A d v a n c e d A u t o M a i n t e n a n c e
Engine oil dos and doníts...
Whether you use conventional engine oil filtration only or bypass engine oil filtration as well, the following points regarding engine oil are important for getting the best performance and service life from your vehicleís engine:
Maintain the engine oil at the correct level on the dipstickÖ
Keeping the engine oil at the correct level on the dipstick is an extremely important part of caring for your engine which will pay big dividends in maximising the service life of your engine and help you to avoid expensive problems.
You can find complete coverage of whatís required to maintain the engine oil at the correct level in the section titled, Checking the Engine Oil Level.
Use high-quality engine oilÖ
Use a high-quality engine oil suited to your vehicle. Consult the ownerís manual for your vehicle for the specification of the correct type of oil to use for your vehicle. If youíre in any doubt, you can ask your mechanic for advice or inquire at your local automotive parts shop.
The different types of engine oil available make for quite a complex subject so itís worth spending some time asking questions to ensure that you obtain the oil thatís best suited to your particular vehicle. Additionally, because it really is best if you choose one specific brand and type of oil to use and stick with that, it makes sense to spend some time up-front making sure that you choose the best oil for your vehicle.
Avoid mixing different types of engine oil...
If at any time you decide to change the type of engine oil you use, itís a good idea to use an engine oil flush and drain out all of the old type of oil before refilling with the new type of oil. Although itís technically possible to mix different brands and types of oil, itís not something I would do or recommend. Different brands and types of oil have different characteristics which were intentionally built into the oils by their manufacturers. To mix brands and types of oil is to end up oil in your engine with uncertain and possibly ineffective characteristics.
Synthetic oil results in less friction and better fuel economyÖ
High-quality synthetic oils offer considerably less friction than conventional, lower quality oils and will result in an increase in fuel economy and power when needed. Furthermore, Nulon manufacture synthetic engine oils that offer almost a third less friction than comparable quality synthetic engine oils, which is why I personally use Nulon 100% Synthetic 15W-50 Street & Track High Performance Engine Oil in my vehicleís engine.
Always check with your ownerís manual and with your mechanic or your local automotive parts shop before using synthetic engine oil because it may be too thin to protect your engine from wear, especially if you have an older vehicle which is designed to run on mineral oil.
Use an engine oil flush whenever you change the oilÖ
Use a high-quality engine oil flush made by a company such as Nulon whenever draining and replacing the oil in order to rid the engine of as much foreign matter as possible. An engine oil flush is a liquid solvent that is poured into the engine via the oil cap prior to draining the oil. Itís very important to allow the oil level to decrease below the full mark on the dipstick in the week leading up to the use of the oil flush so that adding the flush wonít result in over-filling the engine oil.
By running the engine at idle speed for a few minutes, the oil flush circulating with the oil helps to clean the insides of the engine and ensure that a greater proportion of contaminants inside the engine are removed when the oil is subsequently drained. Note that itís beneficial for the engine to already be at operating temperature before adding the oil flush. This promotes better cleaning by the oil flush throughout the engine. In any case, please follow the directions for the oil flush you use carefully since itís often important not to leave the flush in the engine for longer than directed due to its strong cleaning action.
Nulon make an excellent engine oil flush which is called, funnily enough, ĎEngine Oil Flushí. This is a company that can be relied upon for consistently high-quality products.
If youíre using bypass engine oil filtration, itís not as important to use an engine oil flush when the oil is eventually drained after a long period of time since most of the contaminants generated by the operation of the engine have been captured in the bypass filter. However itís still good practice to use an oil flush if bypass filtration is used.
If youíre relying only on conventional full-flow filtration without the use of bypass filtration, it is very important to the ongoing health of your engine to use an engine oil flush when changing the oil. Without it, a lot of dirt and sludge will remain inside the engine ready to quickly contaminate the fresh oil that you pour in to replace the drained oil.
Use a PTFE-based additive in the engine oil to reduce friction and wearÖ
Use a high-quality PTFE-based (i.e. polytetrafluoroethylene) additive in the engine oil to further reduce friction, wear, noise and improve performance. PTFE is the slipperiest substance known and it actually impregnates the friction surfaces of engine components to reduce friction and reduce wear.
I use and recommend Nulonís Performance Engine Treatment. Iíve consistently found that the performance of the engine improves dramatically almost immediately after this product is added. Noise is significantly reduced and thereís absolutely no doubt that this additive gives rise to smoother engine operation by reducing friction. You can literally feel the difference this product makes.
Itís very important to be aware that when a vehicleís engine is started in the morning after not having been driven since the previous day, it takes up to thirty seconds for the oil pressure in the engine to increase to the level thatís needed to protect the moving parts from wear. Because all of the oil has drained down into the sump at the very bottom of the engine since the previous day, engine components are left unprotected when the engine is started until the oil pressure has had a chance to build up by virtue of the operation of the oil pump.
The direct metal-to-metal contact between engine components without sufficient (or any) lubrication from engine oil on starting the engine results in excessive engine wear. However, PTFE-based engine treatments such as Nulonís Performance Engine Treatment minimise this kind of wear. The PTFE fluoropolymer particles that have already been impregnated in the friction surfaces of the engine components dramatically reduce friction and wear when these components come into direct metal-to-metal contact with each other.
Nulonís Performance Engine Treatment isnít an oil additive but a metal treatment that minimises friction between metal components, even in the absence of any lubrication from oil. Because so much engine wear occurs when the engine is started for the first time since the previous day, itís very important to use this kind of treatment to minimise this kind of wear.
If conventional full-flow engine oil filtration is used without additional bypass filtration, this kind of engine treatment should be added soon after each engine oil change through the oil filler hole when the oil is still clean. (Be sure to only fill the engine oil to half-way between the minimum and maximum marks on the engine oil dipstick before adding this treatment so as not to over-fill the engine oil when itís added.)
If bypass filtration is used in addition to full-flow filtration, this kind of engine treatment should be added to the engine every 6 months or 10,000 kilometres (6,000 miles), whichever comes first. (Be sure to allow the oil level to decline to half-way between the minimum and maximum marks on the engine oil dipstick before adding this treatment so as not to over-fill the engine oil when itís added.)
Copyright 2016 Andrew Mackinnon. All rights reserved.