:: Does Oil Wear Out? ::

Oil Does Not Wear Out

“Oil does not wear out, breakdown, or otherwise deteriorate to such an extent that it needs to be changed. It becomes contaminated with water, acids, carbon particles, and sludge.” (Mobil Oil Technical Bulletin #863)

“Oil does not wear out, but only gets dirty.” (U.S. Standards Bulletin #86)

This is true for all lubricating oils used in cars, trucks, heavy equipment, industrial equipment, and hydraulic equipment.

If Contaminants are Removed Does the Oil Last Longer?

Yes, since the oil doesn't really wear out, removing contaminants and replacing important additives keeps the oil lubricating effectively for much longer periods of time.

Can the Substances that Contaminate Oil be Removed?

“The engine's oil filter(s) can only remove solid particles above a certain size. It (they) cannot remove water, acids, carbon particles, or sludge all of which pass through the filter(s) just as readily as the oil.” (Mobil Oil Technical Bulletin #863)

Conventional oil filters do not remove the majority of contaminants. This is because conventional full flow filters only filter down to about 30 micron (μ) particle sizes. It's the particles between 3μ and 30μ that do most of the damage along with the build up of acids and water. This is why oil gets contaminated and must be replaced after short service intervals.

Kleenoil bypass filtration systems remove water and nearly all of the particles between 3μ and 30μ. Acids are handled with PowerUp additives. In addition, PowerUp additives improve the viscosity at high temperatures, increase lubricating properties at high pressures, and ensure that the oil doesn't break down in the gaps between critical wear surfaces when they are subjected to high stress.

Can Oil Condition be Monitored?

Regular oil testing is essential to extended drain cycles. There are several testing laboratories in the US that test oil samples inexpensively. These tests identify levels of:

  • Metals (from internal engine wear)
  • Acids
  • Bases (which reduce acid levels)
  • Dirt particles (silicates)
  • Water (which forms sulfuric acid)
  • Carbon particles
  • Oil viscosity

As long as viscosity is above the required minimum and the contaminants are within safe operating regions (often specified by the equipment manufacturer) the oil does not need to be drained.

An added benefit to regular oil testing is that the tests will often identify problems early before they become major maintenance issues. For example, increasing levels of tin and copper are signs of early-stage bearing wear.

Does it Really Work?

Fleet operators, construction companies, and other users of heavy equipment have seen oil drain intervals increase by factors of 4 or 5 leading to significant savings during full maintenance life-cycles and extended equipment life.

The Kleenoil and PowerUp products pay for themselves quickly, while the savings due to less frequent oil changes and fewer maintenance problems continue throughout the longer life of the equipment.