Why Choosing the Wrong Lubricant is Disastrous for your Engine?

wrong lubricant is disastrous for your engine

Car care relies heavily on engine lubrication, and therefore one of the worst ways to reduce the life of your vehicle is not to use the correct oil.

Lubricants are not the same. Just as there is a wide range of engines on the market, a range of engine oils that manufacturers offer and that are appropriate for each engine model and for each use (AMSOIL lubricant options are proof of it). 

Thus, there are lubricants with various physical and technological characteristics. 

How to choose correctly? Well, first, you must follow the recommendations of the vehicle manufacturer that are included in the manual, look for the lubricant with the same degree of viscosity that is indicated, and heed the advice of the experts to avoid the negative consequences of having chosen the wrong lubricant for the vehicle—the engine of your car.

This is how your engine is lubricated

The engine lubrication system is made up of the crankcase, the screen (strainer filter), the oil pump, the oil filter, the main gallery, the crankshaft, the camshaft, the rocker bar, and if it were a diesel engine, it also has a heat exchanger.

Now, to lubricate all the parts, the shaft mounted on the camshaft gear mechanism activates the pump, which draws the oil through the strainer at the bottom of the crankcase and sends it under pressure to the oil filter (which retains any impurities) and then wet the crankshaft bearings, connecting rods, dropouts, and rocker arm bolts. 

The oil that runs off the connecting rods and bearings covers the cylinders’ walls, allowing continuous movement of the cylinders. Likewise, the oil feed holes allow the lubricant’s passage towards the different parts of the engine in each rotation. 

Finally, after passing through each area that needs lubrication, the oil returns to its reservoir at the engine’s bottom to restart the cycle.

As you can see, choosing the right lubricant for your engine is essential to protect each mechanical part inside. 

The effects of choosing the wrong lubricant

Now, what could happen to your car if you don’t use the most suitable lubricant for it?

High Viscosity Damage: We all have the idea that the denser a lubricant is, the more it protects the engine; however, you should know that it is required to be “thinner” (with a low degree of viscosity) to get the oil in the shortest possible time to every corner of the machine.

Engines with very viscous oil have a harder time starting. Also, if there is increased resistance between the parts due to the “thickness” of the oil, it can cause damage.

It can even begin to fall into the combustion chamber resulting in its burning. 

Hence the importance of reviewing the manufacturer’s manual and its recommendations or taking it to specialists in the field. Now, it is important to know that manufacturers recommend that low viscosity oils (such as 10W30) be used in their engines under certain types of use conditions and, depending on the demand that is placed on the vehicle, you can start to consider one of higher viscosity (depends on not only the mileage, but also the load, the roads, and some other factors).

Broken engine: This is how it is popularly known when a car engine suffers from a lack of lubrication and can be unusable. In the worst case, it will have to be replaced. This breakdown occurs when the oil is not in good condition or is not of enough quality, accumulating lumps, and residues that can clog the lubrication channels. To avoid this, it is critical to use a high-quality lubricant, such as those from the AMSOIL family, which has options that provide different levels of protection, depending on the conditions faced by your car’s daily use.

An engine braking is one of the most serious effects, but other problems are caused by not having the correct oil in the engine:

Clogged filter: The filter is very sensitive to unsuitable motor oils. In a car with a diesel engine, lubricants should be used low in ash, phosphorus, and sulfur to prevent the filter from clogging.

Camshaft damage: Lack of lubrication can cause damage requiring costly repairs. For this reason, you must always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the type of oil that goes best with the engine and constantly check that it is in good condition and level. 

Damage to the timing chain: In cars with a timing chain, the tensioner uses the same oil that lubricates the engine’s rest. If you don’t get proper lubrication, you will lose your ability to tension the chain. This, in turn, will cause the crankshaft to become out of sync with the camshafts and cause the valves to collide with the pistons.

Effects on the turbo: Turbochargers normally work at extreme temperatures and very high revolutions, which is why they are particularly sensitive to lubrication errors. Turbos need oils that withstand extreme heat well and avoid carbon or foam formation that can cause pressure losses in the lubrication circuit. Repairs in this area are particularly high.

Both manufacturers and professional mechanics know that a good lubricant guarantees the engine’s life because the friction between the moving components is reduced, thus preventing the mechanical parts’ early wear. The right oil keeps the temperature from rising due to friction, prevents corrosion, and helps keep the engine clean (as it keeps debris in suspension, they get trapped in the filter). 

What can you do?

Depending on the engine capacity and displacement, the safer and more efficient choice is synthetic lubricants. A synthetic lubricant is engineered to upkeep your engine’s performance levels, and it offers added benefits of cleaning the engine with a greater life.

AMSOIL lubricants are widely used in the world for their excellent quality. AMSOIL’s success is made sure by the seamless supply chain of Vyscocity, Inc., the leading synthetic oil dealer in North America. The company aims to provide individual and commercial customers with the highest quality of synthetic lubricants for their engine and believes that these synthetic oil are more cost-effective in the longer run.


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