Understanding Oil Contaminants
Oil company chemists formulate motor oil to meet the needs of the various types of vehicles and engines. The oil that is used for automobiles does not contain the additive package required by heavy-duty diesel engines and should not be used as they will not properly protect the engine.
The heavy duty oils carry a “C” designation and are usually higher priced then the automobile oils, but they are formulated for the additional heat, soot, sludge, pressure and acid that are produced.
The chemicals and metals added to oil are designed to improve the oils ability to protect the engine properly, by maintaining a recommended viscosity level at various temperatures, dispersing soot and other solid contaminants to prevent sludge build up, bonding to metals to prevent metal to metal wear and reducing acid formation that leads to corrosion.
Protecting the oil from these negative factors will increase the useful life of the oil and the engine.
Excessive heat will cook the chemicals that result in decreasing the effectiveness of additive. Keeping solid particulates out of oil enables the oil to cool faster in crankcase and retain less heat.
Soot is created from improper fuel to air mixture that causes unburned fuel or reduced compression caused by blow-by or incorrect fuel injection.
Sludge is formed when oil, water and soot mix will increase heat retention as well. Keeping the water out of oil enables soot to remain in suspension and dissipating heat properly.
Viscosity improvers are molecules that expand and contract with temperature changes enabling the oil to flow at a constant rate. These molecules are affected by the shearing pressure that is created when the oil film is pressed between the moving parts. Removing solids that are trapped between moving parts helps to maintain the proper tolerances reducing the shearing effects.
The base additives will react when any acid is formed from the water, sulfur/nitrogen and heat present in all internal combustion engines during normal operation. Removing the water from the chemical equation will virtually eliminate the acid formation. The base additives will remain in suspension ready to react should any acid develop. Unchecked the acid formation will deplete the base additives effectiveness etc.
Keeping the engines properly maintained and using a filtration system that eliminates solid and liquid contaminants will reduce the heat, sludge, shear pressure and chemical reactions allowing you to maximize the useful life of oil and engine.