Oil Temperature and Viscosity

In the early days of automobiles, in cold weather, the oil in a car engine becomes a thick, viscous sludge. It gets so thick that it is almost impossible to crank the engine. If a lighter oil is used to avoid this problem, the oil gets thin like water when the engine gets hot, and does not lubricate anymore. The engine wears excessively, the oil works past the piston, and is used up a lot faster. Ideally, a good engine oil would keep the same viscosity at all operating temperatures. Standard helps to solve this problem with the introduction of Vistanex. Today, with blended and synthetic oils, these problems are rare. But for those who live where it gets really cold in the winter, or real hot in the summer, even the new high tech oils can fail. That's why you should change your car's oil every 3000 miles.

From Frank A. Howard, Buna Rubber: The Birth of an Industry. New York: D. van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1947.

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Polymer Science Learning Center and the Chemical Heritage Foundation with a fellowship from the Société de Chimie Industrielle (American Section)