Motor Oil Degradation in Automotive Engines

Chemistry, Technology
Why is it so important to change the motor oil in your car? The answer is due to motor oil degradation. Unrecycled motor oils originate from naturally occurring crude oil. As such, motor oils are necessarily a complex combination of organic compounds: Molecules made simply of carbon and hydrogen. A percentage of these hydrocarbons include ring structures—whether saturated aliphatic rings or aromatic rings (benzene or polycyclic). However, the largest percentage of motor engine oil consists of straight and branched chain hydrocarbons of varying lengths. Motor oils are high-quality lubricants, but even the best of these products will degrade with use. Why is Oil a Lubricant? A good lubricant must readily flow and have sufficient viscosity. It should not freeze in even cold environments. It should possess a high level of…
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