Question: What REALLY matters for a motor oil?

Messages
389
Location
So. Cal.
Folks,

I've seen all too many YouTube videos where people test the lubricity of a motor oil on a lubricity tester, test its cold flow performance, and test how much is lost when it is kept at a high temperature for a few hours.

I think the lubricity test is somewhat bogus - nowhere in an engine is the oil film strength challenged anywhere nearly as much. Cold flow matters a bit, but it's not clear to me that the differences in cold flow are significant in an engine.

The volatility might be significant, depending on the engine.

Yet Mobil 1 focuses on engine wear after running an engine 120,000 miles (straight, with zero cold starts, and only temperature cycles when the oil and filter are changed). Pennzoil focuses on piston cleanliness.

It seems to me that there are only a few things that matter for a motor oil:

1) Engine wear.
2) Ability to protect an engine during a cold start.
3) Engine cleanliness - Cause no sludge and remove existing sludge.

What do you say? What REALLY matters for a motor oil? We all say how great 'our' motor oil is, but it's not clear to me what should REALLY matter to the informed consumer (namely, bitog members).

Fire when ready!
 
Messages
1,967
Location
USA
1) Engine wear.
2) Ability to protect an engine during a cold start.
3) Engine cleanliness - Cause no sludge and remove existing sludge.

In essence the basal meanings are not significantly different than what you posted so...

1) Reduce Friction
2) Remove Heat
3) Protect ( as in prevention of surface attack)

"How" an oil achieves this is a combination of the oil and its properties combined with the machine and its design multiplied by the way and conditions of actual usage divided by the maintenance plan.
 
Messages
2,560
Location
wv
What matters to most in the real world is that they dont have to lift the hood. The oil change light tells them its time..


So many %- dealer oil changes only.
So many %- whatever the oil change place puts in.
So many % - whatever the oil filler cap says.

Then there are the guys on this forum. Some use 15w40 in a Prius, some use 0w20 for towing.
 
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Messages
2,085
Location
missouri
some oil is better than no oil
clean oil is better than old oil
My brand is better than yours
The rest will very seldom come into play unless you are a super cheap old _____ that keeps cars until they fall apart
 
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Messages
695
Location
GA
The rest will very seldom come into play unless you are a super cheap old _____ that keeps cars until they fall apart

I'm this guy. So I need this info. Well I'm not "old" in my opinion but I am very averse to waste in any form.
 
Messages
1,455
Location
Richmond, VA area
That it meets the specs/approvals that the manufacturer has...period. This then by default the oil takes all of your items into account. The minutiae of slight variances in some of the specs within the allowable range for a given approval/rating/etc. is where it gets interesting and most of the battles are waged here IMHO. Then of course it comes down to cost - why pay more for the same thing is a common theme here.
 
Messages
340
Location
Florida
It's all important. Specs, additives, detergents, lubricity, viscosity, etc... We're westernized and people think what's the one thing I need to do in order to do something well. It's not one thing. It's a combination of little simple things done well that add up to a great product. According to API and thousands of Blackstone lab reports, any right off Wally's shelf API certified full synth changed at good OCI and a good filter will be fine for your vehicle.
 
Messages
422
Location
CA
In my highway 4 wheel vehicles I just want something that keeps my motor clean between oil changes and gives me miles of trouble free lubrication issues. Any good cheap synthetic is my choice.

In my motorcycles it is a whole different deal. I only run the very most high spec oil I can find. For off highway use it's Motul 300V double ester and 800 2T Racing formula. For street it's the Motul 7100 ester. Reason being is the very severe and extreme conditions I put my bikes through. If I punch a hole in my cases I know I can get my bike back to the truck even with major oil loss. On my 2T I was able to get through 8 miles of double diamond after blowing a water pump impeller/hose and losing all my water. Also overheating at even 325 degrees (and boiling gas) have no ill effects on degrading the oil so I can make it off the trail.

Of course there is a price to pay. Quality double ester oil does not come cheap. You get what you pay for though.
 
Messages
2,608
Location
pa
ONLY the pros like Mola really KNOW!!. lots of BS claims + requirements for better mpgs + emissions that compromise longevity IMO + surely REAL synthetic Ester + PAO excells if needed. at a price as noted above. all Redline lubes in my 2011 Frontier netted 3 mpgs + although costly it was a good choice as protection was surely better.
 
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