The engine lubrication system minimizes friction and dissipates the heat generated by friction between the engine’s moving parts. It is also helps dissipate heat created by the burning fuel.
The lubricating oil circulating through the engine performs a number of functions. It must:
- Lubricate moving parts to minimize wear.
- Lubricate moving parts to minimize power loss from friction.
- Remove heat from engine parts by acting as a cooling agent.
- Absorb shocks between bearings and other engine parts, thus reducing engine noise and extending engine life.
- Form a good seal between piston rings and cylinder walls.
- Act as cleaning agent.
The properties of engine oil and the design of modern automotive engines allows the lubrication system to accomplish these functions.