Redline and Engine Seals

Messages
34,063
Location
Southern NJ
If esters cause seals to swell, what conteracts this when using Redline and can it be harmful to your engine going back and forth with an oil like Redline?
 
Messages
5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
buster, PAOs tend to leach plasticizer out of seals making them brittle. Esters counterract this to some extent in synthetic oils. I was going to ask this in the other current Red Line thread going around. We all know that esters are used as seal swellers/conditioners in other (often PAO synthetic & high-mileage) oils ... but doesn anyone know of a single case where seals were ruined by Red Line or another ester based oil like NEO, Torco, etc ... ? [I dont know] This is a theoretical danger (played up by Mobil 1 on their website) but I know of no examples where this has ever happened. [SPAZ!] --- Bror Jace
 
Messages
9,448
Location
USA
This is just guess. I was thinking that this could be the reason they use some PAO. We have speculated that Redline might be as much as 20% POA. This could be the reason for the PAO. At any rate they must have found a way around this becuase Motul is also a heavy user of Esters and in some cases 100% ester based. I can say this my transmission had no leaks. My Dodge service department always commented on how clean and dry the underside of my trans was. They always comented that my truck was the only 45RFE trans that they had seen that did not leak some fluid out the rear seal! This was with a 50/50 mix of Redline C+ ATF and Dodge ATF+4. I had to take it in like 6 times for them to check recalls and twice for defective emmision equipment. THe evap lines cracked and the gas cap seal went bad.
 
Messages
450
Location
The Bay Area
I sprung a headgasket leak (OIL)in my 01 4.6L F-150 (Ford). They replaced the HG and two weeks later, I notice more oil seeping through. Coincidence? Red Line was in my engine for both leaks. This is the main reason why I'm using Mobil 1, now, in my 03 GT Stang.
 
Messages
5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
Pepper, Which Group III synthetic uses some ester? [Confused] m150, I had a headgasket leak in my Honda Civic ... which had just started using Red Line oil. But I don't see the connection. The motor oil doesn't seem to be in contact with the headgasket enough to be a factor. --- Bror Jace
 
Messages
4,635
Location
The Garden State
mf150, Your head gasket leak was the "famous" or shall I say infamous head gasket leak that plaques mostly 99-2001 5.4's but also some 4.6 motors. I think you'd be hard pressed to blame it on the Redline you used. Whimsey
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,990
Location
Oakville, Ontario
Bror, some people on here have mentioned that Castrol Syntec 5w30 and 10w30 might contain some esters mixed in with their group 3. Not sure how true that might be though.
 
Messages
2,556
Location
Columbus Ohio
quote:
Originally posted by pepper32: If a group III synthetic does not contain PAO, why do some brands use esters? Thanks, Pepper
I think that castrol syntec uses some esters to dissolve the additive package, although they play up the "bonding to engine parts" bit.
 
Messages
5,785
Location
Dixie
Patman, Group III basestocks behave very much like PAO's with regards to seal swell and additive solubility. What is normally done to replace the PAO portion of the basestock blend - typically 80%-85% - with the group III stock. You still need some organic ester to balance out the seal swell characteristics and provide solubility for the additive package. What you are really comparing are PAO/Ester vs Group III/Ester blended basestocks.... On this topic, I highly recommend SAE paper #2000-01-2920, "Formulation Capabilities with API Group III Synthetic Fluids", by Petro Canada. As part of their study, they took a PAO based, 5w-30 synthetic and substituted their group III fluid for the PAO - the add pack remained the same. They then compared the two formulations in taxicabs w/ 4.6L Ford engines; using drain intervals of 12,000km and 20,000km. Engine teardown and oil analysis results were basically identical. There is a fair amount of variability in the performance of Group III fluids. However the best group III basestocks - combined with an optimized additive chemistry - perform very well.
 
Messages
948
Location
Kyiv, Ukraine
We may speak only about eventual problem with seals using esters oil, but its probablity is quite high. Unfortunately it's nearly impossible to get clear answers from esters oil makers that seems don't like to touch this subject or try to avoid giving publicity to certain aspects of their products. I was using Motul 300V when in DuPont brochure on its Viton (fluoroelastomer used in different seals including valve stem seals)I found that despite superior resistance to liquids over other elastomers it is not recommended to use fluoroelastomers with esters, certain ethers and cetones. Then I asked Motul what is the speed of elastomers' ageing in their esters comparatively to mineral and PAO oils and whether it is possible to slow down the process by more frequent oil changes. Motul replied 300V range is not 100 % esters, but 100 % synthesis on the base of esters and therefore fully compatible with elastomers. Unfortunately there were not other comments. Unsatisfied with Motul answer I limited its use by summer only, but after I found a few claims of seal dammage on russian forum I decided to abstain from its use. Necessary to notice that many users are happy with this stuff, so it was concluded that everything depends on a concrete car and applied seals. Avoiding one possible problem I may face another one: what will happen with seals after going back to PAO ? That's why, probably, it is not recommended to change oil manufacturer, quality grade and even oil brand during the whole period of car life.
 
Messages
699
Location
Texas
Bringing up this thread (after searching) to ask Redline users if they have encountered an increase of seal leakage. Does Redline help seals? Thanks!
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
Have a '92 Aerostar with about 110,000 miles on it. I have had Redline ATF in it for about 6000 miles and no leaks. Have had Redline oil in it for about 2700 miles and no leaks. Ran Durablend for many years then a couple loads of Group III oil before the Redline. But the PS unit on this van was seeping and I put Redline in and it got worse.
 
Messages
2,435
Location
Mizzou-land
I have voiced similar concerns several times here in various forms. Clearly, my concerns are from a point of ignorance. I do not know the answer to your question. However, I do know that the answer is related to two factors that prevent the "I used it and my car is fine argument". First, the answer to the question if very much related to the type of seal material. The newer the car, the less of a problem - I think. The newer cars use materials that are tested with higher awareness to the types of lubricants that the engine may see. The second factor is the type of ester. The word "ester" really only describes a single molecular linkage. The oxygen linkage produced from the reaction of an alcohol and an acid. So, "ester" in and of itself is very non descript. It is like saying "is food good for you". Well bacon grease is food, an apple is food, cake is food, beans are food. And, even though we all know that food is a requirement for life, the food question cannot be answered very well without more specificity. It seems as though the number of esters on the lube market is relatively low. I am guessing that most of those reagents have been sufficiently studied to think that there use would not be an issue. However, I am still concerned that the integrity of seals that see different conditioning agents in sequence is not really known. I often use silastic materials in my research. Repeated shrink/swell seem to make them fragile. I do not see a reason why a similar phenomenon could not take place in engine seals. But, I know that I do not know.
 

JAG

Messages
5,320
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
Uh oh, you guys got me started on my Redline woes again. Anyone who's heard my story before can ignore this post. Yes, it sure did cause seal issues in a 2002 Subaru Impreza RS I had...both the engine and the transmission. The worst was the tranny. Soon after I put it in Redline tranny oil, it started dripping out of both front transaxle seals. I 1st noticed because it dripped onto the exhaust and was really stinky. I drove several thousand miles with it leaking out, then put in Valvoline synthetic gear oil and leaking stopped immediately/completely (it never leaked before the Redline either). The engine consistently burnt Redline 10W-30 at about twice the rate of all other oils I tried (synthetic and mineral oils). It burnt 0.9 qts/1000 miles of the Redline which is very significant especially considering the engine's low mileage. I never saw an external leak...I presume extra oil was getting past the unhappy valve seals and getting burnt (the tailpipe was full of thick crud from burning it). So there you have it: Redline CAN cause seal issues. The happy users of it show it doesn't always cause seal issues. It likely depends on the seal materials/vehicle.
 
Messages
283
Location
uk
Taken from an interview with Motul Esters will find a leak because its polarized the oil is attracted to bare surfaces and is trying to spread to wherever there isn't any oil. Thus if you have a weak gasket, a good synthetic oil will capillary or migrate through a weak gasket.
 
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