GotQuestions? Lubricants

Q. As fleets turn their engines off more frequently to reduce idling, especially in operations where this happens numerous times per day, what is the effect on the engine oil?

August 27, 2014

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A. Engines that start and stop frequently tend to have several potential lubrication related issues. One is that if the engine is started in cold weather conditions, most of the engine wear can occur at start up so proper viscosity is critical to start up lubrication. As a side not, heavy duty 15W-40 engine oils may only provide adequate start up lubrication down to +15F whereas SAE 10W-30, 5W-30 or 5W-40 grades can far exceed that lower limit reducing the higher wear than can occur under these cold temperature conditions. Secondly, engines that start and stop frequently may incur condensation which can contaminate the oil causing loss of anti-corrosion properties and start and stop operation also cause fuel dilution due to improper fuel combustion by not bringing the engine up to operating temperature.

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Author Bio

Mark Betner

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Heavy Duty Lubricants Manager

Mark Betner boasts 35 years of experience in the lubricants business. As the Heavy Duty Product Manager for CITGO Lubricants he is responsible for initiating and implementing the marketing of new products and human development programs and oversees communications with the media, trade shows and consumer education.

Prior to this, he was a field sales manager and technical training administrator at an independent lubricant company specializing in heavy equipment lubrication.

Mark earned a master’s and bachelor’s degree in both chemistry and biology from Indiana University. He holds a certification from the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers and is a member of the Truck Maintenance Council.


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