The monthly newsletter of the Maverick Region of the Porsche Club of America
Lube for Thought: Lubrication, Part 3 By Mike Mahoney, Region Concours Chair Images courtesy of the Author o far we’ve covered engine S oil, additives, why you need to change your oil, with viscosity being the single most important factor in selecting a lubricant. In this installment let’s discuss synthetics and gear oils. Synthetic lubricants have become mainstream in recent years for one simple reason: synthetic lubricants are the best technology out there today for lubrication. As with most things, there are lots of opinions. I’m not going to get into the various opinions here; however, my opinion after 36 years in the oil business is that synthetic lubricants are far and away the best choice for your Porsche. By the way, Porsche thinks so too! I will add one caveat: your vintage Porsche may be the one exception. Mainly because of those nasty leaks that pop up now and again, predominantly in our vintage cars. It’s just a waste of money if that expensive oil is just going to leak out. Also, there are many mechanics that feel synthetic lubricants cause leaks in older cars simply because of the technology in machining that existed at the time of manufacture. This could be debated for years, and there are always exceptions to the rule. When in doubt consult your trusted Porsche specialist. Newer Porsches use synthetic oil 20 December So what is a synthetic lubricant? Synthetic lubricants can begin as a chemically modified petroleum molecule, or they can be synthesized from other raw materials. There are various categories of base stock, which is the building block of a lubricant. A common and very effective base stock is called PAO or poly-alpha-olefin, which is a polymer made by polymerizing an alpha-olefin. But I digress . . . . These are considered group IV base stocks and are some of the more common synthetic lubricants. Group V are synthetic base stocks that are 100% chemically made, and for the most part, used in applications other than automotive. The simplest way I can explain why synthetics last longer, improve fuel mileage, and extend the life of metal components, is that all the molecules are of similar shape. In a mineral or conventional hydrocarbon-based lubricant, the molecules may be round, but they are not the same size. So it may have basketball, baseball, and golf-ball sized molecules -- all round, just different sizes. In a synthetic, all of the molecules are, let’s say, the size of baseballs. This reduces friction. This in essence is one of the main reasons synthetics perform so well. In addition, through the chemical process, there are no impurities that can contribute to the degradation of oil. Again, when in doubt, consult your Porsche specialist. Next I want to touch on gear oils. We have gear lubricants in various components on our cars, with the gearbox, transaxle, and differential being the main areas. Gear oils are different from engine oils insofar as they are not subjected to the same contamination as engine oil. And because of that, they don’t require the same amount or types of additives. They will have extreme pressure and anti-wear additives, but not detergents or acid neutralizers. So without contamination or heavy additives, the oil lasts longer. Gear oils are typically of higher viscosity to counteract the heat, and are also multi-viscosity to aid in cold startup. In addition, for the most part, the gear oils in your car are all synthetic. This allows them to stay in service much longer. This concludes our series on lubricants. I hope you now have a better understanding of the role oil plays in your car. Look for information about an upcoming Tech Session on lubricants that will be held on January 27 at Park Place Porsche. Additional information will be posted on our Facebook page and sent to you via direct email.
Porsche of the Month Selected by Bill Orr Iris Blue 1994 Porsche 968 Photo by Rob Adams For instruction on how to submit your Porsche photos in the POTM contest go to: http://mav.pca.org/photos/POTM/ October Trivia Questions and Results By Jerry DeFeo Sponsored by Zims Autotechnik You can test your knowledge (or Google search ability) of all things Porsche by participating in the monthly trivia contest posted online at http://mav.pca.org/ trivia. Answers are due by the last day of each month. The winner of the trivia contest receives a $25 gift certificate from our sponsor, Zims Autotechnik. In the case of ties, a random drawing determines the winner. The winner for our October Trivia is Tom Martin who answered all five question correctly. Tom, please contact Kirk at Zim’s to claim your $25 gift certificate. The questions for the October Trivia are shown to the right with the correct answers below. 1. In 1951 Porsche was struggling to meet demand for its cars and needed a proper factory. Which company hired Porsche to do some consulting work to earn the needed funds? a. Ford b. Rambler c. Hudson d. Studebaker Source: Porsche Panorama, Jun 2017, p 4 2. In 1967 Porsche race driver Richard Attwood tells us that the car he was driving at Spa would NOT start. Why would the car (Ferrari) not start? a. Battery was dead b. Starter motor was jammed c. Carbs could not get fuel d. Starter button had a short Source: Porsche Panorama, Jun 2017, p 88 3. In 1994 Porsche had a few items that were unique to the 911 Speedster. Which of the following was NOT one of them? a. Manually operated folding top b. Lower windshield c. Leatherette door panels with leather armrests d. 17” wheels in body color (except Black) Source: Porsche 1994 Fact Book, p 79 4. In 2007 which Maverick was appointed to be the PCA National Awards Chairman? a. James Shoffit b. Linda Bambina c. Jan Mayo d. Wendy Shoffit Source: Porsche Panorama, Feb 2007, p 68 5. In 2008 the Panamera specs were released from Porsche. Which of the following is NOT True? a. Production would be at the Porsche Leipzig facility b. Engines would be built in Stuttgart c. Painted body shells would come from VW d. Parts content would be 82% German Source: Porsche Panorama, Jan 2009, p 38 Answers: 1) d 2) c 3) c 4) c 5) d 21