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Oil – The life blood of your trailer pulling vehicle

Your car/truck/van engine is a big chunk of metal, inside which are numerous other metal parts that move about very close to each other and potentially crash together!

Here’s a look at the basic ways oil protects your engine, as well as the fascinating sciences involved in ensuring your engine doesn’t go bang!

1. What exactly does engine oil do?

6 Things You Might Not Know About Engine Oil - Blog

There are a few reasons why it’s important you keep your car’s engine topped up with oil. First and foremost, it provides lubrication to all the moving metal parts, ensuring they don’t grind together and cause unnecessary wear or too much heat. Oil also holds all of the nasty by-products of combustion. In the long run keeping your oil level topped up will save you cash on repairs, and will even give a very small improvement to your fuel economy, as the engine won’t be working quite so hard.

Over time, your engine will pick up dirty deposits, meaning it won’t last forever. If you’re wondering how often you should change your oil, check your car’s manual. It’ll probably be somewhere in the region of every 10,000 miles for a modern car…

Please ignore the 5000 mile myth!

You do not need to change your oil, on your trailer Towing vehicle, any more often than that.

2. What does that numerical rating actually mean?

6 Things You Might Not Know About Engine Oil - Blog

Engine oils are rated in two ways: cold viscosity and hot viscosity. This rating will be displayed on the bottle, and gives you an idea how well it’ll respond to cold startups – particularly important for people who live in colder climates – as well as its thickness at high temperatures.

The first number, which will be attached to the letter ‘W’ (which stands for ‘Winter’), is the cold rating. The lower the number, the lower the temperature it will work in – if the number is too high and you try to start your car in freezing temperatures, the oil might be too thick to get flowing, and your engine may not start.

The second number is the viscosity of the oil when tested at normal engine running temperatures, indicative of a running engine. The higher the number the thicker the oil. If you run your engine at high speeds or under heavy load, for example towing a trailer, you want a higher number. Your car’s manual will let you know what viscosity oil to use.

3. What’s the difference between synthetic and mineral oils?

6 Things You Might Not Know About Engine Oil - Blog

A mineral oil is essentially the same as it was when it was pumped from the ground, whereas synthetic oils have been distilled and broken down to their base molecules. They can then be rebuilt, with molecules tailored to provide better protection. Mineral oils will be cheaper, but they’ll also have more impurities and will not provide such smooth lubrication.

4. Synthetic oil is more than just oil

6 Things You Might Not Know About Engine Oil - Blog

The cool thing about fully synthetic oils is that clever scientists in laboratories can add to the oil’s makeup to provide better anti-wear, anti-oxidant and anti-corrosion properties. Once the base oil is in place, they’ll typically add zinc, phosphorous and sulphur molecules.

Cool stuff eh!!