Get­ting dirty – prac­ti­cal con­sid­er­a­tions

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Engine Oil & Lubrication -

Avoid skin con­tact with used en­gine oil. While reg­u­lar ex­po­sure is thought to in­crease the risk of cancer, lo­calised ir­ri­ta­tion is a short-term risk. If drain­ing the oil after driv­ing the car some dis­tance, take care as there is a risk of scald­ing. Even ex­pe­ri­enced Diy­ers mis­un­der­stand sim­ple dip­stick marks. While the lower notch rep­re­sents the min­i­mum level be­fore en­gine dam­age will oc­cur, ex­ceed­ing the max­i­mum level is also likely to cause harm. If you are lucky, the ex­cess lu­bri­cant might be forced from the en­gine through the oil seals. How­ever, in some cases, oil can en­ter the com­bus­tion cham­bers – on diesel en­gines, this can cause the en­gine to run un­con­trol­lably at ex­ces­sive speeds, of­ten to de­struc­tion. While all en­gines con­sume oil, many Dpf-equipped diesel cars are de­signed to raise their oil lev­els. This is be­cause a quan­tity of diesel en­ters the sump and con­tam­i­nates the en­gine oil dur­ing DPF re­gen­er­a­tion cy­cles. There­fore, if you are work­ing on a mod­ern diesel car and adding the rec­om­mended quan­tity of oil does not bring the sump level to the max­i­mum mark on the dip­stick, re­sist adding more, be­cause you could be re­mov­ing ca­pac­ity in the sump that is needed by diesel fuel. Apart from sump ca­pac­ity, man­u­fac­tur­ers and their lu­bri­ca­tion part­ners con­sider how diesel contamination af­fects oil per­for­mance. While cer­tain mod­els (such as some BMWS) lack fixed oil drain in­ter­vals, pre­fer­ring in­stead to have an oil con­di­tion mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem, re­mem­ber that en­gine man­age­ment al­go­rithms will in­hibit DPF re­gen­er­a­tion if the oil’s pro­tec­tive qual­i­ties have re­duced to a cer­tain level. There­fore, re­set­ting the ser­vice in­ter­val after per­form­ing an oil change is crit­i­cal.

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