The lubrication system in an engine performs the function of reducing wear and tear and ensuring smooth functioning of the moving parts of the engine.
Why is a lubrication system needed?
When different working components, for example, parts of an engine move while working, they constantly rub against each other. A direct consequence of this is wear and tear of these parts. Other consequences are performance speed and noise. Imagine a number of strong metal parts inside an engine rubbing against each other continuously at high speed. They create a lot of noise. Apart from the noise, since there is friction, which in other words is resistance, a lot of energy is wasted on the extra effort needed in the working of these moving parts.
What a lubrication system does
An engine lubrication system performs three important functions
Lubrication oil decreases engine wear by occupying the space in between the moving components like bearings shafts etc. Thus, the moving parts of the engine do not come into contact directly, but move on a layer of lubricating oil between them. This saves a lot of power in the engine system as a whole.
When engine parts move, they produce heat due to friction. This heat has to be removed for proper functioning of the engine. The lubricant oil receives this heat and goes back to the oil pan where it is cooled. Some engines also spray oil on the back of the piston, which thus cools it.
The oil seals the area between the walls of the cylinder and piston rings. This reduces the leakage of gases from the combustion cylinder of the engine
Parts of an engine lubrication system
- Oil Pump: The gear type of oil pump has a pair of gears. The space between the gears are filled with oil. This oil pump sends oil through the filters to the main bearings and other parts. Main bearings and rod bearings are lubricated enough to perform their functions in an adequate manner. In the rotor oil pump type, there is an inner and outer rotor. As the inner rotor is driven, it drives the outer rotor, forming gaps in between them for the oil to pass through. As the oil which enters the rotors is already is under pressure, it is forced into the outlet.
- Oil Pan: Oil also flows through the grilled holes and flows into the cylinder head lubricating the galleries, it then returns to the oil pan from where it was taken.
- Oil Cooler: Oil cooler is a system which prevents excess-heating of lubricant oil. For this, oil is circulated through lines that carry hot oil.