Skip to main content

Silent Engine Killer Revealed by Oil Experts

Despite what the label on your motor oil says about its viscosity, what it does not tell you is how quickly your oil can go down a whole grade in just a few hundred miles according to this silent engine killer reveal.

If you are a member of the older generation, more likely than not you’ve had hammered into your consciousness by your personal physician that high blood pressure is the #1 silent killer that can and will do you in years before your time on Earth should have ended.

Viscosity: The Silent Engine Killer

As it turns out, the same is true for your car, only that it’s the changing viscosity of your motor oil that can be your car engine's silent killer.

Viscosity breakdown is the single most important characteristic of your motor oil. It’s the degradation of your motor oil causing it to lose its original viscosity that is formulated to ensure the wear and tear between moving parts in your engine is limited as much as chemically and mechanically possible.

So, what is it about this oil degradation we are talking about? It’s the destruction of the additives that assists your oil in maintaining its viscosity as long as possible. Because as it turns out, some motor oils drop a whole grade in viscosity within a few hundred miles!

Related article: Thinner Oil Warning for New Car Owners

One Important Example of How Motor Oils Differ From One Another

Regardless of the motor oil you use in your car whether it is 5W-20, 10W-40, or even one as thin as 0W-8, while these motor oil grades share some properties and all are designed to protect your particular car model engine, they are not the same when it comes to the viscosity index improvers and the types they may or may not possess to keep your motor oil at its original viscosity grade.

Motor Oil Nerd Alert

To understand what motor oil viscosity index improvers are and how they differ from one motor oil to another, here is a recent The Motor Oil Geek YouTube channel episode where the host reveals why understanding and knowing what viscosity index improvers are in your motor oil is so important.

Follow along with the host and his guest as you will learn about:

  • The basics of motor oil grades.
  • What centistoke (cSt) and centipoise (cP) are in motor oil and how they differ.
  • What some other causes are of oil breakdown aside from fuel dilution.
  • Why it is not just chemical, but physical/mechanical stress by the engine that leads to oil breakdown.
  • How your engine oil can change in grade within the first 200 miles of use.
  • What the HTHS and KRL tests are all about and why they are indicative of what is happening to your motor oil.
  • New changes to motor oil to look for on the label.
  • Which viscosity index improver polymers have performance trade-offs, and which provide the best of two worlds toward preventing oil degradation in an engine.
  • One example by the host of why he does not follow the motor oil recommendation for his model of car.

Viscosity Breakdown: The Silent Engine Killer Revealed!


For additional articles related to your motor oil and your car’s health, here are a few for your consideration:

Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites  and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.

COMING UP NEXT: Fake AC Freon Warning for Car Owners

Image source: Deposit Photos