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Lubricants Explained.

We feel that it is important that you understand the quality of Pennasol Lubricants. Many cheaper lubricants don't carry the approvals that Pennasol have. Reading the text below will re assure you that Pennasol not only carries many Industry Standard Specifications but more importantly with todays vehicle warranties and modern technical specific engines, Pennasol carry the Original Equipment approvals.

Motor oil is a lubricant used in internal combustion engines. In engines, there are parts which move against each other causing friction which wastes otherwise useful power by converting the energy to heat. Contact between moving surfaces also wears away those parts, which could lead to lower efficiency and degradation of the engine. This increases fuel consumption, decreases power output and can, in extreme cases lead to engine failure.

Engine oil creates a separating film between surfaces of adjacent moving parts to minimise direct contact between them, decreasing heat caused by friction and reducing wear, thus protecting the engine. In use, motor oil transfers heat through convection as it flows through the engine by means of air flow over the surface of the oil pan, oil cooler and through the buildup of oil gases evacuated by the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system.
In petrol (gasoline) engines, the top piston ring can expose the motor oil to temperatures of 320 °F (160 °C). In diesel engines the top ring can expose the oil to temperatures over 600 °F (315 °C). Motor oils with higher viscosity indices thin less at these higher temperatures.
Coating metal parts with oil also keeps them from being exposed to oxygen, inhibiting oxidation at elevated operating temperatures preventing rust or corrosion. Corrosion inhibitors may also be added to the motor oil. Many motor oils also have detergents and dispersant's added to help keep the engine clean and minimise oil sludge build-up. The oil is able to trap soot from combustion in itself, rather than leaving it deposited on the internal surfaces. It is a combination of this, and some singeing that turns used oil black after some running.    
 
Rubbing of metal engine parts inevitably produces some microscopic metallic particles from the wearing of the surfaces. Such particles could circulate in the oil and grind against moving parts, causing wear. Because particles accumulate in the oil, it is typically circulated through an oil filter to remove harmful particles. An oil pump, a vane or gear pump powered by the engine, pumps the oil throughout the engine, including the oil filter. Oil filters can be a full flow or bypass type.
In the crankcase of a vehicle engine, motor oil lubricates rotating or sliding surfaces between the crankshaft journal bearings (main bearings and big-end bearings), and rods connecting the pistons to the crankshaft. The oil collects in an oil pan, or sump, at the bottom of the crankcase. In some small engines such as lawn mower engines, dippers on the bottoms of connecting rods dip into the oil at the bottom and splash it around the crankcase as needed to lubricate parts inside. In modern vehicle engines, the oil pump takes oil from the oil pan and sends it through the oil filter into oil galleries, from which the oil lubricates the main bearings holding the crankshaft up at the main journals and camshaft bearings operating the valves. In typical modern vehicles, oil, pressure-fed from the oil galleries to the main bearings enters holes in the main journals of the crankshaft.  This oil film also serves as a seal between the piston rings and cylinder walls to separate the combustion chamber in the cylinder head from the crankcase. The oil then drips back down into the oil pan.  Motor Oil is also use for engine cleaning.
Properties
Most motor oils are made from a heavier, thicker petroleum hydrocarbon base stock derived from crude oil, with additives to improve certain properties. The bulk of typical motor oil consists of hydrocarbons with between 18 and 34 carbon atoms per molecule. One of the most important properties of motor oil in maintaining a lubricating film between moving parts is its viscosity. The viscosity of a liquid can be thought of as its "thickness" or a measure of its resistance to flow. The viscosity must be high enough to maintain a lubricating film, but low enough that the oil can flow around the engine parts under all conditions. The viscosity index is a measure of how much the oil's viscosity changes as temperature changes. A higher viscosity index indicates the viscosity changes less with temperature than a lower viscosity index. Motor oil must be able to flow adequately at the lowest temperature it is expected to experience in order to minimise metal to metal contact between moving parts upon starting up the engine.
Oil is largely composed of hydrocarbons which can burn if ignited. Still another important property of motor oil is its flash point, the lowest temperature at which the oil gives off vapours which can ignite. It is dangerous for the oil in a motor to ignite and burn, so a high flash point is desirable. At a petroleum refinery, fractional distillation separates a motor oil fraction from other crude oil fractions, removing the more volatile components, and therefore increasing the oil's flash point.
Another manipulated property of motor oil is its Total Base Number (TBN), which is a measurement of the reserve alkalinity of oil, meaning its ability to neutralise acids. The resulting quantity is determined as mg KOH/ (gram of lubricant). Analogously, Total Acid Number (TAN) is the measure of a lubricant's acidity. Other tests include zinc, phosphorus, or sulphur content, and testing for excessive foaming.
The NOACK volatility (ASTM D-5800) Test determines the physical evaporation loss of lubricants in high temperature service. A maximum of 15% evaporation loss is allowable to meet API SL and ILSAC GF-3 specifications. Some automotive OEM oil specifications require lower than 10%.
Grades
 
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has established a numerical code system for grading motor oils according to their viscosity characteristics. SAE viscosity grading includes the following, from low to high viscosity: 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 or 60. The numbers 0, 5, 10, 15 and 25 are suffixed with the letter W, designating their "winter" (not "weight") or cold-start viscosity, at lower temperature. The number 20 comes with or without a W, depending on whether it is being used to denote a cold or hot viscosity grade.
Kinematic viscosity is graded by measuring the time it takes for a standard amount of oil to flow through a standard orifice, at standard temperatures. The longer it takes, the higher the viscosity and thus higher SAE code.
See Below the oil grades to be used for different outside temperatures.
Single Grade Oils
Single-grade engine oil, as defined by SAE J300, cannot use a polymeric Viscosity Index Improver, also referred to as Viscosity Modifier. SAE J300 has established eleven viscosity grades, of which six are considered Winter-grades and given a W designation. The 11 viscosity grades are 0W, 5W, 10W, 15W, 20W, 25W, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60. These numbers are often referred to as the 'weight' of motor oil.
For single non-winter grade oils, the kinematic viscosity is measured at a temperature of 100 °C Based on the range of viscosity the oil falls in at that temperature, the oil is graded as SAE viscosity grade 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60. In addition, for SAE grades 20, 30, and 40, a minimum viscosity measured at 150 °C (302 °F) and at a high-shear rate is also required. The higher the viscosity, the higher the SAE viscosity grade is.
For some applications, such as when the temperature ranges in use are not very wide, single-grade motor oil is satisfactory; for example, lawn mower engines, industrial applications, and vintage or classic cars.
Multi-grade Oils
The temperature range the oil is exposed to in most vehicles can be wide, ranging from cold temperatures in the winter before the vehicle is started up, to hot operating temperatures when the vehicle is fully warmed up in hot summer weather. A specific oil will have high viscosity when cold and a lower viscosity at the engine's operating temperature. The difference in viscosities for most single-grade oil is too large between the extremes of temperature. To bring the difference in viscosities closer together, special polymer additives called viscosity index improvers, or VIIs are added to the oil. These additives are used to make the oil a multi-grade motor oil, though it is possible to have a multi-grade oil without the use of VIIs. The idea is to cause the multi-grade oil to have the viscosity of the base grade when cold and the viscosity of the second grade when hot. This enables one type of oil to be generally used all year. In fact, when multi-grades were initially developed, they were frequently described as all-season oil.  
The SAE designation for multi-grade oils includes two viscosity grades; for example, 10W-30 designates a common multi-grade oil. The two numbers used are individually defined by SAE J300 for single-grade oils. Therefore, an oil labelled as 10W-30 must pass the SAE J300 viscosity grade requirement for both 10W and 30, and all limitations placed on the viscosity grades.
Standards
American Petroleum Institute
The American Petroleum Institute (API) sets minimum for performance standards for lubricants. The API service classes have two general classifications: S for "service”, originating from spark ignition or petrol engines, and C for "commercial", originating from compression ignition, typical diesel equipment. Engine oil which has been tested and meets the API standards may display the API Service Symbol.
The latest API service standard designation is SN for gasoline automobile and light-truck engines. The SN standard refers to a group of laboratory and engine tests, including the latest series for control of high-temperature deposits. Current API service categories include SN,SM, SL and SJ for gasoline engines. All previous service designations are obsolete, although motorcycle oils commonly still use the SF/SG standard.
API, and ILSAC, which represents most of the world’s major automobile / engine manufactures, states API SM/ILSAC GF-4 is fully backwards compatible, and it is noted that one of the engine tests required for API SM, the Sequence IVA, is a sliding tappet design to test specifically for cam wear protection. However, not everyone is in agreement with back wards compatibility, and in addition, there are special situations, such as "performance" engines or fully race built engines, where the engine protection requirements are above and beyond API/ILSAC requirements. Because of this, there are speciality oils out in the market place with higher than API allowed phosphorus levels. Most engines built before 1985 have the flat/cleave bearing style systems of construction, which is sensitive to reducing zinc and phosphorus. Example; in API SG rated oils, this was at the 1200-1300 ppm level for zincs and phosphorus, where the current SM is under 600 ppm. This reduction in anti-wear chemicals in oil has caused pre-mature failures of camshafts and other high pressure bearings in many older automobiles and has been blamed for pre-mature failure of the oil pump drive/cam position sensor gear that is meshed with camshaft gear in some modern engines.
There are six diesel engine service designations which are current: CJ-4, CI-4, CH-4, CG-4, CF-2, and CF. Some manufacturers continue to use obsolete designations such as CC for small or stationary diesel engines. In addition, API created a separated CI-4 PLUS designation in conjunction with CJ-4 and CI-4 for oils that meet certain extra requirements, and this marking is located in the lower portion of the API Service Symbol "Donut".
It is possible for an oil to conform to both the gasoline and diesel standards. In fact, it is the norm for all diesel rated engine oils to carry the "corresponding" gasoline specification. For example, API CJ-4 will almost always list either SL or SM, API CI-4 with SL, API CH-4 with SJ, and so on.                                                                                                                   
 
ILSAC
The International Lubricant Standardisation and Approval Committee (ILSAC) also has standards for motor oil. Introduced in 2004, GF-4 applies to SAE 0W-20, 5W-20, 0W-30, 5W-30, and 10W-30 viscosity grade oils. A new set of specifications, GF-5, took effect in October 2010. The industry has one year to convert their oils to GF-5 and in September 2011, ILSAC will no longer offer licensing for GF-4. In general, ILSAC works with API in creating the newest gasoline oil specification, with ILSAC adding an extra requirement of fuel economy testing to their specification. For GF-4, a Sequence VIB Fuel Economy Test (ASTM D6837) is required that is not required in API service category SM.
A key new test for GF-4, which is also required for API SM, is the Sequence IIIG, which involves running a 3.8 L (232 in³), GM 3.8 L V-6 at 125 hp (93 kW), 3,600 rpm, and 150 °C (300 °F) oil temperature for 100 hours. These are much more severe conditions than any API-specified oil was designed for: cars which typically push their oil temperature consistently above 100 °C (212 °F) are most turbocharged engines, along with most engines of European or Japanese origin, particularly small capacity, high power output.
The IIIG test is about 50% more difficult than the previous IIIF test, used in GF-3 and API SL oils. Engine oils bearing the API star burst symbol since 2005 are ILSAC GF-4 compliant.
 
ACEA
The ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles) performance/quality classifications A3/A5 tests used in Europe are arguably more stringent than the API and ILSAC standards. CEC (The Co-ordinating European Council) is the development body for fuel and lubricant testing in Europe and beyond, setting the standards via their European Industry groups; ACEA, ATIEL, ATC and CONCAWE.
 
JASO
The Japanese Automotive Standards Organisation (JASO) has created their own set of performance and quality standards for petrol engines of Japanese origin.
For 4-stroke gasoline engines, the JASO T904 standard is used, and is particularly relevant to motorcycle engines. The JASO T904-MA and MA2 standards are designed to distinguish oils that are approved for wet clutch use, and the JASO T904-MB standard is not suitable for wet clutch use.
For 2-stroke gasoline engines, the JASO M345 (FA, FB, FC) standard is used, and this refers particularly to low ash, lubricity, detergency, low smoke and exhaust blocking.
These standards, especially JASO-MA and JASO-FC, are designed to address oil-requirement issues not addressed by the API service categories.
 OEM standards divergence
By the early 1990s, many of the European original equipment manufacturer (OEM) car manufacturers felt that the direction of the American API oil standards was not compatible with the needs of a motor oil to be used in their motors. As a result many leading European motor manufacturers created and developed their own "OEM" oil standards.
Probably the most well known of these are the VW50*.0* series from Volkswagen Group, and the MB22*.** from Mercedes-Benz. Other European OEM standards are from General Motors, for the Vauxhall, Opel and Saab brands, the Ford "WSS" standards, BMW Special Oils and BMW Long Life standards, Porsche, and the PSA Group of Peugeot and Citroën. General Motors also has the 4718M standard that is used for the Chevrolet Corvette, a standard that is used in North America for selected North American performance engines, with a "Use Mobil 1 only" sticker usually placed on those cars.
In recent times, very highly specialised "extended drain" "Long life" oils have arisen, whereby, taking Volkswagen Group vehicles, a petrol engine can now go up to 2 years or 30,000 km (~18,600 mi), and a diesel engine can go up to 2 years or 50,000 km (~31,000 mi) - before requiring an oil change. Volkswagen (504.00), BMW, GM, Mercedes and PSA all have their own similar Long Life oil standards. Another trend of today represents Mid SAP (sulfated ash <0,8 wt.-%) and Low SAP (sulfated ash <0,5 wt.-%) engine oil (see specifications: Renault RN 0720, FORD WSS-M2C934-A). The ACEA specifications C1 to C4 reflect the Mid SAP and Low SAP needs of automotive OEMs. Furthermore, virtually all European OEM standards require a long drains of 30.000 km and up by using HTHS (High Temperature, High Shear) viscosity, many around the 3.5 cP (3.5 mPa·s). In Japan, the HTHS figures are low as >2.6 mPas.
Because of the real or perceived need for motor oils with unique qualities, many modern European cars will demand a specific OEM-only oil standard. As a result, they may make no reference at all to API standards, nor SAE viscosity grades. They may also make no primary reference to the ACEA standards, with the exception of being able to use a "lesser" ACEA grade oil for "emergency top-up", though this usually has strict limits, often up to a maximum of ½ a litre of non-OEM oil.