Practical advice about lubricants to help you on some basic concepts
You’ll discover in our new section useful and practical advice about lubricants, with basic explanations to help you to deepen your knowledge and become real experts! Enjoy!
We started the company by trading base oils from our European partners to the major international oil producers in South Africa. We only picked the highest grade of oils to satisfy our client’s specific quality and price needs. This helped us to create our reputation of quality base oil and a no shortcuts approach.
This made us think that often local producers went through a chain of various stakeholders, which all wanted a piece of the profit thus made the products either an inferior quality or exponentially more expensive than it should be.
We are trying to minimise the number of intermediaries in the process to keep our quality to the highest European formulations while shifting a cost benefit to our valued customers.
Greyhound Lubricants has created the range with enhanced additive packages to suit the unique conditions vehicles face in South Africa and Africa.
Greyhound G-Base and G-Power mineral oils are positioned as a value-for-money mineral oil aimed at the older generation, high-mileage vehicles. According to our research, the general car park in South Africa is between seven and nine years old, counting only the registered vehicles, which statistically makes an average age of the cars even older than 10 years.
With the current economic conditions, people tend to keep their cars for longer and even extend service intervals beyond the recommendation of the relevant manufacturer in order to save money. This is where Greyhound Lubricants would like to put money, where it belongs, in your pocket. Why buy overpriced brands or consider inferior quality cheap brands where you can stick to the brand which has you covered.
Greyhound enhanced additive packages and European formulations focus on reducing the sludge build-up in engines, cleaning the engine components and ultimately extending the lifespan of an engine.
Oil is the only barrier preventing direct contact between the moving metal parts inside your car’s engine. The main function is to reduce friction which directly proportional to heat reduction which minimizes wear of engine’s moving components.
An engine’s life span is directly linked to the quality of the engine’s design and material the manufacturer used for its engine parts and as importantly the quality lubricants used in your engine. Greyhound Lubricants efficiently reduce friction in all major wear and tear parameters such as:
- Abrasion: scratching and polishing by physical contact or wear by debris and other solid contaminants in the oil, such as dirt.
- Adhesion: welding of asperities in mixed or boundary regimes.
- Corrosion: chemical reaction with the surrounding environment.
- Pitting: surface fatigue caused by rolling contact.
- Cavitation: formation and collapse of bubbles on a surface due to rapid pressure changes.
Additionally Greyhound oils help to remove heat from hot components, providing sealing, cleaning and keeping contaminants suspended in the liquid.
A basic lubrication system includes the following:
- Sump or oil pan, where the oil accumulates in a wet sump application (dry sumps are for race cars, in which cornering forces may move the oil away from the oil pick-up).
- Oil pick-up that feeds the oil pump.
- Oil pump that supplies the oil galleries with the lubricant at pressures ranging from two to six bar depending on engine speed and application.
- Oil filter that’s tasked with removing debris from the oil.
- Oil galleries, supplying the moving parts with oil, including the main and big-end bearings, as well as the valve train (cylinder walls are wet mostly because of spraying or splashing). The highest contact forces are on the lobes of the camshaft and can be as high as 10 tonnes per square centimetre – about the same as 10 light hatchbacks on an area the size of the sole of a stiletto’s heel.
- Oil pressure switch to inform the driver when oil pressure is lost. If all oil pressure is suddenly lost, damage occurs almost immediately.
It is advisory to check the engine’s oil level after the engine has been stopped for a few minutes. As the engine and oil should be fairly hot, which would make oil thinner (low viscosity), the drain-down time of the oil to the sump would be a few minutes.
The best way to choose engine oil is to check your owner’s manual for the vehicle you drive.
An owner’s manual will provide a particular API Specification. This will look something like CF/SF 15W40. CF/SF gives the specifications for both diesel–compression and petrol – spark. The higher the 2nd letter the higher the grade of the oil. 15W40 indicates that describes the viscosity of the oil.
It is better to top up with any available oil, even if it has a different viscosity grade in an emergency rather than risking running with little or no oil. Obviously, it is preferable to top-up with the same viscosity of the oil, if possible.
Therefore there is no problem topping up with mineral if you run mineral oil and can only top-up with a better/worse grade of oil as it will proportionally increase/decrease qualities of the engine oil.
Viscosity indicates the thickness of the oil. Water has a low viscosity while oil’s viscosity is much higher. Thinner the oil, better lubrication your engine gets as the temperature of an engine increases, the engine oil has a tendency to get thinner. As a result, our entry level Monograde Oil is suitable for warmer, African climate, while European countries with a colder climate will have decreased lubrication in cold conditions, as engine oil is thick and will only start lubricating your engine as your engine gets warmer. A monograde oil (i.e. G-Base SAE 40) may be effective at high temperatures but is too thick at low temperatures.
This is why additives that modify the viscosity were developed to lower the oil’s viscosity at low temperatures and increase it at high temperatures. For example, G-Power SAE 15W-40 oil behaves like a SAE 15 monograde oil at 40 degrees Celsius, but like a SAE 40 oil at the general operating temperature of 100°C.
We offer many different specifications and viscosities of engine oil. Please feel free to contact us for any advice or for a range that might not be included on our website.
Most oil is refined from crude oil (although deriving the liquid from gas and coal is also possible) in a process called hydrocracking. Hydrogen and a catalyst are added to the heavy oil in a process that takes place in up to four reactors under high pressure and temperature. The long hydrocarbon molecules are then broken down to produce different chain lengths for various products, including base oils and fuels.
Many other processes take place at the refinery plant (for example, desulphurisation), but we’re interested in the final five groups of base oils as classified by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Groups one and two are categorised as mineral oils, and groups three to five as synthetic. The base-oil performance increases with the group number. Oil companies blend the base oils in specific ratios to create the different engine-oil ranges.
Each manufacturer adds additive packages during the blending process in order to meet the performance criteria of each product. These additives strive to:
- Enhance the viscosity rating;
- Lower the pour point in cold temperatures;
- Slow down oxidation at higher temperatures;
- Remove gases from the oil (anti-foaming);
- Clean the moving components (detergents);
- Keep contaminants suspended in the oil and prevent them from settling on the metal surfaces (dispersant);
- Minimise wear;
- Inhibit corrosion;
- Protect engine components under extreme pressure.
Because these additives are added during the process of creating the oil, Bowen is sceptical about any possible benefits of then adding further aftermarket additives to your car’s oil: “It is like adding ingredients to a cake after it was baked.”
While synthetic oil might imply this product is man-made, it’s slightly misleading. Yes, these oils are modified (chemically converted) and purified according to processes developed in a laboratory by the research and development engineers, but these recipes are then turned into processes to mass produce synthetic oils.
Advantages of synthetic oil over the mineral type
- Synthetic has high-quality additive packages, resulting in increased performance under extreme conditions;
- It is a cleaner oil thanks to most impurities having been removed;
- Free-flowing in cold conditions, as the wax-forming deposits are removed;
- Thermal stability is improved at high temperatures, which prevents oxidation;
- Longer service intervals are possible owing to the mentioned benefits.
The process of creating synthetic oil is more complex and costly than mineral oil and those costs are passed on to the consumer. A part- (or semi-) synthetic oil is a blend of mineral and synthetic oil. To use the term “part synthetic” on the packaging material, the contents must include at least 10% synthetic oil.
The future of oil
Fuel economy and emissions targets are forcing the viscosity of oil lower to reduce the friction coefficient (0W-16 is now possible). Downsized turbo engines have higher internal forces and sump capacities are decreasing, and all the while drivers demand longer service intervals. Then there is the ever-present drive for a greener future, with bio-degradability becoming a key objective.
API performance level
On the back of oil bottles, you’ll find an API number, for example SM. The “S” denotes a spark-ignition engine and the “M” the performance level. The performance level increases along the alphabet, and the current highest level is N.
Diesel oil will have an API such as CF, where the “C” denotes compression-ignition engines and the “F” the performance rating. “J” is the current highest diesel-oil performance rating. Many oils are developed for both petrol and diesel engines, and the API rating may be combined (example, SM/CI) to cater for both applications.