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A lubricant is a blend of different base oils with specific additives that improve the technical characteristics of the base oils.
Lubricants carry out other essential roles for the effective operation of equipment:
Yes. Oil must lubricate very critical parts, such as areas between the piston, the liner and the valves. Part of the lubricant film burns during the combustion process. Over time, the clearances are greater because of normal wear and tear on the engine parts, and the lubricant usage increases.
All oils on the market, whether mineral, synthetic or for gasoline or diesel engines, can be mixed together. However, the mixing of two qualities of different oils lowers the quality of the higher one.
A mineral oil is made up of a base obtained directly from oil distillation and additives, which give it properties that improve its performance. In a synthetic oil, the bases are treated physically and chemically, obtaining a higher-quality base and performance. Bear in mind that there are also semi-synthetic lubricants that combine the two, both mineral and synthetic oils.
Yes. Synthetic oils are specially designed to meet the requirements of the engines, or to be used at extreme temperatures and very demanding service conditions.
A synthetic base oil offers the following advantages:
Natural detergent and dispersant power, which improves engine protection.
The most suitable viscosity of a lubricant is what is recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
Yes. Adapting the viscosity may be required according to the conditions of use of the vehicle, environment and climatic conditions.
The interval between two oil changes is determined by the manufacturer according to the technical performance of the lubricant and engine characteristics. Generally, oil change depends on two parameters: mileage and time of use.
However, under certain conditions of use such as urban driving, with frequent starts and stops, it is important that the interval between oil changes be reduced. Whatever the conditions of use are, it is important to change the oil at least once a year.
In the labeling of containers, the following information must be found:
-The type of lubricant: Mineral, semi-synthetic, synthetic.
-Content Usage advice: performance, benefits.
- Specifications and Approvals
- SAE viscosity.
No. Cleanliness of the internal parts of the engine is one of the functions of lubricant. In the combustion process of the engine, soot, lacquers and other impurities are generated. The lubricant must collect these impurities, and therefore it must darken.
In closed drums and stored in temperatures above 0º your oil retains all its qualities. However, in the case of drums that you have already opened, you should close them well, so as to prevent contaminants such as water from entering.
The quality levels ACEA A1 and B1 are specific to fuel economy requirements by manufacturers, who demand them for low-friction specific engine designs.
Used oils must always be transferred into the special containers placed by the authorities or be taken to the nearest garage for the authorized waste manager to treat them. The quality of the oils and their biodegradability is improved every day, but these products, at the end of their useful life, contain contaminating particles.
Viscosity is the most important property of an oil and almost all oils are classified using it. Engine oils are classified through their SAE grade, which is what the numbers and letters allocated to them mean.
To do this, we have to divide the SAE grade into two parts: the first number that accompanies the letter and represents the winter grades and a second number, always higher than the first, representing the summer grades.
The first number, which accompanies the W (Winter), tells us about the fluidity of the oil in the cold. The lower this number, the better the flow in the cold, and the oil will reach all parts of the engine and will thus ensure the protection of all components in less time.
The second number represents the summer grade. The higher the number, the greater the viscosity, and therefore the greater the lubricant film that will remain. The lubricant film results in greater protection of mechanical components and in a more watertight way. However, too thick a film also leads to increased fuel consumption and an increase in temperature by the very friction with such a viscous oil.
To measure a winter grade, the viscosity when pumping is fixed at 60,000 cP and you see how much the temperature can be lowered to have that viscosity. Depending on the value, it will be one grade or another:
-Winter SAE grade: 0 W; Temperature at which I have 60000 cP when pumping: -40ºC
-Winter SAE grade: 5 W; Temperature at which I have 60000 cP when pumping: -35ºC
-Winter SAE grade: 10 W; Temperature at which I have 60000 cP when pumping: -30ºC
-Winter SAE grade: 15 W; Temperature at which I have 60000 cP when pumping: -25ºC
-Winter SAE grade: 20 W; Temperature at which I have 60000 cP when pumping: -20ºC
The answer to this question is yes, but this very resounding yes must be analyzed, identifying the causes that lead us to it.
All engines usually consume oil for greasing and cooling moving parts, so it is normal to add oil between two changes. This oil consumption may be variable and depends on the technology used by the manufacturer, as well as the type of use of our vehicle (normal, sports, city, intercity, etc.).
When we put more oil into our car, we do it because we have detected through a routine check that the level in the sump has fallen, because we have seen some oil slick on the floor of our parking spot or because the computer on board our vehicle informs us of a low level of oil.
1.- Before replenishing oil, we must check in the maintenance manual or recommendation made by the manufacturer of the engine; in other words, we must be clear what type or quality of oil our vehicle uses (mineral or synthetic), which viscosity grade is to be used (5W30, 10W40) and which associated cifications must be met (ACEA/API).
This simple check is essential and can save us unwanted visits to the garage to solve problems caused by a poor choice of oil to replenish.
Information to take into account:
The type of lubricant or quality that our vehicle needs must be identified in the maintenance manual and defined by:
- ACEA A/B: applied in light Gasoline (A) and Diesel (B) vehicles.
- ACEA C: applied in light Gasoline and Diesel vehicles and gas post-treatment systems (FAP or DPF).
- ACEA E, applied in heavy vehicles (trucks, buses, public work machinery and some light vehicles, delivery trucks).
European automotive manufacturers have their own regulations or specifications tailored to each brand's needs. The manufacturer's specification takes precedence over any type of ACEA quality level, although there is normally a correlation between the manufacturer's specification and the ACEA regulation.
Asian manufacturers have nevertheless entered the European market without their own specification, and therefore, the ACEA specifications are what will be valid for filing a warranty claim.
American manufacturers work very similarly to Europeans; they have their own manufacturer specifications but linked to the API regulations, which are the most widely used in both the US and Latin America.
The above is based on the owner's availability of the Vehicle Maintenance Book or Manual. Where this tool is not available, there are lubricant search engines where the websites of the lubricant manufacturers themselves offer the option to check the type of lubricant your vehicle uses in a quick and simple way, by simply indicating the type of vehicle, model and year of manufacture.
The oil of the transmission is one of the components that we must monitor for the proper functioning of the system and therefore it will need a preventive maintenance that may or may not entail a change of oil.
This detail must be looked up in the recommendation indicated by the manufacturer in the maintenance book and based on the type of transmission that they install, as there are different types (manual or automatic) and each has specific maintenance needs.
In general, we can say that:
Manual transmission, synchronized or not
Oil in manual transmissions normally lasts for a lifetime, and only is changed when an repair is made to the transmission itself or because there are indications that the oil may be the cause of a malfunction.
The main indications we can note are:
Automatic transmissions (red-colored oils)
Within this type of transmission, we must distinguish 3 types:
Given all the above, the oil of a transmission is subject to maintenance. In the event it needs to be changed, the type of transmission and the manufacturer's specifications must be taken into account, as the oils used are specific for each application and also its characteristics.
This information can always be found in the vehicle manual, but if you don't have it to hand, here we give you recommendations of how to guess the capacity of the sump depending on different factors.
Obviously, not all cars have the same sump capacity, because it will depend on factors such as the system's cylinder capacity and cooling capacity, but usually the volume is between 4 liters and 5 liters. This is why the most common container sold for this application is 5 liters of capacity.
To date, larger vehicles with greater displacement and power had bigger sumps than those with more limited power. The evolution of engines on the market to ensure compliance with environmental emissions law has set engine development in the opposite direction, that is, increasingly powerful engines with smaller sumps. That is why the trend is to switch from 5-liter sumps to 4-liter sumps for these new, overloaded engines.
You will also find that the system's cooling capacity is an influencing factor. The thing about the cooling temperature is this: if an engine cools well, it will be possible to operate with fewer liters of oil than one that cools worse, since the oil degradation with temperature requires a higher degree of renewal.
Other factors that we need to take into account when looking at the capacity of the sump are the maximum and minimum levels of oil. Normally there is a variation of between 0.5 liters and 1 liter between the maximum and minimum mark, about 20% of the oil sump. It seems logical to think that, with 20% more oil in the sump, the lubricant properties would be conserved for longer since the heat stress to which the load is subject is more distributed and therefore has less impact on the degradation of the oil.
Finally, there is another small volume that you have to take into account concerning the capacity of the oil sump, and that is the oil filter. If we take into account the content of the oil filter, we can add up to 300 ml to the contents of the sump. This is not a significant volume but perhaps it makes the difference between having to buy an extra liter of lubricant or not.
To reassure the consumer, if a liter container is purchased to compensate for some of the engine's needs, whether to compensate for excess oil consumption or to fill levels, the bottle will last 5 years from the date of the batch if it is closed or 1 year after the packaging is opened.
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API and ACEA are two organizations that regulate the rules to be followed in the automotive world, each of which is focused on a specific geographical area: the ACEA regulates regulations in Europe and the API is American, although both specifications are widely used worldwide.
Let's go into a little more detail one by one::
- ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association)
As its name suggests, the ACEA is the association of the main European car manufacturers.
This association publishes different specifications on the market that contain the necessary tests that the lubricant must meet to ensure the integrity of the system and its peripherals.
Within the ACEA specifications there are several classes depending on the type of vehicle, and within these classes, depending on the application and technological level of the oil. Finally, you can find the year of the ACEA that tells us the severity of the tests required by the specification. This type of test is updated every 4 years, making variations dependent on technological developments on the market.
A/B: Classes A and B are ACEAs specified for light diesel and gasoline vehicles without a particle filter.
C: Class C refers to light gasoline and diesel vehicles with a particle filter.
E: Class E is focused on heavy vehicles.
With the introduction of the new ACEA 2016, this distribution in light vehicles has changed, the ACEA A1/B1 is disappearing and the new category called ACEA C5, which is the mirror category of ACEA C3, but with an extra fuel economy category, is being introduced.
The American Petroleum Institute regulates the quality standards of automotive oil, and this association is more closely linked to American engine units, but is widely used throughout Asia and South America.
Unlike the ACEA, the API standards are much simpler, since they only have 2 classes, one for diesel and one for gasoline. Another factor that facilitates this classification is that the last specification launched is completely backward compatible with the remaining API market specifications within the same category. If, for example, I have a lubricant that says API CJ-4, I can use it on all those diesel engine units that require previous API specifications, CI-4, CH-4, etc.
The API has 2 categories:
-Class C, for diesel engine units.
-Class S, for gasoline engine units.
Like the ACEA, the API launches updates to its categories and recently introduced two new categories for diesel vehicle, API CK-4 and FA-4 API. API CK-4 VA is on the development line of API CJ-4 and API FA-4, which is the first specification of the fuel economizer and not backward compatible with the remaining API specifications for diesel.
Mineral oil is named after the base that makes it up, a mineral base. The finished lubricant will be the result of mixing this base with its additives.
Mineral bases are obtained directly from the oil refining process.
The fraction of the lubricant base does not have the optimum characteristics when we get it directly from the distillation tower, so it needs to be subjected to several processes to finish it.
The first thing to do to the base is eliminate impurities by vacuum distillate. The aromatic compounds are subsequently removed. These types of components are highly reactive with certain elastomers, as oil will be passing through a system that is likely to contain seals or other elements made with elastomers. It is important to remove the aromatic compounds from the lubricant base.
Finally, the lubricant waxes are removed so that the pour point of the oil can be lowered. When the temperature decreases, the first thing that condenses in the lubricant mix is waxes, so if we manage to eliminate them, we will increase the base pour point and thus use it for a wider range of temperatures.
Once these processes have been completed, we already have the clean, non-reactive mineral base with seals and an appropriate pour point. This base is then ready for mixing with additives so as to obtain the mineral-based lubricant.
The characteristics of mineral lubricants will be the sum of the characteristics provided by the base and additives. Additives are usually added to improve or add features that the mineral bases themselves do not have. Mineral bases, for example, have very good lubricity capabilities, but they do not have very high viscosity rates, so viscosity varies greatly with temperature. To correct this deficiency, a viscosity-improving polymer is added that prevents the lubricant from losing viscosity with temperature increases. And this is the case with the other characteristics to obtain a well-balanced mineral lubricant with optimum lubrication and protection properties for the system.
Oil is the protector of the engine to avoid excessive wear and to neutralize acid from combustion. As such, it is essential that it is in good condition to fulfill its function.
The change period is a parameter established by the engine manufacturer according to its design parameters and field tests. There are also European and American standards that serve as the basis for many of the specifications that manufacturers require of the oils that are going to go into their engines.
Engine manufacturers mark the period of change by a concrete specification. For example, if an engine requires the oil lubricating it to comply with the VW 504.00/507.00 regulation and the oil that we put in the engine to be compliant as well, this indicates that the period of change is 30,000 km in ideal conditions since the oil has had to meet parameters to claim that it meets that specification.
This period of change established by manufacturers may vary depending on the operating conditions of the engine that can change it, like the type of driving, urban driving, climatic conditions such as humidity or atmospheric dust.
For instance, a taxi will have to change the oil before a vehicle used for long journeys due to the type of driving; a car in the Canary Islands will also have shorter change intervals compared to the same vehicle in Madrid due to weather conditions.
In other vehicles, like some older ones, they only require that the oil that lubricates the engine meet one of the European or American standards and indicates the period of change of the oil.
The oil level needs to be reviewed every so often to avoid greater evils, although most vehicles carry a sensor to tell us if the oil level is low in the sump. As a rule, if you do not have the vehicle manual or you cannot access the manufacturer's recommendations, the oil change periods for cars are generally as follows:
The semi synthetic base oil is manufactured by mixing two base oils: a mineral base oil and a synthetic base oil. The mineral base is obtained from oil distillation in refineries through physical and chemical treatment.
The synthetic base oil is that which is obtained by complex chemical reactions in processing plants. Semi-synthetic oil, as a mixture of both, has intermediate properties between the two basic types. This mixture of base oils is added to the additives necessary to obtain the properties desired for each lubricant and type of application, since the bases alone are not sufficient for the requirements of the engines or transmissions. Semi-synthetic oils are mainly applied in engine and transmissions (transmissions and differentials).
Mineral oil is obtained directly from the oil distillation at the refinery. The bases obtained are treated to eliminate waxes, aromatic compounds and naphthene compounds, among others. Synthetic oils are obtained by complex synthesis in chemical plants through reactions. Therefore, synthetic oils are oils customized with the desired properties.
Oils are also considered synthetic in which unwanted compounds are converted into desired molecules rather than being eliminated and their behavior is very similar to those of bases produced by chemical synthesis.
As they are customized, the properties of these oils are better:
-They are less volatile: As all the molecules are the same, there are no smaller or faster molecules with a greater ability to evaporate. This lower volatility translates into lower oil consumption.
-They have less friction: Being customized molecules, they have much less friction than mineral oils. This can be reflected in the following example: If we had to move a table on ball bearings, it would slide much better if the bearings were all equal than if they were of different sizes like the molecules of mineral oils. This lesser degree of friction leads to lower energy consumption when two mobile parts move against each other.
-They have more resistance to thermal degradation: Mineral oils have molecules that have greater reactivity with the oxygen in the atmosphere. These molecules make mineral oil have a tendency to oxidize. Synthetic oils are made with molecules that have much less reactivity with oxygen, and their degradation will be much lower than that of mineral oil. This translates into a smaller generation of waste and a longer duration of products, up to 5 times longer.
Synthetic oils naturally have a high viscosity index, so their variation with temperature is lower. Some of the scenarios where synthetic lubricants are to be used are: Very hot,or dirty environments, high loads and low speeds or exposure to very cold climates.
Synthetic oils therefore have a longer duration and better properties than mineral oils, which obviously also impact their price, which in many cases is justified.
Remember, twice as fast, you need four times more distance, so check the brakes whenever you go to the garage!
Make sure you don't have any loose items inside your vehicle.
Remember to use your seatbelt at all times. Check that the tensioners are working correctly!
Remember to always follow the advice of your trusted garage. Our lubrication guide can help you!
Check and monitor at least once a month the pressure on all tires including the spare. It is very important to have one!
If the tread depth is less than 1.6 millimeters, you are in breach of the law as well as putting your life and that of your passengers at risk.
If you are driving at 90 km/h with damaged lights and are facing an obstacle, it takes 10 thousandths of a second to hit the brakes.
The main functions of the fluid of your refrigeration system are to dissipate the heat generated in the engine and protect all corrosion components.
Havoline XLI is a coolant for engines whose water-based design offers durable protection against rust in all engine types.
Sometimes, in warmer climates, you will not need an ethylene glycol-based fluid like Havoline Extended Life Coolant, which offers protection against freezing and boil-over. However, the engine still needs the anti-corrosion protection offered by Havoline XLI.
You always have to cool the engine. In many cases, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) recommend the use of a coolant for full-formulation engines. Depending on local climatic conditions and engine design, the engine may or may not need protection from freezing. However, you will certainly need protection against corrosion.
No. As with many products, corrosion inhibitors and the treatments for cooling systems have been developed with specific applications in mind. For this reason, you'll find an extensive range of coolants on the market. Most of these products do not work in applications for which they have not been developed.
However, Havoline XLI is a long-life corrosion inhibitor that can be used in a variety of applications ranging from personal vehicles through public work equipment and even to stationary engines for power generation or marine engines.
Havoline XLI has been developed to offer total anti-corrosion protection in all applications of cooling systems. Its unique carboxylate technology ensures durable protection that protects all metals from corrosion and other materials of the modern cooling system such as aluminum, cast iron, steel, copper, brass, zinc and other alloys.
It also makes it possible to provide a service that is practically maintenance-free. Havoline XLI provides total anti-corrosion protection for at least four years.
As with any corrosion inhibitor, poor water quality may have a certain effect on the cooling system. However, thanks to properties unique in its type of product, Havoline XLI actually tolerates poor water quality more than normal coolants.
Very little will happen. It is compatible with all traditional glycol-based products. If it has the necessary concentration, 7.5% in volume, the carboxylate technology, unique in this type of product, will continue to provide protection. However, we always recommend changing the fluid instead of mixing different products in the refrigeration system.
Yes. Havoline XLI has undergone testing in multiple engine applications by various independent laboratories and OEMs. The coolant test
to determine compatibility is an essential part of the validation procedure and our Havoline XLI has passed it handily.
The best practice is to empty the cooling system and then flush it out completely with water. Then you can add a solution of Havoline XLI.
In some cases, the cooling system may be so dirty that water alone cannot clean it out.
Only in such cases do we recommend using a product for cleaning coolant systems. Please note that these cleaning products contain harsh chemicals. If such products are used, you must fully remove the cleaning product and wash it thoroughly with water in order to avoid the problems caused by the residue of the cleaning product in the system.
Flushing the system with a low concentration solution of Havoline XLI (1% - 2%) before filling the system with the final solution will reduce some of the problems associated with using cleaning products.
Be cautious. Read the OEM's recommendations. If you need a glycol-based engine coolant, you should use Havoline Extended Life Coolant. If you do not need protection against freezing and/or boilover, use a high-quality corrosion inhibitor package to protect all components of the cooling system, such as our Havoline XLI.
Yes, it is. Havoline XLI is a 100% biodegradable, non-toxic product.
Always use pre-diluted Havoline XLI to fill or add coolant to the cooling system. Do not use a concentrate or simply water. Proper use of the appropriate corrosion inhibitor will protect the engine's cooling system and keep it running for a long time.
You do not only need antifreeze, but also a coolant. A coolant is much more than just antifreeze. It ensures effective heat transfer, offers protection against corrosion, boil-over and freezing.
Most coolants of the most well-known chemical or oil companies will offer you the required product characteristics. If the coolant ensures compliance with international specifications (such as JIS K 2234 or ASTMD 3306 (cars) or ASTM D 4985) or a national coolant specification, it may indicate that the product offers a certain minimum quality level. However, there are no guarantees.
Another indication may be compliance with requirements of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). If you have approvals from OEMs, you are assured of a high quality, since it has undergone thorough tests by the OEM technical department. The best thing to do is follow the OEM recommendations.
Product selection is only the first step, but its use and maintenance are paramount for the proper functioning of the coolant. It always meets the OEM's recommendations. Overfilling, underfilling or insufficient change intervals will inevitably result in failure of the product or the system components.
No. Currently there are several coolants and corrosion inhibitors on the market. The application requirements will determine the selection of the base fluid and optimum inhibitor.
The base fluid will also determine the corrosion inhibitor package. Bear in mind that coolants may vary compared to others depending on the application, so always make sure that you are using the correct coolant.
If you want to change the coolant, you'll have to empty the cooling system and then wash it out completely with water. Then you can add a pre-mixed solution of the coolant.
In some cases, the cooling system can be so dirty that it's not enough to clean it out with water. Only in such cases do we recommend using a product for cleaning cooling systems. Warning: these cleaning products are harsh. If you use them, the cleaning product must be properly emptied and then flushed with plenty of water to avoid the problems that the cleaning product could cause.
Most OEMs recommend one cleaning product or another for engine coolants.
Water is the main component of the engine coolant in the cooling system, and will therefore affect the product. Poor water quality will affect all engine coolants, and therefore all cooling systems.
This is one of the reasons why we sell Havoline Extended Life Coolant Pre-Mixed with the right concentration and using only quality water.
It is the perfect product to top up or add coolant. However, given the exceptional characteristics of the Havoline Extended Life Coolant, it has a higher tolerance for water of poor quality than regular coolants.
An ethylene glycol-based coolant is toxic: ethylene glycol is a toxic product. Any coolant used constitutes potentially dangerous waste. A coolant has been inside an engine, so it has been in contact with a large number of metals and some will be dissolved in the base fluid. Its disposal will depend on the requirements set by local laws and regulations. Using Havoline Extended Life Coolant will certainly reduce the problems associated with its disposal.
With its expert formulation based on carboxylate technology, Havoline Extended Life Coolant has been designed to improve performance.
Its long-life properties offer protection to:
Cars and light trucks - 250,000 km or 5 years.
Heavy vehicles, trucks and buses - 650,000 km or 4 years.
Public work machinery - 8,000 hours or 4 years.
This long duration is achieved without the need to frequently add a corrosion inhibitor or to add an SCA (supplemental coolant additive) or a filter. This means less maintenance, fewer tests, less product purchases and therefore more profitability in your business. The technology is truly universal, as it can be used in all applications and in all base fluids.
In addition, Havoline Extended Life Coolant offers exceptional performance, better protection against corrosion and a reduction in system failures.
Very little. Havoline Extended Life Coolant is compatible with traditional products. It has undergone thorough testing. If the contamination is negligible (<15%), no
action is required; Havoline Extended Life Coolant will continue to offer full protection. If there has been greater contamination, the system should be treated as if it were
using a traditional coolant.
Having a different color is an advantage. A change of color will indicate that the contamination is recurring within the refrigeration system.
Yes. A cooling system contains virtually all the materials we can find in an engine. The coolant compatibility test is an essential part of the validation procedure and Havoline Extended Life Coolant has passed it handily.
Always use Havoline Extended Life Coolant Pre-Mixed to fill or add coolant to the cooling system: do not use undiluted coolant or simply running water.
Avoid mixing coolants: the use of technologies and products of a different origin may lead to adverse effects.
The correct use of the coolant will protect your cooling system and keep the engine running for much longer.