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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

My car requested an engine oil change!

Okay, well it didn’t really even say a word (Thank heavens), nevertheless it did certainly alert me that an engine oil change was expected! And I believe it.

In the old days, I would have been very tempted to stretch this a further 5,000 km, knowing that the engine oil change indicator used a formula primarily based on engine revs, time and mileage (Sometimes throttle opening time was also included) to determine the best time for an engine oil change.

Suffice to say, on-board car analysis techniques are getting more complex. But regrettably, the fundamental engine oil change suggestions provided by engine manufacturers have little to do with normal driving
conditions or vehicle conditions and are normally rather conservative to provide for the most detrimental-case scenario.

The consequence of a needless engine oil change

Early engine oil change results in millions of gallons of oil being needlessly changed each and every year. Then again, engine damage could possibly occur due to substantial viscosity changes, which would go undetected simply by changing lube at a predefined interval, recomended by the OEM.

To deal with some of these concerns, several major car manufacturers have publicly announced programs to include more sophisticated on-board oil change sensors, and hope to include oil health as a central performance parameter.

Engine designs have changed significantly in the last several years. EPA-mandated fuel developments have significantly transformed exhaust and blow-by components in engines, while Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) has transformed the functional performance characteristics with newer engine designs deploying this technology.

How will engine oil change intervals be effectively determined?

With real-time viscosity checking, the effects of engine design on the oil’s viscosity can be measured directly, supplying more data to engine designers and lubricant manufacturers. Due to its comparatively compact size (the SPC571 is typically installed with a ½-inch threaded fitting and has less than a 1-inch profile) this viscometer fits easily into the majority of engines. A larger version of the viscometer that can be plumbed with ¼-inch tubing to accept lubricating oil straight from the engine is also available for use in larger engines where remote mounting is required.

The device is used in steady-state engine tests as well as performance cycling tests. Because of its small stainless steel design, it quickly keeps track of changes in viscosity and temperature to within ±1 percent accuracy, the same accuracy that many lab instruments deliver using the prescribed ASTM D445 test procedure. What is more, it is unaffected by vibration or flow conditions making it perfect for engine or dynamometer applications.

Fuel system design for both diesel and gasoline engines can also benefit greatly from engine oil viscosity measurement. A number of of the most critical fuel economy specifics are difficult and costly to quantify. However, fuel dilution and combustion by-products formation can be easily detected by monitoring changes in the oil’s viscosity in real-time. Likewise, the benefit of small changes in design, working conditions or lubricant additive packages can be rapidly detected by monitoring the viscosity of the oil.

If implemented the cost effectiveness of using synthetic engine oil will be passed on to the end user by way of realistically extended engine oil changes.

Perhaps next year your car genuinely will ask for an engine oil change!

86 comments:

Chip Tuning said...

Oil change is a responsibility of car owner. Owner should know when to schedule the car for oil change.

greywolf40 said...

Interesting, I have a little how-to video on changing your oil here:
http://youtu.be/_HjF_51ijWk
Hope you find it useful!

Immanuel Llorens said...

Changing oil is almost intuitive for experienced motorists. They just know and feel it, as if their cars were speaking and sputtering words like, "Hey, yo, I need an oil change... I'm choking here..." Timing is critical here - too early and you'll spend much money, and not too late, or you will have car complications for the rest of your ride.

car mirror said...

Great breakdown of oil changes and when they are needed

driving instructor Melbourne said...

This is great. Oil change is important for you car.

garage equipment said...

Engine oil provides a film between the moving metal parts, to prevent them from contact, overheating and failure.

Michelina Douglass said...

I can only imagine your reaction if your car tells you outright that it needs oil change! Haha. But I do wish that vehicles can speak so it will be easier for us humans to know what’s wrong with them. But since that kind of technology is not yet available, a thorough inspection will do. And although there is a formula that indicates the best time for an oil-change, it is always best to check your oil level and quality from time to time. There are instances when the oil becomes contaminated, or there are leaks and spills in the engine. Giving it a thorough look will help you identify if it is time for an oil change or not.

Rita McCall said...

Talking cars? I think that would be a day! But since our autos are not capable of speaking their minds, we have to do the checking ourselves, including when your car needs oil change. Motor oil is your car’s blood life. In time, it picks up dirt, metal particles and other impurities that will be stuck in your oil pan. The waste and the crud that build up in the on the oil pan can act as an insulator and make the engine run hotter than normal. That is why it is a must to do regular oil change to avoid vehicle overheating.

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