What is Lubricant ? What is lube?

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Automotive engines are generally lubricated with petroleum-base oils that contain lubricant oil additives to improve their natural properties. You'll find below more information and advice about lubricants.

What is the role of a lubricant?

Any vehicle owner knows that lubricants are vital to the correct operation of your engine; in particular they reduce wear. But it also has other, less well-known functions:

  • Cools hot areas of an engine and moving parts.
  • Reduces friction: A lubricant helps to improve engine efficiency and helps to reduce fuel consumption.
  • Protects mechanical parts against wear and corrosion: guaranteeing long life and efficiency of the engine.
  • Keeps the engine clean: it helps to guarantee long engine life and helps to keep all engine parts in a good and clean condition, while evacuating any impurities to the oil filter and through oil changes

What is oil viscosity?

Probably the most important property of oil lubricant is the absolute viscosity, which is a measure of the force required to move one layer of the oil film over the other. If the viscosity is too low, a protecting oil film is not formed between the parts. With high viscosity too much power is required to shear the oil film, and the flow of oil through the engine is retarded. Viscosity tends to decrease as temperature increases. Viscosity index (VI) is a number that indicates the resistance of an oil to changes in viscosity with temperature. The smaller the change in viscosity with temperature, the higher the viscosity index of the oil.

What are lubricants norms?

Standards and industrial organizations such as the American Petroleum Institute (API), the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), JASO (Japanese Automotive Standard Organization) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) establish specific norms to manage lubricant characteristics and performances. Each norm defines technical requirements, physical properties (such as viscosity), engine test results, and other criteria for the formulation of lubricants and oils. Our ELF lubricants comply with and follow all of the major norms, standards and classifications in effect.

Tips to read a lubricant’s label:

  1. How to read motor oil?
  2. How to read motorcycle oil?

Oil additives:

Oil additives are chemical compounds that improve the lubricant performance of base oil (or oil "base stock").

The manufacturer of many different oils can utilize the same base stock for each formulation and can choose different additives for each specific application. Additives comprise up to 5% by weight of some oils.

Nearly all commercial motor oils contain additives.

Click on the issues below to discover more about oil additives: