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Car oils: characteristics and types

Car oils: characteristics and types
Car oils: characteristics and types

Oil plays a key role in the operation of any internal combustion engine. There are different types of lubricants. Each of them has its own characteristics. Car oils, their properties and varieties - later in our article.


There are three main types of automotive oils:

  • Summer. The technical characteristics of motor oils of this type make it possible to ensure reliable lubrication of SHKM mechanisms at high ambient temperatures (from 0 to +50 degrees).
  • Winter. Have a less stable film. However, they provide a confident cold start of the engine at temperatures below 0 degrees, which summer analogues cannot cope with.
  • All season. They have average characteristics. Not suitable for harsh environments.
motor oils characteristics

Also, the characteristics of motor oils are determined by the presence of a number of additives. They are:

  • Anti-corrosion.
  • Detergents.
  • Antioxidant.
  • Anti-wear.

Additives are added to the base oil. Without them, the product is not allowed to be used. There is another important parameter. About himwe will explain below.


This is the most important detail in the classification of automotive oils. The change in viscosity determines the temperature range for the application of the lubricant. So, for a cold start at low temperatures, the oil should be as liquid as possible.

Lukoil motor oils characteristics

This will ensure that the crankshaft rotates easily and quickly pumps lubricant through the pump through the system. At high temperatures, low viscosity is harmful, since it is impossible to maintain optimal pressure in the system for rubbing parts. The characteristics of the Castrol oil and many others are determined by the SAE classification.

What is this?

This is an abbreviation for Society of Automotive Engineers. SAE is an international standard that regulates the viscosity and other characteristics of motor oils. "ZIK" is also classified according to this scheme.

What is her speci alty? According to SAE, engine oils are made for 5 summer and 6 winter classes. The letter W is present in the designation of the latter. The first class includes products marked from 20 to 60. The second includes products marked from 0W to 25W.

technical characteristics of motor oils

Let's consider a small example using the characteristic of a 5W40 motor oil. The first digit means that this product is suitable for winter use. The higher it is, the thicker the oil will be. The next figure (40) is the viscosity index in the working environment. The higher the number, the higher the temperature at which the grease does not lose its properties.

Pay attention

Many motorists mistakenly think that the second digit is the summer viscosity parameter. In fact, the temperature in the engine is in no way added to the temperature of the ambient air. The second digit indicates the resistance of the viscosity of the product in a hot environment.


Many Russian motorists use just such oils. Are they harmful to the engine? When operating a car in a temperate climate, it is not at all, experts say. Universal products include products with a viscosity of 10W40. The characteristics of this type of motor oil allow for a smooth start at temperatures up to -20 degrees Celsius. As for summer operation, such a lubricant provides a tenacious oil film at temperatures up to 150 degrees Celsius. Such high heating can be in the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe piston rings of the engine. The remaining components of the power unit rarely warm up above 100 degrees Celsius.

motor oils characteristics 5w40

Thus, if the thermometer does not fall below -20 in winter, universal oil is recommended for use. But viscosity is not so bad. When buying, it is also important to decide on the type of the product itself. There are:

  • Mineral.
  • Semi-synthetic.
  • Synthetic oils.

What are their features, pros and cons? Below we will consider the properties of each product separately.

Characteristics of mineral oils

These products are now practically not found, as they have outdated properties. "Mineral water"made from recycled hydrocarbons. The boiling point of the product is +300 degrees Celsius. During operation, the oil quickly loses its properties, and therefore requires replacement after 5-7 thousand kilometers. After this period, the mineral water turns black and often burns.

What is the danger of the old "mineral water"? It can cause carbon deposits inside the engine, which not every flush can remove. The only plus of this oil is its low cost. It can only be used on old trucks and VAZs up to 2000. Usually Lukoil produces such motor oils.

Semi-synthetic characteristics

This product has higher specifications. The boiling point is 400 degrees Celsius, the replacement schedule is from 10 to 12 thousand kilometers. The product is a chemical mixture of petroleum products and additives. Does not require flushing when replacing.


It's already a complete chemical mixture. Synthetic oil has a ratio of mineral and artificial in a ratio of 1 to 5. The boiling point is 600 degrees Celsius. As for the cost, the product is 2 times more expensive than mineral water. For 1 liter of the cheapest (from Gazpromneft) you will have to pay 275 rubles. However, the replacement schedule is considerable - 20 thousand kilometers.

Among the special characteristics, it is necessary to note the washing properties of synthetic oil. The product perfectly washes away all the dirt and deposits from the engine. However, it is impossible to abruptly switch to synthetics from mineral water. As an intermediate, you can use semi-synthetics. Otherwise, the product will accumulate all the dirt in itself for4-5 thousand kilometers. Such oil is not subject to further use.

car oils zik characteristics

Pay attention! When replacing, a new oil filter is installed. It must have a bypass valve.

API classification

There is one more standard - API. It was developed by the American Petroleum Institute. According to this classification, oils are divided into several categories:

  • S - for gasoline engines.
  • C - for diesel.

Each, in turn, is divided into several subcategories. So, the SF series products are designed for engines that were produced from the 80th to the 89th year. SG - for cars of 89-93 years of release. For vehicles from 94-96, it is recommended to use the product SH.

Since 1996, a new standard has been adopted - SJ. But for modern cars, the properties of this oil were not enough. From 2001 to the present day, the SL standard has been adopted in the United States. Products of this brand are characterized by sufficient resource and greater stability.

castrol motor oils characteristics

In Russia, this classification is not used. Instead, they use the European SAE standard, which we talked about earlier. It is also used in the Korean and Japanese car market.


So, we found out the types and properties of automotive oils. As you can see, in moderate climates, all-weather products with viscosity characteristics of 10W40 are allowed. For the northern regions, the oil must have a viscosity of 5W or lower.

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