What are the things that you should keep in mind while choosing the engine oil for your daily workhorse – your much loved scooter? Let’s get started.
Four stroke scooter engines are typically lubricated by an oil bath which covers all the moving parts. Knowing that small capacity (100-125cc) scooters form the meat of the Indian scooter market, it can be safely said that using fully synthetic engine oil isn’t really a necessity. Using good quality mineral or semi-synthetic engine oil should work well enough for almost all mainstream commuter scooters.
The first thing that you need to remember while choosing the engine oil is, stick to the OEM specification. You should not change the grade of oil you use for the scooters at will, nor should you mix synthetic, mineral, or semi-synthetic oils with each other. While topping up oil in your scooter, ensure that you know what brand or grade of oil was filled in previously.
Scooters are generally very low maintenance, so engine oil is pretty much the primary thing you should care about. You should follow the manufacturer instructions and change the oil at regular intervals. Also, sticking with a premium brand may cost a little more, but it’s like cheap insurance in the longer term.
The grade letters, which read somewhat like 20W50, or 5W30 denote the viscosity, or the capability of a liquid to flow. The first numeric digit here denotes the low temperature viscosity, while the higher numeric value denotes the high temperature viscosity. So in effect, engine oil with 10W30 rating has lower viscosity as compared to a 5W40 oil, at both extremes of temperature, cold and hot.
A very important thing, especially in the Indian context for the (100-125cc) scooter segment, is to always oversee you engine oil changes. When you leave your scooter at your local mechanic, more often than not he will try putting in a 20W40 oil, as it turns out cheaper to him. It’s important to note here that most modern scooter makers are recommending 10W30 oil grade for scooters. You should, therefore, insist that your local mechanic or service station puts in an engine oil which is either 10W30, or in compliance with the grade specified by the manufacturer.
Using a 10w30 engine oil over a 20w40 oil ensures that the oil flows through the mechanicals without resistance even in low temperatures, and prevents engine damage during cold starts.
Another very important aspect to keep in mind while buying scooter oil is to buy a scooter specific engine oil which is designed keeping in mind the automatic transmissions, and a dry clutch setup found on most scooters. While JASO MA, MA1 and MA2 specification is meant for motorcycles which employ a wet clutch, scooters requires oil with JASO MB specification for their unique dry clutch setup.
The Article was First Published on Motoroids India
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