Advantages & Disadvantages Of Lubrication Systems

In this article, I will share with you some of the advantages and disadvantages of lubrication systems.


Before I share with you this information, there is something important you should know about lubrication systems.


Type of lubrication systems;

There are several types of lubrication systems which include;

  1. Splash lubrication system.
  2. Petroil lubrication system.
  3. Pressure lubrication system.
  4. Semi-pressure lubrication system.
  5. Wet sump lubrication system.
  6. Dry-sump lubrication system.


1. Splash lubrication system.

This type of lubrication system uses a dipper which is usually dipped in an oil bath and connected to the moving parts of the machine.


As the machine rotates, the dipper splashes oil on the channels of the machine that direct that oil to the lubrication points.


This system of lubrication requires correct levels of oil in the oil bath as excessive oil will result in turbulence that will end up leading to leakages.


The splash lubrication system requires the enclosure of the mechanism to be lubricated.


The enclosure of this system is necessary since there is no filtration of the oil as it’s being splashed to the moving parts of the machine, and this will also prevent contamination of the oil.


Advantages of the splash lubrication system.

  1. The splash lubrication system offers a wide range of speeds but not for very fast-moving machines.
  2. It’s simple as it only has a few parts which makes it very much easier and cheap to use.
  3. They use little oil in this lubrication system as it only splashes droplets of oils on the moving parts of the machine.
  4. A splash lubrication system is effective for smaller engines and pumps that run at low speeds.


Disadvantages of the splash lubrication system.

  1. Splash lubrication doesn’t provide sufficient oil lubrication to the engine cylinder since some of the splashed oil doesn’t reach the points of lubrication.
  2. Wear and tear of the dipper is something that is experienced in the splash lubrication system.
  3. Splash lubrication can’t work on high revving engines as the oil sump will be frothy mousse.


2. Petroil lubrication system.

Another name for the petroil lubrication system is the mist lubrication system.


This type of lubrication works in 2-stroke engines. It involves mixing oil and petroil at a certain ratio.


The ratio can be 2% and 5% depending on the engine it’s fed to.


Disadvantages of petroil lubrication system.

  1. Petroil lubrication system causes clogging of the passage to carburettor if the oil is unused for a considerable period since it becomes separated from the petrol.
  2. Overuse of oil in petroil lubrication system lowers octane no which results in poor performance of the engine.
  3. Petroil lubrication system causes pollution since the oil is burnt with petrol when the engine is working.
  4. Petroil lubrication system is not effective in large engines.
  5. It forms deposits on the piston crown and exhaust port, which affect engine efficiency.
  6. Petroil lubrication system starves the engine of lubrication during closed throttling (when the vehicle moves down the hill) which causes wear and tear of the pistons during the starvation.


Advantage of petroil lubrication system.

  • It uses a little space.


3. Pressure lubrication system.

This system of lubrication has a pressure pump on the common oil reservoir that pumps the oil to the lubrication points via pipes.


The pump of this lubrication system is driven by a rotating shaft connected to the moving parts of the machine being lubricated.


The oil flow in this system starts and stops as the machine starts and stops.


Advantages of the pressure lubrication system.

  1. The oil entering the system is filtered, preventing other foreign particles from entering the engine.
  2. There is an economical use of oil since there is a reuse of the oil within the system.
  3. It uses a wide range of oil as the viscosity of the oil is not an issue in the pressure lubrication system.
  4. A pressure lubrication system offers sufficient lubrication to the moving parts of the machine since it pumps the oil via the pipes to the exact points of lubrication.
  5. It also has a compact design lubrication system.


Disadvantages of the pressure lubrication system.

  1. It’s costlier compared to the splash lubrication system as it needs the use of pumps and enough oil.
  2. It occupies a large space due to the presence of the oil tank.
  3. The pressure system is not efficient for larger engines e.g. Ambassador, Jeep and Ashok Leyland.


4. Semi-pressure lubrication system.

This is a lubrication system that involves the use of two lubrication systems which are splash and pressure lubrication systems.


Some of the parts in the engine that use this system are lubricated by splash while others by the use of a pressure lubrication system.


We use this type of lubrication system in heavy-bearing loads machines.


Advantages of the semi-pressure lubrication system.

  • It’s less costly when it comes to its installation.
  • It provides sufficient oil lubrication since if two systems serve different needs of the machine lubrication.


Disadvantages of semi-pressure lubrication.

  • Failure of the pump will result in starvation in some parts of the machine (no lubrication).


5. Wet sump lubrication system.

This system of lubrication contains a pump that is used to pressurize the oil from the oil sump and moves it via the pipes the points of lubrication.


The excess oil in the system returns to the oil sump by the action of gravity.


Advantages of wet-sump lubrication.

  1. It’s simpler in design compared to the dry-sump lubrication system.
  2. A wet-sump lubrication system is economical since it allows the reuse of oil.
  3. It provides better cooling since oil circulates within the system.


Disadvantages of the wet-sump lubrication system.

  • Failure of the pump will cause starvation at the points of lubrication.


6. Dry sump lubrication system.

This type of lubrication also contains a pump that is used to pressurize the oil and moves it to the lubricating points.


The pump draws oil from the reservoir and supplies it to the parts that need it and it’s continuously replenished by the scavenging pump, which sucks oil from the sump.


Since the scavenging pump has a higher power compared to the pressure pump, it keeps the sump completely dry, hence the name ‘dry sump’.


Advantages of the dry-sump lubrication system.

  • Keeps the oil from soaking the crankshaft, which lowers the horsepower of the engine.
  • It can accommodate any size and shape of the sump.


The disadvantage of dry sump lubrication.

  • The same case applies to this lubrication system, failure of the pressure pump will result in starvation of the engine from lubrication.


If you have any additional points or questions, kindly leave your comment in the comment section.





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