Keller-Heartt Blog: July 2013
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Synthetic Oils: Are They Worth the Extra Cost?

How Did Synthetic Oil Originate?

synthetic motor oilThough it was originally developed for high temperature use in jet engines, synthetic motor oil wasn't really popular in automobile engines until the late 1960s. A few scientists began working on synthetic blends early on, and then the development of synthetic oils was taken up on a grand scale by companies such as Chevron, Mobil 1, and Motul. Well before the use of synthetic oils, fats, such as those from whales and vegetables, were the primary source of lubricant materials.

However, with the advent of the jet engine, it became necessary to find a means of lubrication that
could withstand higher temperatures and still properly function; animal and vegetable fats were simply unable to meet this requirement. While many synthetic oils are petroleum-based, these blends do not contain the natural minerals that have a tendency to break down under high heat and long periods of use like those found in non-synthetic oils. Thus, problems such as oil oxidation and sludge buildup are easier to avoid by using synthetic oil blends.

Performance in Extreme Temperatures

While it's clear that synthetic oils perform better in demanding high heat conditions such as in jet engines (much less, in auto engines), it's also notable that synthetic blends offer advantages in colder conditions, as well. Because non-synthetic oils become thick and tend to “gum up” under cold temperatures, they require starters and batteries to work much harder when starting a cold engine. Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is not affected by colder temperatures and flows much easier at start up, thus prolonging battery and starter life. While starters and batteries are relatively inexpensive to
motor oil in bulk
replace, it’s most likely worth it to spend a little extra on synthetic oil to avoid the unnecessarily expenses of around $150 on a starter and another $70-$100 on a battery.

Disadvantages VS Advantages of Synthetic Motor Oil

One perceived disadvantage of synthetic motor oil is that it is more expensive than its non-synthetic counterpart. While the retail price is higher, synthetic oils are preferred in turbocharged vehicles, vehicles that tow heavy loads, race cars, or other vehicles used in any environment where extreme temperatures or extended engine use are present. This is simply because synthetic oils meet the high performance demands of these situations, and other oils don’t. As such, the extra costs associated with synthetic oil means a longer engine life in the long run, which translates into big savings. Also, synthetic oils can also be used for longer periods of time before being changed, which can translate into a cost-saving property of its own.

Advantages of synthetic car motor oil include:
  • Better lubrication performance at both high and low temperature extremes 
  • Less oil burn off 
  • More stable chemical composition 
  • More protection against oxidation, oil sludge, and breakdown from high heat environments 
  • Synthetic oil offers a better alternative to environmental concerns in the form of less oil waste as it is changed less frequently
  • Improves miles per gallon ratios in certain engines 
  • Is not affected by cold weather 
  • Increases horsepower, thus torque, because it causes less engine drag Increases engine life  

About the author: Since 1929, Keller-Heartt has provided vehicle fleets all across the USA with industrial lubricants, motor oil in bulk, oil absorbing pads, and more. Keller-Heartt offers competitive pricing and free shipping on select orders to select regions. View their product line at www.kellerheartt.com.

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Keeping Your Brakes Clean This Summer

non chlorinated brake cleanersIt’s a common adage – “never skimp on things that come between you and the ground.” Investing in a quality mattress means years of better sleep and better health; investing in quality shoes means that your footwear will last longer and be more comfortable; and investing in quality tires, brakes, and suspension parts will keep your car running smoother, more efficiently, and for longer.

But the accessories and maintenance of these things can make the difference between comfort and danger. If you don’t rotate your mattress and have a solid bedframe, the mattress will weaken faster, becoming less comfortable and hurting your back. Ill-maintained shoes can warp and cause foot injury. But most dangerous is not using the right part cleaning solvent on your brakes. Using the wrong products can cause your components to wear out faster, decreasing your car’s performance, and causing malfunction of critical braking parts.


As more drivers hit the road for the summer, here are some tips to maintain your brakes – keeping stopping distances short, saving you money, and keeping you safe.
  • Brake cleaning fluid is a small investment that goes an incredibly long way in preserving the life of your brake pads, shoes, rotors, and other components. As you drive, things like dirt and gravel from road surfaces gets caught onto tires, brake pads, and rotors. Other time this can accumulate, decreasing braking effectiveness and causing excessive wear on your vehicle. Cleaning your brakes is incredibly simple – simply remove your tire, spray on, and wipe away dirt and debris from the rotors and pads. 
  • Keep track of the maintenance schedule for your vehicle and know the expected lifespan of your brake pads and rotors. Changing brake pads on a regular basis is less costly than the result of not maintaining brake pads: having to replace warped rotors. Having well-maintained braking components will also help preserve the life of steering and suspension components. Listen for whining or grinding noises from your brakes – and make sure to have them looked at if these noises are occurring. Worn-out brakes don’t stop your vehicle effectively, putting you in danger. 
  • When using brake cleaners and other automotive chemicals, make sure that you choose the correct chemicals for your vehicle and store, use and dispose of them properly. For example, chlorinated brake cleaners can leave residue on brakes, release harmful gases, and run off into groundwater. Non chlorinated brake cleaners don’t leave behind residue, release less harmful gas during use, and don’t leech chlorine during excess run-off – making them a better choice for you, your vehicle and the environment. Use all proper safety precautions when working with automotive chemicals, like wearing protective eyewear and clothing; and dispose of chemicals at the proper recycling facility.  
brake cleaning fluid
By being proactive in the maintenance of your brakes, your car will keep running smoothly for many
more miles – and you’ll be able to enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your brakes will stop your car quickly and securely, keeping you and your passengers safe. Get out there and enjoy some adventures on the road this summer!

About the Author: For over 84 years, Keller-Heartt has been a leader in the lubrication supplies and absorbents industries. Whether for heavy industry or vehicle fleets, Keller-Heartt meets the high demand of customers all over the US, and their Chicago-based staff is experienced in the technical and logistical demands of customers. Their products can be ordered online at www.kellerheartt.com and for the month of July, all items receive completely free shipping!

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