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Understanding Engine Oil Additives

#1 User is offline   JeepinIan 

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:32 PM

Althoug Shell is mentioned in this, the info applies to all engine oils, either synthetic or not.


Understanding Engine Oil Additives

Brought to you by Shell Rotella®

Did you know between 15% and 20% of every gallon of diesel engine oil is comprised of additives? These integral ingredients are designed to help protect your engine from wear, deposits such as sludge and varnish, and acids. When combined with high-quality base oil, additives help your diesel engine run cleanly, smoothly and efficiently.

The science in building a quality engine oil like Shell Rotella® T involves combining the correct amount of specific additives in order to produce an engine oil that will protect your equipment and meet key OEM and API specifications.

So what are the common additives you’ll find in products like Shell Rotella? Here’s a quick rundown on additives and their functions.

Anti-oxidants – When engine oil reacts with oxygen during normal operation, oxidation occurs, increasing viscosity and promoting the formation of sludge, varnish and corrosion on metallic parts. Anti-oxidants curb oxidation and help keep engine parts clean.

Anti-wear additives – Preventing direct metal-to-metal contact through the formation of a protective film, anti-wear additives reduce wear and scoring and help increase the life of your engine.

Dispersants – Dispersants suspend foreign particles, such as soot, present in oil and keep them from forming deposit build-up on engine parts.

Detergents – Detergents help neutralize strong acids in oil, remove deposits from metal surfaces, and help prevent varnish from forming in high temperature parts of the engine.

Pour point depressants – Pour point is the lowest temperature at which oil can flow. Pour point depressants limit the formation of wax crystals that form in oil at low temperatures allowing it to flow more freely, especially at engine start-up.

Viscosity Index improvers – As engine temperatures increase, oil viscosity decreases, hindering its ability to lubricate the engine properly. Viscosity index improvers help maintain acceptable viscosity levels.

Anti foaming agents – Agitation and aeration may result in air bubbles or foam to form in oil hampering its ability to lubricate. Anti foaming agents help prevent this from happening.

It’s easy to assume the more additives used the better. However, this isn’t necessarily true. The types and amounts of additives used can have an impact on oil performance. Adding after-market additives may upset the chemistry of the product and potentially affect its ability to meet API or OEM specification requirements.

Shell is extremely diligent in engineering the correct balance of additives for maximum performance.

Which is why you can rely on Shell Rotella® T heavy duty engine oil to provide your engine the protection it deserves from wear, sludge and deposits.
Ian Stewart

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