Engine oil lubricates the parts inside an engine making it run smoothly without any jerks or friction. It is also the reason for not letting debris such as dirt and dust impede the parts of an engine. The engine oil also functions as a cooling mechanism for an engine where the coolant fails to reach. It is because of these functions that the vehicle you drive is not just able to run smoothly, but also provides remarkable acceleration, top speed, and most importantly mileage.
While vehicle owners are conscious about the importance of changing engine oil routinely, the real issue is about replacing the used engine oil with the right engine oil. Since engine oil plays such significant role in the life of an engine, using the best quality and the right engine oil for your vehicle is significant.
To underline the importance of the engine oil, B360 approached Krishna Prasad Dulal, Board of Director of Purwanchal Lube Oil (PLO) and Vice President of NADA, Amar Jyoti Ranjit, Marketing Manager of Nepal Overseas Trading Concern (Castrol Nepal) and Shyam Pandey, Business Head of VG Automobiles (Motul Nepal) to learn more.
“To provide better performance for your vehicle, whether it is a two-wheeler, four-wheeler or heavy machinery, the owner instruction manual suggests the grade or brand of engine oil to pick,” says Dulal.
Ranjit suggests that a vehicle owner must know the specification and recommendation of engine oil for their vehicle. “Before people buy an engine oil, they should be informed about engine oil viscosity, which is related with the density of the engine oil. People use the same type of engine oil all year round, when in fact, they should be using thick engine oil during summer and thin engine oil during winters,” briefs Ranjit.
The age of the vehicle is another thing to consider. New vehicles are fresh and the parts are in compact position, so thin engine oil should be used. As the vehicle ages, the parts inside the engine widens due to friction, so thick engine oils are best.
Pandey focuses on the quality of engine oil. He states, “There are three different types of oils: mineral, semi-synthetic and synthetic. The quality of engine oil to be used in a particular vehicle is also declared in the vehicle owner’s instruction manual or one can simply go to the company’s service station and ask for assistance.”
What then are there consequences if the right engine oil isn’t used? “The consequences can be permanent or temporary depending on your usage of the wrong engine oil. If you recognise something is wrong with your engine and solve the problem immediately, then the problems can be fixed; otherwise, it may result in a costly affair,” informs Pandey.
However, when it comes to replacing engine oil, it is determined by the distance covered by the vehicle. Those who follow the manual will have no problem identifying when to replace the engine oil. Dulal states, “It also depends on the use of the vehicle by a person. If the person uses the vehicle often, the engine oil can be replaced according to distance covered. But if the vehicle isn’t used for a long time, then engine oil needs to be checked and changed before using the vehicle.” He adds, “When the vehicle is used regularly, the engine oil is regulating inside, but when the vehicle isn’t used regularly, the engine oil might have dripped from parts of an engine and also might freeze due to which, upon starting, because of the friction, the vehicle’s engine may get damaged.”
You can know when to change engine oil by opening the cap from where the engine oil is poured and check the level of engine oil available. But oftentimes when we open the cap and measure, we see that the engine oil has turned black from its original golden colour. Ranjit explains, “Engine oil serves similar purpose to the engine as water to us. When we take a bath, all impurities are taken away by water, similarly the impurities inside the engine are washed away by the engine oil. The only difference is that the water goes out of drain when we bath, but due to engine oil remaining inside the engine itself, the colour of engine oil changes from gold to black. But that doesn’t mean you need to change it immediately. The engine oil performs in your engine in a way that all harmful impurities from your engine get separated.”He adds, “If the engine oil doesn’t change its colour from gold to black, it means the engine oil isn’t performing the task it should and can result in damaging your engine.”