Heavy-duty diesel engine oils – Myths & Facts
Heavy-duty diesel engine oils are specially formulated lubricants for diesel-powered heavy-duty commercial transport, agriculture or mining equipment/vehicles. Just like other engine oils, there are myths associated with these oils too. After repeated propagation, these myths get accepted as common knowledge.
To help you separate fact from fiction, we have listed down some of the most common myths about diesel engine oils—and the truth behind them.
Myth 1 – Never change the oil brand
It is a common belief that with the change in the oil brand, the oil consumption and the oil pressure changes. However, this is not true. Oil pressure and consumption change depend upon the factors like the condition of the oil filter, age of the engine, oil contamination level and even incorrect reading of oil pressure. The only thing that causes damage is choosing the wrong oil grade. If the new oil does not meet the OEM specifications, it will not be as effective and damage the engine in the long run.
Myth 2 – Don’t use synthetic oils
With time, technological advancement solves many problems. Even after getting solved, these “problems” linger around and become myths over a period of time. There are a couple of such myths that surround the use of synthetic oils. One of them is the concern about Oil Leakage. When synthetic oils were first introduced, the seal incompatibility resulted in leaks. This issue was resolved, but the myth refused to die down. Today, only compromised seals and gaskets can cause oil leaks.
The other is the concern about switching from mineral oil to semi-synthetic oil or synthetic oils. Many believe that a switch from ordinary to synthetic is unhealthy for an engine. This belief is not correct. Switching to synthetic or semi-synthetic oil will not harm the engine. Instead, it will give better protection and improve its performance.
Myth 3 – You can check engine oil’s condition just by looking at it
The engine oil absorbs the contaminants like dust particles, soot, metal pieces and moisture. These contaminants turn the oil dark. For many, the darkening of oil signifies deterioration. Quite the opposite, the darkening of the oil means it is doing the job well. The only way to know the condition of the oil is to get it tested professionally.
Myth 4 – Engine oil only gets dirty
This one is the most common and damaging myth of all. The engine oil gets dirty due to the accumulation of dust, soot, metal pieces, coolant leaks and heat exposure. When the quantity of this contamination increases in the oil, its efficiency goes down. The high temperature and the oxidation wears the engine oil faster. After constant use, even the level of additives starts to deplete. All these factors make the engine oil lose its sheen, and it starts to dry. If not replaced in time, the friction in the engine rises, eventually causing its breakdown. The oil needs to be changed regularly as per OEM specified intervals.
Falling prey to myths can be damaging and expensive. In matters of your vehicle, get the information from authentic sources or consult a professional.