Why Does Your Mini Need Supercharger Oil?by schearerswpadmin August 3, 2019
Most people suspect there is a difference between one kind of automobile engine oil and another, but most could not tell you what the difference is. If they were asked to compare one type to another, they would be hard pressed to even come up with the kind of adjectives to use other than “dark” and “oily.” So, when your mechanic tells you that you should use supercharger oil, the only thing that sounds like is super-expensive oil that you are going to have drained out and replaced every 3,000 miles anyway.
There is a lot more to it than that, and here is a brief description of what supercharger oil is and how it helps your Mini run better.
What is a supercharger?
Superchargers are compressor devices that increase the mixture of fuel and air in automobile engines. This allows them to achieve greater efficiency in their combustion processes. Combustion requires both fuel and oxygen to work, and by increasing the oxygen level in the engine, the same amount of fuel produces more power from the engine.
Superchargers are different from turbochargers (or turbo-superchargers) in that the turbocharger takes its energy directly from the exhaust gasses affecting a turbine. The supercharger is powered by a separate belt or chain-drive that connects mechanically to the crankshaft. In short, the supercharger has a lot more gears that crank to give you that extra compressed air.
One of the hallmarks of superchargers in Minis is the unique sound it produces when operated. It has been described as a whining noise that signals a powerful and efficient engine at work. The Mini’s engine runs on oil, and the supercharger, with all those extra gears, has its own separate oil reservoir that must be maintained as well.
What is Supercharger Oil?
Supercharger oil goes in the supercharger oil reservoir and works to lubricate those special gears inside. Since this particular component is dealing with forced air and heat from the combustion chamber, its gears are more susceptible to losing their lubrication. It takes a specialty synthetic oil to keep the supercharger from getting dry.
When it becomes dry, friction builds up causing more heat, drying it out even faster. It does not take long for this to turn to sludge, gum up the works of your supercharger, and ruin it beyond repair. Some people have tried to use regular synthetic oil in their superchargers, but the oil that is meant for regular motors will not keep a supercharger lubricated the way supercharger oil can and will do for you.
How does it help your Mini?
The thing that makes Minis so unique and popular is that they are uniquely built as small race cars for the general driving population. The focus of their design is not just speed. As it is with most race cars, power, efficiency, and handling all play into their incredible design.
If you lose the function of your supercharger, you lose engine efficiency, which means it takes more fuel (and more time) to produce the same amount of power in the engine. This effectively reduces engine power altogether. Reducing engine power changes the way that the car handles. While handling involves tires, steering, and many other factors that give you traction on the road in all weather conditions, if you do not have the power to push forward quickly with that traction, your lost time may leave openings for slipping and sliding. Essentially, if you lose your supercharger, you lose a great deal of what makes a Mini so unique and popular.
What if you don’t use it?
If you do not use supercharger oil and get it changed according to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, you can expect to lose functionality in your supercharger. You will lose power, efficiency, and it could cause other problems in your engine as well.
Can you change the supercharger oil yourself?
You can try, but if you expect it to be like a regular oil change, you will be sadly mistaken. Changing oil in the supercharger involves taking the supercharger off, draining it out, inspecting multiple plugs, and filling it back up before re-attaching it to the engine. It requires more time, space, and equipment to do this properly.
If you have further questions about your Mini’s supercharger or need maintenance on it, contact Schearer’s Sales and Service, Inc. for high quality, expert assistance on your Mini. Their superb technicians will have you back on track in no time flat.