RV Engine Oil

If we’re being honest here, RVs are expensive. With that in mind, RV owners are always looking for ways to maintain and extend the life of their RV, especially in today’s economy. Take choosing the right engine oil, as it is essential to keeping an RV working well. Engine oil lubricates, seals, cools, cleans, and protects against corrosion and rust in engines. It should go without saying that engine oil is necessary, but following, you’ll also find tips for choosing the best oil for an RV.

Functions of Oil

Changing the oil in an engine is a regular RV service. What does the oil do? A small amount of oil keeps spinning parts away from stationary parts in a vehicle engine. The oil prevents friction, metal on metal contact, and wear to surfaces. Engine oil also absorbs heat from moving parts of the engine. The heat gets transferred to the cooler in the radiator where it gets diffused into the air. Engine oil also splashes on the bottom of the pistons, helping transfer heat and keeping the pistons from expanding inside the cylinders.

When car is running, bits of grit and dirt can enter through the air cleaner. Oil washes away these bits of debris and puts them into the oil filter to keep the vehicle from being damaged. When an engine is properly lubricated, it has less friction and better fuel economy. The engine will last longer. Oil also keeps air from getting into the steel parts of the engine and causing them to rust.

Kinds of Oil Available

Oil markings on the can be confusing. Some markings indicate service ratings ranging from SA, for the lowest quality, to SJ, for synthetic oil, for engines with turbochargers. Oils also have numbered ratings from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The higher numbers designate a heavier oil, and smaller numbers are for oils that flow more easily in cold weather. An owner’s manual for a vehicle will indicate what type of oil the engine needs. Consumers can always choose an oil with a better rating, but should never use a lower-rated oil.

Often, consumers choose to use a multi-viscosity oil that can act as a thin oil when it is cool, and a thicker oil when it is warm. Using this type of oil is more convenient than changing the oil types in different seasons of the year. 

Synthetic oils do not contain wax and flow better in cold temperatures. They also have additional ingredients to keep chemical changes from forming sludge. Synthetic oil helps prevent air bubbles and corrosion. Synthetic oil usually keeps an engine running cooler and allows a vehicle to travel more miles between oil changes. 

What’s In the Oil

Engine oil is about 30 percent oil and 70 percent additives. Phosphorous and Zinc help engines with turbochargers because they maintain anti-wear lubrication after the owner turns off the engine. Calcium and magnesium keep the engine clean. Dispersants help remove dirt, sludge, and debris into the oil filter. 

How Does it Work?

If you are looking for a used Winnebago for sale, you may be wondering how necessary oil is for its use. When an engine is low on oil, or if there is none, no parts of the engine get lubricated. Oil filters are usually made from paper or cotton and allow oil to go out but block debris and dirt from going through. Mechanics will sometimes use oil coolers to lower the temperature of oil in big engines. The oil goes through a device like a radiator, and air drives off extra heat. 

When to Change the Oil

Commonly, an RV dealer in CA will recommend oil be checked at least monthly. Owners should check it when it is cold, so the oil has drained back down to where it rests. Be sure that the oil is clear and doesn’t smell burnt. Don’t drive a car with too little oil. Likewise, filling a vehicle with too much oil can cause foaming from a combination of air and oil.

When getting an RV service, mechanics often recommend staying with the same oil brand so that the additives remain the same. Owners who maintain the engine routinely with the same type of oil can prolong the engine’s life. It also prolongs the life of the RV. 

At Bill Eads RV, our no-hassle sales philosophy lets you look at our RVs without feeling pressured to buy. We have been selling new and well maintained used RVs since 2007. We have a knowledgeable sales staff dedicated to helping meet the needs of RV owners in California.

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