Post about "Energy"

Grades of Engine Oil: Demystifying What They Mean

Every manufacturer has a specific recommendation or minimum requirement for the type of oil a given engine will use. You might wonder, what’s the difference between different weights, grades, and viscosity? What is the difference between 5W-30 and 10W-30? What do all of these numbers mean? Can’t you use any oil in your car or does it really matter?

Deciphering the Oil Code

Terms weight, grade, or viscosity are commonly used interchangeably and basically mean the same thing. They refer to the thickness or how easily the oil flows. Using a multi-grade 5W-30 oil as an example, this type is very commonly used in millions of vehicles. The first number followed by the “W” indicates the viscosity (or thickness) for cold weather temperatures. The “W” stands for winter. The lower this first number is, the less viscous, or thinner your oil will be in lower temperatures. Though it may seem trivial, the number is of major importance.

When engines first roar to life after turning the ignition key, the oil pump tries to push the oil from the low-lying oil pan to the top of the engine, to lubricate all of the moving parts (such as pistons, camshaft, etc.) Cold starts are the time of the hardest wear-and-tear imposed on the engine. The heavier (or thicker) the oil is, the harder the oil pump works and the longer it will take for the engine to receive the crucial oil lubrication it needs to prevent metal-on-metal friction upon start-up. So, a 5W- oil will flow faster and more easily than a heavier weight oil which would have a higher number like 10W- or 15W- oil.

The second number found after the “W” specifies the viscosity in hot temperatures. The higher the number means the thicker the oil will be at the optimum temperature. In older cars it was common to switch to different weights of oils depending upon the season. It’s a practice not as common today due to manufacturers building lighter-weight engines and using different engine materials than yesteryear. It is always recommended to follow the manufacturer’s fluid specifications found in your vehicle’s manual. Using a different weight of oil than what is recommended will likely result in decreased fuel economy or greater engine wear.

Are There Exceptions to the Rule?

The occasional exception to the “follow the manufacturer’s recommendation” rule comes into play when an engine has aged, and when the moving parts may have larger clearances between components. Thicker oils can sometimes improve performance and protection in such conditions, but for most vehicle owners, stick with the vehicle manual’s specifications.

What do the Manufacturers Say?

Some manufacturers will list a range of different types of engine oil dependent upon the climate where the vehicle will be used. A heavier-weight oil would likely be recommended for vehicles in southern arid areas such as Scottsdale, Arizona, while a lighter-weight oil may be better in cooler climates as can be found in Rapid City, South Dakota. Oil in South Dakota will obviously be subjected to colder engine start-up conditions during winter months than oil in Arizona during the same timeframe.

What is Straight Oil versus Multi-Viscosity Oil?

You should never use straight oil (SAE30, SAE40, SAE50, etc.) in a system designed for a multi-viscosity oil. Straight oils are used for smaller engines or older car engines manufactured before multi-viscosity oils were created. Even though snowmobiles, ATVs, and motorcycles have smaller engines than most passenger cars and trucks, straight oils are not to be used in such vehicles. Even regular automotive oils may not be appropriate due to specific engine designs, such as two-cycle versus four-cycle motors.

Take Care of the Engine You Depend Upon

All things considered, using the proper oil grade and changing your vehicle’s oil at regular, prescribed intervals are two of the most important preventive maintenance tasks you can do for your vehicle. Failure to do so can result in oil depletion, ultimately causing a seized engine. Most repairs related to improper or negligent oil management are both preventable and expensive. It is better to invest in good automotive service practices now than pay a painful repair bill later. Knowing the correct oil to put in your vehicle (and why) makes a good first step towards taking care of the engine you depend upon.

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How to Change the Gear Box of Your Car

A gearbox is a mechanical way to transfer energy from one device to another. It is an essential ingredient of car. It has a system of metal gears that enmesh with each other and directly increase torque and reduce or increase speed in a motorcar. Generally these work with a special gear oil, which cuts down the friction between the metal gears for a longer life. Modern boxes last many years, but depending on the type of driving they may last longer or wear out. All have a clutch which is a plate which is synchronised with the gears to facilitate easy shifting of gears.

This plate or clutch can either be operated manually or automatically. In automatic cars the gear changes are synchronized with the speed of the car and change automatically. But a special slot is a requirement for a reverse gear or an uphill climb.

When to Change a Gear Box

Gear boxes last a life time, but depending upon the type of driving they may require repairs. In case one wears out or its gears break, the only option is to either change the item or repair it. Changing a box is a costly proposition; as such it’s always better to get it repaired. In both cases the box will have to be first removed. It can be fitted back after it is repaired. Gear boxes are mostly at the bottom of the car where they are located. Mostly they will be at the rear of the engine. To remove one is not easy and one will have to bend down under the car to remove a gear box.

Tools Required for Change of a Gear Box

Before starting to remove a gear box, it is imperative that the proper set of tools is available. These tools should be so placed that the person removing the gear box has easy access to them. It is preferable to keep them on an oil cloth close to the car within easy reach. The following tools will be required; a hammer, Torx set, sets of spanners, Socket set, Chisel to ping hub nut loose, Pliers and a girl friend to serve you tea.

Steps to Change a Gear Box

The first step is to drain the oil. This can be done by getting under the car and loosening the drain plug of the gear box. This is at the bottom of the car. A metal trough should be placed under the drain plug to collect the gear oil; otherwise the entire oil will spill and spoil the floor.

The next step is to remove the front wheels. This is essential so that the mechanic can have free and unfettered access to the box.

The third step is to try and down the gear box. This is done by unloosening the drive shaft hub nuts. These will require some effort and it is important that the correct size wrench be used. Follow up by removing the wishbone pinch bolt. By using a hammer the wishbone next to the ball joints is removed.

The gear box is normally kept synchronized with the engine with a set of bolts in a housing. These blots will now have to be loosened and removed. Once the drive shaft is disconnected, the mechanic would have finished almost 60% of the job. Ensure that you have a jack for the engine; otherwise it may fall to the floor.

Follow up by removing all linkages and pull the box away from the engine. The task is now complete and the box can be sent for repairs, which is a specialized task.

Fixing Back

Fixing the box is a greater pain than removing it. It will have to be held firmly, to position it in the housing and immediately the bolts must be tightened. Once it is in position the other linkages can be re-connected.