Boating season is almost upon us, so it's time to get your vessel ready for the water. While it's ideal to change lower unit fluids in the fall, many people choose to do it in the spring. That's okay, as long as you change it, and as long as you use the proper gear lube.
Valuable Aid in Meeting EPA Fuel Economy Standards
Viscosity modifiers are polymers that play a critical role in modern multi-grade engine oils. Part of EPA fuel economy testing is a cold start and drive test, and carmakers such as Honda have been able to increase their overall new car mileage ratings by blending super-thin, multi-grade oils such as 0W-20 and 0W-16. Thinner oil creates less drag inside the engine, freeing up power in cold start situations as well as in overall driving and ultimately increasing fuel mileage. High quality base stocks and engine oil viscosity modifiers combine to make this possible.
The Trickle-Down Effect
Lubricants are the lifeblood of any machine, and in any given machine a lubricant performs multiple functions. The primary role of a lubricant is to make things run smoother – to lubricate. But a lubricant also serves as a coolant, a cleaner, it protects against wear and corrosion, assists in power transmission and helps preserve component seals. Often the quality of a lubricant determines how well each of these roles gets performed. And lubricant quality is often the ultimate factor in helping a machine reach maximum efficiency and productivity.
Precise manufacturing is the result of well-running, precision-built machinery, and grease plays a major role in keeping that machinery operating at peak levels. However, grease is often misunderstood and, worse, misapplied.
Grease is a solid to semi-fluid substance consisting of a thickening agent combined with a liquid lubricant. Grease is typically characterized by its thickening agent. Soap-thickened greases include lithium, lithium complex, aluminum complex, calcium, calcium complex, calcium sulfonate, sodium and barium. Non-soap greases include organo-clay, polyuria and silica. Thickeners make up 3-30-percent of a grease compound.
Increasing fuel economy and emissions standards continue to drive automotive technologies, and those technologies are placing higher loads and demands on lubricants. OEMs are demanding engine oils that assist them in meeting fuel economy and emissions requirements while protecting engines through the life of the vehicle. Idle stop, low-speed pre-ignition and turbocharged engines are just a few of the protection challenges in front of modern automotive engine oils.
The pending ILSAC GF-6 engine oil specification is intended to address the issues arising from emerging technologies. However, with timing getting pushed out to 2019 or 2020, API updated its SN rating, releasing the SN Plus oil classification as a stop gap.
Chlorinated Paraffins (CPs) are chemical compounds found in plastics, rubber, paints, adhesives, and miscellaneous other substances. However, they are perhaps most effectively used as an additive in cutting oils and machining fluids where they function as a superb extreme pressure agent.
If the physical lubrication film breaks down due to heat, pressure, or both, the chlorine in the compound reacts with iron to form ferrous chloride which creates a chemical lubrication film. While there’s no debate over the effectiveness of chlorinated paraffins as a machining fluid, there is debate over its safety from both an environmental and health standpoint, perhaps affecting the future of these substances and the industries they serve.
Summer means hot weather and if you are following your grandfather’s footsteps you are probably reaching for heavier weight oil to protect your car, truck, ATV, UTV or anything else requiring a four-stroke lubricant. Lubricants are naturally thinner in hotter weather, so logic would tell us heavier weight oil is needed to provide the same engine protection you get from thinner oil in cooler weather. This logic holds true in some cases, but not for the reasons you would think.
Boating can be one of the most enjoyable and memorable summer activities anyone will experience. However, that marine engine that powers your good times leads one of the most difficult lives of any powersport application and it needs a specifically- formulated oil in order to keep it running as it was designed.
When it’s time to break out the summer equipment, it’s tempting to just fire it up and go. But you may need to do some prep first. Whether it’s a motorcycle, boat, ATV, small engine or other gas-powered equipment that’s been parked for the winter, follow this checklist to minimize trouble and maximize your summer fun.