Total BASE Number
Alkaline additives are used to neutralise the acidic components that can form during the combustion process. The additives also offer other performance- enhancing properties, including detergency. Base numbers place a pre- determined value on the amount of alkaline additives.
Engine oils usually begin with a relatively high base number which decreases over time. Occasionally, base numbers can also be used to establish oil drain intervals and are primarily used in monitoring the condition of marine diesel engine oils where very high sulphur fuels are often used.

Causes Effects
Overheating Increased acid number
Over extended oil drain Oil degradation
Improper oil type Corrosion of metal parts
High sulphur fuel Increased wear
Recommendations
Use low sulphur fuel
Follow manufacturer's recommended drain interval
Check quality of fuel
Use correct oil type
Decrease oil drain interval if used in severe service

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