How Is Engine Oil Made?
What Happens Before Engine Oil Is Bottled and Shelved? — Jeff’s Auto Repair
All vehicles need oil, and most car owners recognize that there are choices based on the auto’s needs and the driver’s preferences. When it’s time for an oil change, the certified technicians at Jeff’s Auto Repair in Lynnwood, Washington, are here to help. We can help you protect your engine in any make or model, regardless of whether you own a domestic minivan, a foreign luxury model, or a gas-saving hybrid.
We can also address one of life’s often repeated little questions. “How’d they do that?” If you ever wondered what happens to create the finished product engine lubricant found on the local auto parts store shelf, we have some answers.
Oil Varieties and Processes
Conventional motor oil is perhaps the most well-known type of engine lubricant. As you might guess, it’s derived from natural crude stored in pockets underground. It’s extracted from beneath the earth’s surface by oil rigs and transported to a refinery. The crude passes through multiple steps at the refinery until it becomes a finished product that will work well in your vehicle.
First, “base” oil is made by separating the oil from water and impurities. It also goes through several heating and cooling cycles to make it more stable. Next, detergents, friction and wear reducers, anti-rust compounds, and antioxidants are mixed in. The exact additives and amounts are brand specific, setting one company’s product apart from another. Before the finished product goes out for consumer use, manufacturers check it with a series of quality assurance tests.
Another major lubricant category, synthetic oil, is also derived from crude. However, the manufacturing process is more complex and scientific. While conventional oil molecules vary in size, those of synthetic oil are engineered to be the same size. This lubricant also has higher quality additives, so it’s more resistant to old age/high mileage breakdown, heat, and cold. If the synthetic oil is top of the line, it may even be made using natural gas.
Finally, a third motor oil variety is synthetic blend. As you probably surmised, it’s a compromise between the first two types. It provides a reduced price compared to full synthetic, yet it offers many of the benefits of synthetic oil.
Your Choice for Oil Change
If you’re not sure what oil to choose, we can certainly help you out. The friendly staff at Jeff’s Auto Repair can help you navigate the choices. First, we’ll take a look at the manufacturer’s recommendations in your owner’s manual with you. Next, we’ll listen to your preferences and discuss your driving habits and operating conditions. Finally, we’ll prove to you why our shop and team have won so many auto industry awards.