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How Engine Wear & Deposits Kill Horsepower

Common Engine Wear & Deposits Will Kill Horsepower

Most people equate engine wear and deposits with a sudden, catastrophic engine failure that leaves you stranded alongside the road. In reality, wear and deposits are more likely to erode engine power and efficiency over time. Here’s how it works and what you can do about it.

Engine compression = power

For your engine to produce maximum power, the combustion chamber must seal completely during the compression and combustion strokes. Wear and deposits can prevent the valves or piston rings from sealing, allowing pressurized gases to escape the combustion chamber and take potential engine power with them.

To illustrate, imagine using a hydraulic floor jack. Pumping the handle will raise the vehicle as long as the release valve is tightly seated and doesn’t leak. A poorly sealed release valve, however, allows pressure to escape, causing the vehicle to sink to the ground no matter how much you pump the jack handle.

The same principle applies inside your engine. If some of the pressure created during the compression and combustion strokes is lost due to valves and piston rings that don’t seal completely, the engine will create less power.

engine wear identified

Wear & deposits reduce compression

Over time, deposits or valve wear can prevent the valves from closing completely, interfering with a good seal. Wear can also interfere with proper valve operation, disrupting optimum fuel/air flow.

If the piston rings do not seal tightly against the cylinder wall, pressurized combustion gases can escape past the rings and enter the crankcase, taking potential power with it.

Worn or stuck piston rings produce the same effect. The rings are designed to move freely in their grooves and press tightly against the cylinder wall. They should form a seal that prevents fuel/air from escaping. Ring wear can interfere with formation of a tight seal. Likewise, deposit buildup can cause the rings to stick in their grooves, also preventing a good seal. As a result, some fuel/air escapes the combustion chamber during compression, reducing power. On the combustion stroke, pressurized gases can blow by the rings and travel down the cylinder wall and into the oil sump, taking potential power with them. This is what’s meant when someone says an engine has lost compression.

(Check out our 5 Ways to Boost Horsepower for Under $500)

AMSOIL Signature Series helps prevent the problem

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil provides…

  • 75 percent more engine protection against horsepower loss and wear*
  • 90% better protection against sludge **

Its outstanding performance helps prevent deposits and wear that rob engines of horsepower, helping preserve that like-new feeling you crave when driving.

FIND AMSOIL PRODUCTS FOR MY VEHICLE

*Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 0W-20, in ASTM D6891 as required by the API SN specification.

**Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the ASTM D6593 engine test for oil screen plugging as required by the API SN specification.

Signature Series Beyond Their So Called Clean

Signature Series cleans up the competition

In general, the higher an oil’s TBN, the better its ability to neutralize contaminants such as combustion by-products and acidic materials. Higher TBN oils neutralize a greater amount of acidic material, which results in longer oil life and cleaner engines.

TBN levels decrease as the oil remains in service. When the level reaches a point where it can no longer protect against corrosion, the oil must be changed.

The TBN Test

The Total Base Number Test (ASTM D2896) uses a series of chemical reactions to measure the alkaline additives in a motor oil. We recognize the value of formulating motor oils with high TBN, and AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil features the highest TBN of the oils tested.

AMSOIL Signature Series is fortified with a heavy treatment of detergent additive and it delivers 30% more acid neutralizing power1 than Mobil 1, and 36% more than Royal Purple, helping engines to stay cleaner, longer.

The AMSOIL Advantage

AMSOIL synthetic lubricants feature a large dose of quality additives that consistently deliver high TBN for the life of the oil. They neutralize acidic contaminants and keep them in suspension to maximize engine protection. AMSOIL lubricants use detergent and dispersant additives to significantly reduce sludge and carbon deposit formation. In the Total Base Number Test (ASTM D2896), AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil demonstrated the highest TBN of the oils featured in the test, helping it deliver reliable protection for extended drain intervals. One thing the test doesn’t show is our detergent lasts longer. You can see that for yourself when you pull your own oil analysis.

Aftermarket Additives – Did you know?

Just by adding your aftermarket oil additive meant to help with “something”, these additives are used because the user believes it offers an additional attribute which the base motor oil does not offer. With AMSOIL you never need to do this. Anything offered on the market was reviewed often decades ago and if it offers some advantage it will be in the AMSOIL product. If not you risk neutralizing additives such as the detergents which make up the largest part of the price of AMSOIL other than the base oil.

There are several additives which took decades of knowledge to get them to perform together without nullifying the benefits. That’s what aftermarket additives do, they often make a good oil worse than bad. After the additive is added you may have just been better off getting your oil at the dollar store or just using the used oil out of your sisters old Saturn.  (Assuming it still runs because she didn’t use any of these caustic additives)..

Research the brand and even their address

Note – research the company you buy the additive from. One very big one which in the 60’s had their name on Indy cars, etc has been on the FTC’s warning site more than once and has actually been bought and sold no less than 6 times. Each time it becomes a totally different product. Others actually do some good  but at the same time are causing a greater negative in the oil somewhere else.

1Based upon independent testing of Mobil 1 Annual Protection Full Synthetic 5W-30, Royal Purple High Performance 5W-30 and AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in ASTM D2896. Oils purchased 05/03/18.

See why Tiffany Stone is Into Jeeps

So just why is it that Tiffany Stone is Into Jeeps

And who is Tiffany Stone I guess is the first question?

Spot Tiffany Stone at any event and you know you’re in good company.

Her infectious enthusiasm and likability draw attention no matter if she is at an American Rally Association race or at King of the Hammers, where we recently caught up with her.

It’s no wonder we chose her for our February Company of Enthusiasts feature.

How Tiffany Stone got her start

Stone started out as an umbrella girl for Toyo Tires.

She then transitioned to Chrysler as a presenter, where she learned about the history and heritage of the Chrysler corporation.

Eventually she entered the off-road scene as an event host for TORC races, which led her out west into the desert. There, she immersed herself in the world of Ultra-4 trucks and developed her passion for building off-road vehicles.

See more on her story below.

 

When catching up with Tiffany Stone at King of the Hammers, we asked her to give us a few #TStoneRules to live by.

Check out some of our favorites below.

#81) Your fears are just a state of mind. Don’t ever let them define you. You define your fears!

Traveling along with the Trail to Sema in 2018, Stone found herself driving her Jeep along the Moab Rim, a trail that’s not for stock vehicles or inexperienced drivers.

Stone used this experience to help conquer her fear of heights and fuel her adrenaline.

#36) When someone tells you to suit up for the job, you suit up. Never miss an opportunity to grow.

Whether riding in a pace truck or pre-running with a T1 team during King of the Hammers, Stone is up for the challenge. She never misses an opportunity to immerse herself in the job at hand to learn and grow.

#20) When some of your happiest moments are spent at the race track, you know you’re doing something right.

And that does seem to be where Stone is her happiest. From Crandon to Portland International to Hammertown, you’ll find her slaying interviews and bringing you all the behind-the-scenes action.

#1) You’re awesome. Remember that.

No explanation needed.

Up next for Ms. February is the Mint 400. Stay tuned to our Instagram stories to catch her in action!

Save Every Drop of Horsepower with UPPER CYLINDER LUBRICANT

AMSOIL UPPER CYLINDER LUBRICANT:  I use it and it works!

Now on the market for about a year: AMSOIL Upper Cylinder Lubricant (UCL) is the latest addition to the gasoline additive lineup. It delivers more lubricity than the competition and battles ethanol-related corrosion.

Fuel Additive Product Overview

Upper cylinders are one of the toughest areas of an engine to lubricate due to the intense heat of combustion and the design of today’s vehicles. New AMSOIL Upper Cylinder Lubricant delivers a much-needed layer of protection to this trouble area to help fight piston-ring and cylinder wear, maximizing engine compression and horsepower. Its lubricity improvers aid in protecting fuel injectors and other fuel-system components from wear, helping ensure excellent performance and long life.

Plus, it really works. AMSOIL Upper Cylinder Lubricant delivers 18 percent more lubricity than Lucas* and 20 percent more than Sea Foam* for better retention of horsepower and fuel economy. ¹

Inhibits Corrosion

Upper Cylinder Lubricant uses potent corrosion inhibitors to coat metal surfaces, block out moisture and stop deterioration before it starts. This is particularly important when using gasoline that contains ethanol due to its propensity to attract water and hasten corrosion. Inhibiting corrosion maximizes component life and reduces wear in the engine’s top-end to guard against compression loss and maintain optimum power.

Keeps Injectors Clean

Upper Cylinder Lubricant contains detergent additives designed to maintain injector cleanliness. It’s designed to work in concert with AMSOIL P.i. Performance Improver (API) to maintain injector and combustion-chamber cleanliness, retain fuel-economy and performance gains and maximize component life.

Capless-Compatible Packaging

The AMSOIL Upper Cylinder Lubricant bottle is fully compatible with capless fuel systems. Many new vehicles have replaced traditional fuel caps with capless systems. The threads on most bottles restrict them from opening the flap inside the fuel neck and also make removing the bottle difficult. Our packaging makes it easy to insert, pour and remove the bottle.

 

¹ Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Upper Cylinder Lubricant, Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Sea Foam Motor Treatment obtained on 02/13/2019 using the ASTM D6079 modified for use with gasoline.

User Comments:

I’ve been using this for almost a year now.  In my Ford Focus which is the 2.0 non-turbo I can now use 10% ethanol and get over 40 MPG! I drive from Sioux Falls to Omaha and back often so I can see a difference. It seems the only logical reason this happens is the better lubricity in the head and cylinder ring area. There must be a good amount of friction there. And the parts of the lubricant perhaps seal the rings and valves better as well as the valve stem.

As soon as I get 1000 miles on my Corvair (new engine and heads) I’ll try this as there is even greater friction on horizontal cylinders. It seems to sort of work like lead once did.

If you are going on a long trip keep this in the tank for maximum efficiency. The upper cylinder areas need lubrication. Adding this to the fuel relieves more stress from the engine thus better long term efficiency.

The best way to buy is by the case reducing the price low enough to only cost pennies per tank of gasoline.  Thus we keep several cases in stock for your use.

Find out more about this newer AMSOIL product Upper Cyl Lube!

A Simple Way To Fight Cylinder-Liner Cavitation

A SIMPLE WAY TO FIGHT CYLINDER-LINER CAVITATION

In extreme cases, cylinder-liner cavitation in diesels can allow oil and coolant to mix. Then it’s just a matter of time until engine failure. Here’s what you can do to help ensure that doesn’t happen.

Most diesel engines are designed with replaceable cast-iron cylinder liners that are pressed into the engine block. While this doesn’t apply to turbodiesel pickups, it affects heavy-duty over-the-road trucks and other diesels. The piston moves up and down inside the liner, while a jacket of coolant surrounds the outside of the liner to cool the engine.

How cylinder-liner cavitation occurs

When the engine is running, the pistons move vertically inside their liners several thousand times per minute. Meanwhile, the rotary motion of the crankshaft applies a thrust force through the connecting rods to the piston. These contradictory movements cause the pistons to hammer the liners, causing significant vibration, similar to the effect of ringing a bell. This vibration can cause air bubbles to form in the coolant surrounding the liner.

When the bubbles rupture, they direct a high-pressure stream of coolant at the liner. Like a rushing river carving away a canyon wall, the coolant can erode the liner until cavities form. Left unchecked, these cavities can keeping growing and eventually penetrate the liner, allowing oil and coolant to mix. Once that happens, it’s only a matter of time before the engine fails.

Prevention is the best practice when it comes to cavitation. That task falls on the engine coolant, and there are two ways formulators typically design engine coolant to fight cavitation.

How Cylinder Liner Cavitation Occurs
Imploding bubbles direct high-pressure
coolant toward the cylinder liner, creating
cavities through which the coolant can enter
and mix with oil, damaging the engine.

The old-fashioned way

For years, formulators have added metallic salts, like nitrites and molybdenates, to coolant that attach themselves to the liner and form a sacrificial layer. When the coolant bubbles implode, the metallic salts absorb the pressure and break off from the liner surface rather than the metal itself. Metallic salts naturally deplete over time, meaning motorists must replenish them periodically by adding a supplemental coolant additive (SCA) to the coolant reservoir, typically midway through the service interval. Unfortunately, this is often overlooked.

The better way

The trend in the coolant market – and the strategy we use at AMSOIL – is to eliminate adding an SCA by formulating coolant with organic acid technology (OAT). The chemistry of OAT coolants passivates the liner surface, which coats it in a thin, inert layer that provides protection against cavitation and corrosion. Unlike old-fashioned metallic salts, the additives in OAT coolants last much longer, meaning you don’t have to replenish the system with an SCA. Modern OAT coolants also help fight problems associated with old fashioned “green” coolants, like scaling and additive drop-out (which leads to “slime” in your coolant system) due to incompatibility issues.

Coolant Maintenance is Key – Don’t forget about the most forgotten system

Aside from using an OAT coolant, it’s good practice to check your coolant level periodically. Also, make sure to check the pH and glycol levels annually. Glycol is important to the level of freeze protection and the coolant’s boiling point. Over time, the water can evaporate from the system and increase glycol concentration, throwing off the coolant’s balance. Perform fluid analysis once a year for best performance. We offer that service through Oil Analyzers INC. (www.oaitesting.com). We also offer antifreeze test strips (G1165).

Using AMSOIL Heavy Duty Antifreeze & Coolant (ANTHD) and taking care of your diesel’s cooling system go a long way toward avoiding the financial pain of fixing an engine ruined by cylinder-liner cavitation.

We keep this one in the Omaha store due to requests. If you need more than a case of four we can have it delivered next day or shipped to your home.

  • Pre-mixed 50/50 with high-purity water.
  • Fully formulated: DOES NOT require the use of supplemental coolant additives (SCAs) or excenders.
  • All-organic formulation is further enhanced with anti-scalant, anti-fouling and water-pump lubrication additives.
  • Phosphate-, nitrate-, nitrite-, silicate-, borate and amine-free.
  • Boil-over protection up to 265 F (129 °C) with a 15 psi radiator cap.
  • Freeze protection down to – 34 F (-37 °C)