Welcome to the Oil Pressure Gauge Guide! If you want to understand more about the role oil pressure gauges plays in the monitoring of the workings of your engine’s oil then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll discuss the workings of the oil pressure gauge, what it tells you about the performance, or otherwise, of your engine and what to do when the oil gauge tells you there’s a problem.
Importance of motor oil
To begin with I think it is a good idea to understand the importance of motor oil in the workings of an engine. We’re talking about the motor oil used in internal combustion engines like those in cars and motorbikes and many other road vehicles and also found in lawnmowers, some aircraft and portable electric generators. So what does the oil do? Well, it plays several key roles in making a modern engine work. First, lets consider cooling. Engines work by turning heat energy, resulting from the combustion of fuel, into power. As no engine is one hundred percent efficient not all of the energy created can be converted into mechanical power, so the excess heat energy needs to be to removed. Engine oil serves this cooling purpose (along with air intakes, the exhaust and the cooling system) within the internal combustion engine and carries heat away from the moving parts of the engine.
Next, oil is a lubricant, reducing friction. Why is it better to have less friction? There are several reasons. Friction between two parts of an engine rubbing together wastes energy, energy that could have otherwise be used to increase the power of the engine. Wasted power means the engines has to consume more fuel to generate or maintain the same power output, making it more expensive to run and the car less economical.
The same contact between the moving parts that wastes power also causes wear and tear on those parts leading to the premature end of life for the engine. An extremely expensive proposition. Therefore, it is essential to have a coating, or film of engine oil around the working parts of the engine at all times to protect them from wear and tear. Friction is another source of heat and as discussed already, the oil both reduces the heat caused by friction and removes it. In the next post we’ll look some more at the uses of motor oil and the importance of measuring the oil pressure using the either an electric or mechanical oil pressure gauge on your dashboard.