lubricated or which engine oil to use? Read on to find the answers to our most frequently asked questions on the subject:
Firstly, why do I need engine oil?
A diesel engine requires the correct lubrication to keep it running at optimum performance.
Engine oil provides three key functions in a modern internal combustion engine:
- Keeps engine components working smoothly together
- Helps draw heat away from the combustion chamber (with thousands of controlled detonations happening every minute the inside of an engine can get very hot)
- Prevents carbon and varnishes from accumulating in the engine
Which engine oil should I use?
There are many types of engine oil. Consult your service manual for the appropriate viscosity of oil that your engine requires, for example 15W/40 or 5W-30.
Some engines run on a mineral based oil and more modern engines require semi or fully synthetic.
Viscosity (the “thickness”) is the measure of how much resistance a fluid has to flowing e.g. honey has more viscosity than water.
Look out for the API Certification Mark. The American Petroleum Institute (API) certifies oil based on performance criteria determined by automakers, engine builders and oil producers. Oils that meet the standards receive the API Certification Mark, which should be easily identifiable on an oil container.
What if I don’t change my oil?
Not changing the oil in a diesel engine can have serious and costly consequences.
Build up in the cooler parts of the engine, such as the crankcase and around the camshafts and valves can lead to carbon deposits and sludge in the oil. This can then require an expensive engine clean or force you to replace worn-out piston rings. Eventually the pistons will seize or the camshafts will become damaged. The cost for either one of these repairs would make even a few high-quality oil changes look like pocket change.
How do I know when to change the oil?
Oil analysis is a way to determine the condition of the inside of your engine. The laboratory report can indicate excessive wear from metal particles from the engine within the sample that could help you to forward plan maintenance before an engine failure occurs.
It may only indicate that the oil is due for change but this service offers piece of mind.
At Prior Diesel we offer an oil analysis service and can supply you with all your lubricant requirements throughout all market sectors. Fast moving product is kept on the shelf and all other products are available from the factory on a short delivery schedule.
We have experts in diesel engine lubrication so please contact us for advice any time
Telephone: +44 (0) 1493 441383