When people talk about zinc, they mostly mean zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate. It is basically a compound that is first made by Castrol for using mineral-based oils or zinc di-thiophosphate (ZDTP) and is generally used in synthetic oils. It has been used as an anti-wear ingredient in engine oil for a long time.
To properly learn about the enriched zinc oils, you need to first know what this basically is and what motor oil is high in zinc and what are its effects on the engine you are using it?
This article will guide you through the knowing path and also will help you to buy the right fit oil for your engine.
What is high zinc motor oil?
High zinc motor oil is engine oil that uses zinc additives for assisting the engines whenever there is an issue of friction. The added strain on the engine produced by the friction and heat is reduced, and that is why high zinc motor oil is the first choice of many old car owners.
High zinc motor oil also refers to racing oils that have a high concentration of phosphorous and zinc-based additives, which is normally used in synthetic oil. In order to enhance the lubrication facilities, many similar additives are used in conventional motor oil, such as molybdenum and boron.
Why is there zinc in motor oil?
Zinc is used to fight corrosion, act as a galvanizing agent, and is critical to creating brass. Its primary role is to prevent metal to metal corrosion between engine parts by building a protective stronghold. Zinc Dialkyl Dithiophosphates (ZDDP) help to perform the anti-wear function in the motor oil.
It also acts as a friction inhibitor, and much research suggests that older engines using flat tappet lifters in the engine must need zinc present in the engine oil to keep the camshaft and lifters from wearing prematurely. If you have an older vehicle like the 1966 Mustang or the 1979 Ford Pickup, then it is a better choice for you to use zinc-based motor oils.
Sometimes lack of zinc can cause camshaft failure. At very high-speed engines, the pressure is created between the lobes and followers, which squeezes motor oil out of these parts, and it creates the need of using anti-wear additives. That is why there is zinc present in the motor oil.
What effects does zinc make on engines?
The motor oil used in the car has more or less some zinc in it but mostly in very low levels. As this zinc is not the pure version rather the compound version, ZDDP is present in the mineral-based oil, and ZDTP is used in synthetic oil.
The ZDDP or ZDTP additives work in a variety of ways. Mostly, it acts as a barrier against moisture to prevent rust formation. It also performs anti-wear properties that can provide an additional lubricant layer, particularly in the areas where the oil firm is thin for the operating conditions.
When two mating surfaces come in close contact with each other, the temperature gradually rises. This sudden temperature increase produces a chemical reaction between the additive and metallic surface, resulting in creating a temporary lubricant layer and reinforcing the film produced by oil or grease.
ZDDP or ZDTP also acts as the oxidation inhibitor. This process reduces the lubricant’s properties, so at some point, it might come to the necessity of changing the lubricant. The zinc additives are used to reduce the oxidation process for ensuring a better lubricant life.
Do older engines need zinc enriched oil?
If the older vehicle has an engine with a flat tappet lifter, it will need a zinc or zinc replacement additive in its engine oil. The zinc enriched oil will prevent the lifters and camshaft from wearing down prematurely. If the vehicle uses V6 or V8 engine before 1988, it is likely to be designed with zinc in the engine oil.
In these engines, the camshaft design is utilized with flat tappets. The flat tappets create a huge amount of friction. When driving an older car, The camshaft designed engine is outfitted with flat tappets, making the use of zinc oil additives mandatory.
How has motor oil changed?
Recently, motor developers have reduced the amount of ZDDP additives in their oil. This reduction in zinc is still plenty for most stock production engines. Unless you have a custom engine which been rebuilt with non-stock parts or an antique pushrod engine, you must use the motor oil mentioned in the owner’s manual of the vehicle.
What Motor Oil is High in Zinc?
As you have undergone zinc in motor oil, you probably think which motor oil is best for your car. During recent years, motor oils have been evolved greatly, and advanced synthetic oils offer more protection than the current ZDDP level. Moreover, synthetic oils have better functions and properties than conventional oils.
This means that now fuel economy and horsepower can be maintained. It also means the engine will start proficiently in cold and adverse weather. Additionally, the use of synthetic motor oil will provide better protection during the oil changes.
After knowing in-depth about the moto oil and how much zinc a motor oil contains, you can easily distinguish what motor oil is high in zinc?
Now, finding a motor oil for your vehicles, which is highly contained in zinc, would be effortless as you have gone through the entire article.
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Hi, my name is Gabrielle. I have been into Automotive Industry for over 15 years. If you’re anything like me, then building, maintaining and improving your Automotive Industry/Projects is all part of the Automotive experience.
My goal with this blog is to share my experience with and help you discover new and exciting things about Automotive.