Cars & Vehicles Auto Parts & Maintenance & Repairs

What Is Class 4 Motor Oil?

    Composition of Class 4 Motor Oil

    • Class 4 motor oil consists of the group of oil products that are classified as synthetic motor oils. Class 4 oils are made up of molecules called PAOs (polyalphaolefins). PAO molecules are created from crude oil that undergoes a special refining process in which wax molecules are cracked and the resulting olefin molecules are turned into complex polymers. Additives are then blended into the PAO molecules to improve the overall performance of the synthetic oil in everyday use.

    Positive Aspects of Class 4 Oil

    • Class 4 synthetic oils have several benefits when used in vehicle engines. Oil manufacturers recommend that regular motor oil should be changed in modern passenger vehicles at intervals of every 3,000, 5,000 or even 7,500 miles, depending on the vehicle. Synthetic oil can be safely used for much longer, even up to 25,000 miles between oil changes. Synthetics handle hot and cold temperature extremes better than standard motor oil, providing better engine protection. Synthetics provide better lubrication for the engine as they are technically more pure than regular motor oil.

    Negative Aspects of Class 4 Oil

    • Class 4 synthetic motor oil is more expensive than standard motor oil due to its more costly manufacturing process. As a result, an oil change using synthetic oil could cost the vehicle operator nearly four times as much as it would if regular oil were used. Synthetic oil can be used in any vehicle engine in good condition, but if it is used in older engines that have worn seals, it may result in some oil leakage.

    First Usage

    • Class 4 synthetic motor oils were first used in regular engines in tanks during World War II. Sherman tanks were powered by standard Chrysler car engines that were prone to seizing up due to the extreme conditions they operated in, such as the heat on African desert battlefields. These engines were switched over to the newly discovered synthetic oil due to its better-lubricating and extreme temperature-handling properties. The successful results helped promote wider usage and increased development of synthetic oil technology.

    Environmental Aspects

    • Class 4 synthetic oil has some environmental benefits. One is that oil changes are not needed as often as with regular oil, which means that less waste oil is produced. Synthetics handle higher temperatures better than normal oil and do not vaporize as much. Less vaporization means less harmful emissions released, and less oil that has to be added to the engine to make up for the amount that boils off.

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