The oils you use for your diesel engine are the lifeblood of your vehicle. For this reason, it’s important you choose the right oils to ensure your engine achieves optimal performance levels for years to come.

Here’s some information from our diesel performance shop in Corpus Christi, TX about the main types of diesel lubricants and the differences between them.

Petroleum or mineral diesel oils

Mineral diesel oils are produced through the process of fractional distillation, which involves splitting petroleum into several different parts. This type of oil is a direct byproduct of crude, and features alkaline and cyclic paraffins. It’s been used for generations in engines of all types, and therefore is constantly in demand.

Mineral diesel oils protect the engine well, but do have some shortcomings that potential users should be aware of. For example, these types of petroleum oils often break down and oxidize once the temperature of the oil reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit. When this oxidation happens, there’s an increased risk of wear and tear, as well as the formation of deposits in the oil that could do damage to the system. If the oil reaches very low temperatures (approximately -40 degrees Fahrenheit), it could turn thick and not flow well enough, which could result in oil passages being blocked by the formation of sludge.

You’ll need to supplement this oil with additives to ensure long-term protection and reduce the amount of wear and tear the engine parts experience.

Synthetic diesel oils

Long before these oils were used in automobile engines, they were used in fighter jets. Synthetic oils were first developed in the early 1970s and over the decades since then have seen a surge in popularity, as they offer better protection than the mineral or petroleum oils.

They differ from petroleum oils in several ways. They are prepared artificially rather than being pumped up from the earth in the form of crude (the biggest difference between the two). They also go through much finer tuned processes, and tend to be based on polyesters, polyolefin, polyglycols and alkylated benzene, among other substances. These synthetic oils also have a more uniform molecular structure in comparison to petroleum oils, which have different sized molecules.

While the synthetic oils do offer better protection, the price is going to be higher, mostly due to the more complex manufacturing process. In fact, these synthetic oils can cost about four times as much as petroleum oils. This can be difficult for companies requiring large-scale use of these oils to afford. Still, they do last longer than petroleum oils and provide better results, so if affordability is not an issue, they can be an excellent investment for protecting your diesel engines.

These are just a few of the main differences between the two most popular types of diesel oils. The choice you make will have a big influence on the long-term quality and health of your diesel engine. For more information about diesel engine lubricants in Corpus Christi, TX, contact Coastal Diesel Injection today.