Havoline – A range of viscosities
Have you ever wondered what the term ‘viscosity’ means when related to your motor oil? One definition of viscosity is ‘the measure of a fluid's resistance to flow’. In terms of passenger car engine oil, viscosity is an important factor in determining the oil's performance and protection, as it helps to regulate how well the oil flows through the engine and gets to its critical components. Lubrication requires a fine balance. If the oil is too thin, it flows away between the engine’s parts and leaves them less protected.
The viscosity grade of engine oil gives insight into the oil's resistance to flow inside the engine. In other words, a lubricant with a low viscosity grade will be more fluid and will flow more easily, whereas the higher the grade, the thicker the oil, which will slow its flow to help form a protective film across engine parts. An oil’s viscosity can vary depending on changes in the temperature, too. A thin oil tends to have a lower viscosity and pours more easily in cold weather.
Oil viscosity can have a significant impact on an engine’s performance. In terms of lubrication, for example, oil lubricates the moving parts of engines, so that they don't get damaged by rubbing together. The viscosity of the oil is critical in how well it flows through the engine and gets to where it needs to be. If the oil is too thin, it may not provide adequate lubrication, leading to a greater chance of engine wear, while if it is too thick, it may not flow properly to lubricate all the necessary parts.
Then there is cooling. Oil helps to cool the engine by carrying heat away from the combustion chamber. If the oil is too thick, it may not be able to carry away heat effectively, which can cause the engine to overheat.
Of course, part of the oil’s responsibility is to help clean the engine. It does so by carrying away dirt and debris, but if it is too thin, it may not be able to do this effectively, leading to a build-up and potentially damaging the engine.
The viscosity of the oil can also affect fuel economy. If too thick, the oil may cause more friction and resistance, leading to decreased fuel economy. On the other hand, if the oil is too thin, the lack of adequate protection may lead to increased wear and tear on the engine and decreased fuel economy.
It is clear that oil plays an important part in keeping an engine operating as efficiently as possible. There are many different types of engine oils available for passenger cars, and it's critical that the right oil is chosen for each vehicle. Texaco Lubricants’ Havoline range of high-performance engine oils, transmission fluids and gear oils are designed to help protect passenger cars and help keep you going.