Interested in Auto Mechanic School? Discover How Engine Lubrication Systems Work

If a client wants their engine running smoothly, start with their lubrication system. Keeping an engine well-lubricated will do wonders for helping a vehicle run smoothly, as well as improve its longevity and prevent the engine itself from wearing out. To do this, the lubrication oil must be changed every so often—after all, it’s what keeps the engine’s parts moving along as they should. But how does oil do what it does best inside the engine? And where exactly does it go?

Here’s a primer on how engine lubrication systems work.

Why Engine Oil Is Important, Explained for Automotive School Students

Before we dive into the specifics of engine lubrication systems and what is necessary for them to function, it’s worth reviewing first why they’re necessary. Cars can either use synthetic or petroleum-based types of oil, though the latter is more commonly used. While the oil is moving around, it oils the parts that move within the engine—such as metallic pistons—so that they slide around each other without making contact or scratching each other, or making loud, piercing noises while colliding with each other. Furthermore, oil also plays a role in picking up debris from different parts and cleaning them, additionally helping to better protect the engine from leaking. By supplying the engine with a gas, liquid, or solid lubricant, it improves performance and minimizes both damage and friction caused by heat.

The Various Components of a Lubrication System, and What They Do

To be able to have an engine lubrication system operating properly after auto mechanic school, you must be aware of the different parts found within them. This is because many different parts of the engine have oil flowing around them when functioning correctly, and the lubrication system is what helps oil flow cleanly. These include an oil pan, oil pump, pickup tube, spurt holes, and two sump systems—a wet one, and a dry one. 

The wet sump is seen in most types of cars, where the pan is found at the engine’s bottom. Meanwhile, the dry one is usually found in high-performance cars, and the location of the pan does not necessarily have to be in a certain place or a specific size. The sump is where oil is brought into the pump before going between the filter and subsequently the pressure gauge and bearings. After going through the bearings, it goes into passages in the crankshaft before reaching the connecting rod, after which the crankshaft brings lubricated oil to the walls of the cylinder and piston pin.

If a lubrication system is not well-maintained, oil leakages can happen

How Can You Make Sure an Engine Lubrication System is Well-Maintained?

Anyone currently doing their auto mechanic training will understand the importance of keeping an engine lubrication system in tip top shape. Otherwise, damage is liable to happen. This can come in various forms such as an oil leakage, which can lead to a damaged engine and a replacement being necessary. Events such as these emphasize the importance of ensuring your client’s lubrication system is properly maintained. Therefore, be sure that the client changes the oil and its filter at regular intervals. You must also be attentive to any issues that may arise within any parts that receive oil, such as the main crankshaft bearings, piston pins and rings, camshaft, oil pump, and timing gears.

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