Frequently asked questions & answers
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Viscosity describes the flow behaviour or the measure of the viscosity of a fluid. It reflects the extent of internal friction of particles within a fluid. Viscosity is the most important physical property of a lubricating oil. It is of decisive importance for the ability of a lubricant to build up a stable lubricating film.
The viscosity index is a factor how the viscosity of a liquid changes between two temperatures. For oils, this means that the higher the VI value, the lower the viscosity of the oil decreases at higher temperatures.
The engine oil that has already been used is usually black or very dark in color. This color is the basis for one of the numerous tasks of engine oil: In addition to its role as a lubricant and cooling liquid on the metal parts, the engine oil also ensures that dirt particles are removed. This leads to the dark color.
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Lubricants react when exposed to oxygen and heat. As a result, the lubricant ages, causing sludge-like deposits to appear.
Volatile chemical components of the oil evaporate faster at high operating temperatures than components that are less volatile. The engine oil level drops. In addition, the environment is polluted by these gases.
The engine oil fights against enormous pressure, resistance and temperatures. It neutralizes fine dust, acids and water. But even the best engine oil wears out over time. Residues accumulate.
The oil filter collects the combustion residues and the dirt that the oil in the engine absorbs and builds up over time. It should therefore be changed at the same time. At Volkswagen, we also change the seals and the oil drain plug.
If you use an unapproved oil, you risk serious damage to the engine and also you run the risk of invalidating your guarantee. The quality of engine oils is defined by combinations of letters and numbers. The different specifications describe which oil is suitable for your engine concept. So that you are not greased: stick to the manufacturer's specifications for a long engine life.
Additives are agents or active substances that enhance desirable properties in fuels, combustibles and lubricants, suppress undesirable properties or exert new effects. In fuels, for example, the engine intake system can be kept clean and deposits in the engine prevented, or in lubricating oils the ageing resistance can be extended. In addition, they help to reduce pollutant emissions in the exhaust gas and prevent corrosion of metal parts in the fuel system. Additives are added to fuel, engine oil, gear oil and the coolant protection agent.
Additives have a wide range of tasks:
- They must have a cleaning effect.
- You have to look after mechanical components and protect them from wear and tear.
- They help improve quality, protect against corrosion, reduce foam and increase performance.
The brake fluid transfers the force exerted by the driver on the pedal to the wheel brake.
The following requirements are placed on the brake fluid:
- It must not attack the rubber seal.
- It must protect the components of the brake system from corrosion and wear.
- It must be temperature resistant.
Theoretically you could, but there is a very convincing reason not to: There's a lot you can do wrong! From choosing the right fluid, to cleaning and bleeding the brake system, to disposing of used brake fluid.
Never forget: a malfunctioning brake can cost lives! If you don't have the expertise and the necessary equipment, leave this essential maintenance job to a professional and have the brake fluid changed at a workshop.
Some manufacturers specify 50,000 kilometres as the interval for changing the coolant. For some, however, it is considerably more. One danger is largely unknown: Bubbles (cavitation) often form in old radiator antifreeze. If these burst, the explosions can break through the metal walls in the radiator and destroy plastic blades of water pumps. That is why car mechanics recommend changing the coolant every three years. Even if some owner's manuals recommend otherwise.
The coolants contain different additives. Green ones usually contain silicones to keep seals supple. You should not mix coolants without consulting the manufacturer or fill in the wrong coolant. Some soften the seals and lead to leakage.