Can your engine oil handle 33 revolutions per second or more?
Drivers with tachometers in their cars know that, give or take a little, their car’s engines spend a lot of their time running at about 2,000 rpm. That’s 2,000 revolutions per minute. That’s a lot of revolutions.
To better understand that number, let’s break it down to revolutions per second. That works out to more than 33 revolutions per second. Count one-one-thousand and, by the time the last syllable is out of your mouth, the crankshaft in that engine has revolved 33 times. Now that’s moving.
If you consider that red line for most engines, the maximum rpm the engine is recommended to safely handle without breaking, is generally 5,000 to 6,000 rpm, that 33 revolutions per second increases to as much as 99 revolutions per second. That’s faster than a hummingbird flapping its wings. And a hummingbird merely has to move its wings up and then back down.
With a 4-stroke combustion engine, every revolution of the crankshaft translates to, not just the crankshaft turning, but the bearings at the connecting rods absorbing that revolution. And, each time the crankshaft makes a revolution, each piston has made a complete pass, from the top of its stroke to the bottom, in each of the cylinders.
Consider the kind of heat that generates in an engine. Clearly, if the engine oil isn’t up to speed, the engine will quickly experience some level of damage.
“There’s nothing you can do to maintain your car that’s more important than changing the oil on a timely basis,” said Denny Norton of Ringwood based Performance Unlimited. “Oil is the lifeblood of your engine.”
To prove the point, consider the effect of all that metal-on-metal friction without the benefit of oil. Without oil, we can most likely measure the amount of time an engine will run before a catastrophic breakdown in minutes. That’s why you’re father probably always told you, “If the oil light comes on, pull over right away.”
He knew that an engine light was a potential indicator of a problem in the heart of the engine – the oil.
Norton said that owners should change the oil in their vehicles within factory specifications in the owner’s manual.
Of course, drivers don’t have to change their oil that often but, considering the benefit-to-cost ratio of timely oil changes, it’s hard to imagine why they wouldn’t.
“Most auto repair shops are pretty economical in terms of what they charge for an oil change,” Norton said. “For instance, we only charge about $25 for a basic oil change. You can consider that low-cost engine insurance.”
For more information or to setup an appointment at Performance Unlimited, call 815-728-0343 or visit www.4performanceunlimited.com.