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Demand Better Detergency

01/07/2021
Demand Better Detergency

Why is Engine Oil Detergency Important?

If you perform equipment maintenance during the off season, you probably change engine oil as part of your routine. But, have you ever wondered why you change the oil? There are multiple reasons, but the performance of your oil’s detergency is one of the most important ones. Detergents help neutralize acids that form in the oil and keep metal components free of sludge and deposits.

Detergents Prevent Corrosion by Acids

Acids are introduced into the engine oil primarily through fuel combustion and oxidation. The fuel combustion process releases nitrogen and sulfur gases as byproducts that contaminate oil during normal engine operation. In addition, engine operating temperatures increase oil oxidation rates and tend to make oil more acidic over time. If neutralization of these acids doesn’t occur, they can lead to corrosion on the main bearings or on other metal surfaces.

Detergents Prevent Deposits

Detergents, in combination with dispersants, reduce high-temperature deposits and inhibit formation of lacquer, varnish and carbon. They also prevent piston ring sticking. Easily seen in an engine overhaul, two good indicators that the detergents are working is prevalent cylinder crosshatch and free-moving piston rings. Optimized cylinder compression and lack of wear on cylinder walls are signs that your diesel engine oil is performing, and that your engine is operating at peak efficiency.

Measuring Detergency Capability

Detergent additives are basic (alkaline) to neutralize acids. Total Base Number, also known as TBN, is a quantitative measure of alkalinity and helps determine an oil’s ability to neutralize acids. An oil’s TBN, reported as a numeric figure, will decrease over time as the additive is consumed and exhibits a diminished capacity to neutralize acids. Today’s diesel engine oils typically report a 9 or 10 fresh oil TBN. Depending upon OEM recommendations, oil changes are recommended when the TBN is cut in half or when TBN reaches 3 or 2, at minimum. TBN, determined in used oil analysis, should always be considered when attempting to safely extend drain intervals.

The FS Solution

FS Suprex Gold ESP is formulated with a uniquely balanced detergent package that provides a longer-lasting TBN and ability to neutralize harmful acids. As a result, engine wear is reduced, and oil life can potentially be extended. That extra bit of protection can be important, especially during busy times when you may not want to stop to perform an oil change.   

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Curious to learn more? Ask your FS Energy Specialist for more information.

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