Automobile Engine Oil

Precisely, automobile engine oil is one of the most important factors in a motor engine’s performance and longevity. It is the lubricant that prevents all those metal parts from tearing each other apart.

Motor oil reduces friction and heat while helping keep automobile engines clean. 

Without motor oil, an automobile engine would destroy itself in a matter of seconds.

Automobile engine oil contains two fundamental components: base oils and additives. These two work in tandem to produce the final product a vehicle owner puts in his engine.

The base oils comprise the largest portion of the oil. They lubricate internal moving parts, absorb heat and seal the piston rings.

Motor oil base oils can be composed of:

  1. Petroleum 
  2. Chemically synthesized materials or 
  3. A combination of synthetics and petroleum (called semi-synthetic or synthetic blend).

Motor oil additives

The various chemicals that comprise a motor oil’s additive system provide anti-wear, anti-foam, anti-corrosion, acid-neutralization, viscosity-maintenance, and detergency among other properties.

Modern Automobile Engine Oil is a highly specialized product carefully developed by engineers and chemists to perform many essential functions that includes; reduction of contact between components, while minimizing friction and wear. This no doubt helps automobile engine to run better and it makes it to last longer.

Automobile oil maintains internal cleanliness by suspending contaminants within the fluid or by preventing the contaminants from adhering to components.

Motor Oil acts as a dynamic seal in locations like the piston ring/cylinder interface. A dynamic seal helps keep combustion gases in the combustion chamber, which maximizes horsepower and helps prevent hot gases from contaminating the motor oil in the sump.

A motor engine oil can cushion the blow of mechanical shock.

A functional automobile engine oil film resists rupture and absorbs and disperses these energy spikes over a broad contact area. By dampening mechanical shock, the oil minimizes wear and damaging forces, extending the component’s operating life.

Automobile engine oil must have the ability to prevent or minimize internal component corrosion. It accomplishes this either by chemically neutralizing corrosive products or by forming a barrier between the components and the corrosive material.

Because automobile engine oil is incompressible, it makes an excellent energy-transfer medium, such as when used with hydraulic valve lifters or to actualize components in an engine with variable valve timing.

In 2018, there were about 6,799,586 units of commercial vehicles and 4,868,294 units of privately owned ones registered in Nigeria. 

Currently, Nigeria is believed to consume about 250 million liters of automobile engine oil yearly; and this consumption according to industry sources grows at more than five per cent every year due to the addition of new vehicles.

The in-country automobile engine oil blending capacity however has remained constant at 150 million liters, showing a shortage of about 100 million liters. This shortfall is met by the importation of finished automobile engine oils with the attendant loss of revenue and job opportunities.

One common mistake Nigerians make when buying engine oil is to be guided by price and not the specifications of their vehicle manufacturers.

Viscosity is the most important physical property of an automobile engine oil.


For motor oils, numerous viscosity grades are readily available. The selection of the wrong viscosity grade is the most common mismatch of an engine oil in an automobile.

If the selected automobile engine oil has a viscosity that is too low, a smaller lubricating film will result, which can lead to considerable internal engine wear being produced.

If the motor oil has too high of viscosity, it can cause starvation of the oil flow and increased drag, which results in a loss of efficiency. Both of these situations will have adverse effects on the automobile engine in the near and long term.

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria once lamented that substandard motor lubricants account for N250 billion yearly loss to the economy.

However, with the unique performance of some automobile engine oil brands in the country; based on documented reports from expert automobile technicians across the states; and the extensive assessments carried out by West Africa Automotive Institute’s technical team, Standard Engine Oils (both locally produced and the imported oils) found on this Department are highly recommended for use by motoring Nigerians.

Standard Automotive Engine Oils


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