Thicker Oil Is Needed for Older Engines, Is It True?

Engine oil is a crucial aspect. If you choose the wrong oil, it can damage your car engine.

Engine oil is distinguished by thickness. There are single grade oil with a definite viscosity, and multi-grade oil with a thickness that can adapt to temperature.

Car engines generally use multi grade oil. Because this oil can be used during winter or summer.

There are also several kinds of multi-grade oil, there are 5W-20, 10W-40, 20-40 etc.

The lower the viscosity, the thinner the oil will be.

There are rumors that if the engine is old, it requires thicker oil. Is that true ?

Oil is able to enter very narrow gap

Oil functions as a coating for rubbing engine components. So when there are two components rubbing against each other, then in the middle of the contact there is a layer of oil. So that the two components do not experience wear.

For example, piston ring and cylinder clearance.

This clearance determines the viscosity of the oil used. if you use an oil with a viscosity higher than the oil specified in the manual book, the car will be quiet and heavy, but fuel economy will be low, and if you use oil with a lower viscosity, the car will be noisy but more agile.

An old engine means that the inside of the cylinders and piston rings are worn, which can result in greater clearance of pistons and cylinders.

If you use oil with low viscosity, there is the potential for oil to enter the combustion chamber. Because the thinner the oil, the easier it is for the oil to enter into narrow gaps. So that this can cause the oil to burn in the combustion chamber.

Therefore some mechanics recommend using engine oil that is one level thicker than the recommended engine oil for engines that are considered old. For example, if the recommended 5W-20, you can change to 10W-30.

The viscosity of the oil is able to withstand large component clearances

When the engine is said to be old, the clearance between components such as bearings, crankshaft, piston rings, etc. begins to increase. This causes a gap between the component clearances that was previously filled with an oil layer but is now not filled because the gap is larger.

So that the engine becomes noisy.

starting from that point, when you add oil that is thicker, the oil that fills the component clearance becomes thicker. So that it can fill all the gaps in the component clearances. As a result, the engine can be smoother.

But there are negative effects.

The thicker oil, the lower its mobility than thin oil, the oil will take longer to lubricate all engine parts. Even though the engine is already in a run position. So that there is a time gap where the components have not been lubricated by oil. It can cause wear and tear.

So, it is recommended before you use the car. It is better to warm up your engine in idle position before it use. You can take this for several minutes. That will give time for the oil to reach all parts of the engine.

Higher the viscosity, the bigger the engine load.

Another negative effect, the engine performance decreases slightly.

As I said before, if you use thick oil, the oil has a higher resistance. Simply put, oil pressure will increase when you use thick oil.

The effect is that the engine accelerates slightly and the fuel consumption is slightly higher than normal.