Most car owners fail to realize that the correct running temperature is as important as choosing the oil. Wouldn’t it be fruitful for the engine if you used the right oil in the wrong way? An engine would give its optimum performance only when it is operated under normal oil temperature

Read this guide till the end to know everything about the best operating normal oil temperature and how oil affects the quality of your drive and the overall engine health. Learn ways to save your engine from getting damaged.  

What is the Normal Oil Temperature for Petrol and Diesel Engines? 

Normal oil temperature in a vehicle mainly depends on the engine type, whether your vehicle uses petrol or diesel as a fuel. 

Petrol or gasoline engines may have temperatures ranging from 220°F to 250°F, while Diesel engines should have oil temperatures ranging from 200°F to 230°F if you want an overall optimum performance. 

These temperature ranges are where the oil is most efficient at providing the lubrication and protection your engine wants. Many experts also claim that temperatures near 180°F are safe, but they forget that this would lead to a serious performance loss. 

Why is Oil Temperature Important? 

Several factors make normal oil temperature extremely significant. Most car owners do not understand the basic importance of oil and the temperature it bears in the engine. 

You must understand that for every unit of fuel the engine burns, a unit of water is produced during combustion. This water is in the form of vapor in the engine, which needs to be burnt off. So the basic logic goes that the temperature should be high enough to burn off this water at least. If not, the same water will then fuse with the Sulfur present in the engine and damage the metallic parts of the engine, not immediately but definitely in the long term. 

And when it comes to the temperature of the oil, If the engine oil gets to colder temperatures, it will introduce unnecessary friction on the internal structure of the engine resulting in damages over some time. 

On the contrary, if the oil gets too hot, it will start breaking down the molecular integrity and hence will become chemically unstable and start reacting with other substances in the engine, eventually doing more harm than good to the machine.

How to Check the Oil Temperature?

Most modern cars do not produce the need to check engine oil temperatures as they have built-in sensors to do that job for you. But, as a car owner, one should know how to check oil temperature manually if it comes to that. 

The easiest and safest way to do so is by using an infrared thermometer. All you have to do is point your thermometer in the direction of the oil pan, and the meter will give out a reading. You might also notice your engine oil looking weird here because they expand a bit when heated.

If you want a more precise temperature reading, buy a dipstick with an in-built temperature sensor from your nearby automobile store. This might be tricky, but it will produce the most accurate results. You will have to put the dipstick in the oil pan, let it sit for a few seconds, and have the oil temperature on the thermometer.

How to know if my engine is overheated? 

The engine temperature warning light looks like a red thermometer with two wavy lines at the bottom. Depending on your car’s make and model, you may also see the following:

  • A warning message saying ‘TEMP.’
  • A warning message saying ‘ENGINE OVERHEATING’
  • A blue or green engine temperature symbol when you start your car, which does not mean that your engine is overheating

What if I get a High-Temperature Warning? 

Oil temperature warnings should never be taken lightly, no matter the situation. And if your vehicle shows a temperature warning, you should take the following steps immediately to avoid unwanted circumstances. 

The first step to get over the situation would be to find a parking spot and instantly turn off your engine, open your hood and give it to cool off naturally. Generally, 20 minutes is a good amount of time. (Be extremely careful while opening the hood. Hot metal surfaces can give you severe burns). 

Once the engine has cooled off, check the oil level. You should only check the oil when it’s cold. If your engine doesn’t have adequate oil levels, get a refill. Again, filling the oil when engine is hot can be dangerous.

Also, check the coolant in the radiator of your vehicle. Usually, improper levels of coolant are the number one reason behind overheating. Add water or coolant to the radiator to resolve the issue. 

If the problem persists, we suggest you check your vehicle with a trained mechanic at an authorized service center.  

How to prevent overheating? 

Depending on the situation, the environment in which the car is being used, and some other factors, there are several things a car owner can do to prevent their engine from overheating. Some of the most important to maintain normal oil temperature are mentioned below.

  • The first and foremost might sound obvious, but still, most people tend to ignore it. Using synthetic engine oil instead of conventional oil can drastically affect your car’s health, as synthetic oil can withstand higher temperatures without losing its protective properties. 
  • Make sure you maintain the optimum coolant levels in the radiator. 
  • Many fan belts (V-Belts) are used in the engine system. Check them from time to time and see that they aren’t worn out. 
  • Don’t keep your engine on for longer durations in the parked stage. 
  • Don’t consider towing other vehicles unless you own a heavy-duty pickup truck or an SUV. This can put an extreme load on the engine resulting in overheating. 
  • Regularly check your engine oil and refill it whenever needed. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Though Engine oils are technically combustible, but are not as flammable as other oils. These are categorized under class three flammable liquids and will not catch fire as easily. If you feel Engine Oil in your vehicle has reached very high temperatures, the best and safest thing to do is, stop your vehicle as soon as possible and let it cool down.

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