RESTORE Engine Restorer for a 13 lacrosse w/VVT Ecotec engine

M2Bradley

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Hello guys! I need some advice for my 2013 buick lacrosse (it’s the 2.4 ecotec that’s like a mild hybrid). Please help me out & anybody chime in with their expertise/experience/opinion!

The vehicle has significant compression loss on 2 cylinders…(specifically the compression test reads that cylinder 1 is 160, 2 is 142, 3 is 100 & 4 is 110). The car still runs fine but is obviously on its last legs.

So after scouring the internet…I’ve come across a product called RESTORE Engine Restorer. I have one major concern with this product that I read from a website from the United Kingdom stating:

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“RESTORE is safe to use in standard (mechanical) VVT engines, but we do not recommend using Engine Restorer in engines that utilise high pressure engine oil to actuate or regulate the valve timing functions. These engines that use the engine oil as a hydraulic fluid to adjust cam phasing are referred to often as VVTi (Variable Valve Timing Intelligent) engines, but car manufacturers have their own nomenclature for their VVT systems, like BMW VANOS and dual VANOS, Honda VTEC and iVTEC, Mitsubishi MIVEC, Subaru ACVS and AVLS, Fiat MultiAir, Toyota VVTi etc. They all rely very heavily on clean oil of the correct viscosity to provide adequate oil pressure to control the valve timing. Engine sensors are programmed to detect changes in oil viscosity that might suggest dirt, metal debris or contaminants in the oil that could clog oil-ways, contaminate solenoids and cause valve timing to malfunction. The CSL particles in each can of Engine Restorer would be detected by these sensors, triggering the ECU to show an engine management light and possibly engine codes; the engine will run erratically and stall repeatedly - all warnings to stop the engine immediately and not to drive the car until the oil and filter have been changed to remove the Engine Restorer (or other contaminants), and refilled with the recommended specification of oil for your car

If you want to use RESTORE in a Standard (mechanical) VVT engine, clean the engine well beforehand using a proprietary flushing oil before refilling with fresh oil of the correct specification and fitting a new OEM oil filter. As an extra precaution, you can feed Engine Restorer into these engines slowly over the course of 30 minutes to 1 hour at tick-over to allow the CSL particles to circulate freely without overwhelming the narrow oil passages in these engines. If you are unsure whether your engine uses engine oil as a hydraulic fluid to actuate the VVT, call your main dealer for verification before adding RESTORE”
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That bit of information there has made me a little hesitant & worried to try it out. I’m thinking of draining out my current old oil, put in Pennzoil Platinum with a bottle of Amsoil engine flush & then drain again & fill her up with some conventional oil along with the Engine Restore but very slowly (like 30-60mins as the article says).

What do you folks think I should do? I don’t mind the cost of the Pennzoil & Amsoil because my brother gifts me a ton of those every now & then.

My major concern is if there’s a possibility of doing any irreversible damage instead of good on the buick lacrosse’s ECOTEC VVT engine!? Or is this only a concern to more complex VVT engines like in japanese & German cars?

Please chime in fellas!!!
 
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I’ve used restore on one engine in particular years ago, a 73 VW bus that couldn’t make it over 20 mph. restore brought up the compression enough to reach 30 mph or so, and I drove it that way around town for a few months. The compression was shot. The stuff does work, though after attempting a hill climb and getting hot, it would burn out and need a few drive cycles to build back up. So, it’s not a total waste, but it’s very crude.

im not familiar with how precise the valve timing apparatus in the Buick is. if you intend to drive it to scrap, give Restore a shot. If you might have the engine rebuilt, I wouldn’t use it, id put a 20-50 oil in it and keep going.

did the compression test evaluate wet and dry? Wet and dry would tell you if it’s rings or valves. Restore wont help if it’s valves, but valves are easily done with a head rebuild.

m
 

M2Bradley

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I’ve used restore on one engine in particular years ago, a 73 VW bus that couldn’t make it over 20 mph. restore brought up the compression enough to reach 30 mph or so, and I drove it that way around town for a few months. The compression was shot. The stuff does work, though after attempting a hill climb and getting hot, it would burn out and need a few drive cycles to build back up. So, it’s not a total waste, but it’s very crude.

im not familiar with how precise the valve timing apparatus in the Buick is. if you intend to drive it to scrap, give Restore a shot. If you might have the engine rebuilt, I wouldn’t use it, id put a 20-50 oil in it and keep going.

did the compression test evaluate wet and dry? Wet and dry would tell you if it’s rings or valves. Restore wont help if it’s valves, but valves are easily done with a head rebuild.

m
Hi, thanks for your reply! Someone else said I should use a different type of oil too… something like 0w-40. I live in Florida so I don’t know how much I can get away with by changing the viscosity by that much!

I don’t know if it was wet or dry when they did it. What do I ask them to determine if it was a wet or dry compression test result?
 
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Restore is micronized lead, copper and silver in an oil base. It’s sure to wreak havoc on a modern engine with hydraulic VVT phasers and engine oil-operated chain tensioner. But then again, if a new engine or new car is in the works, you don’t have too much to lose either.

The GM VVT system works similarly to Toyota and Ford, pretty much anything that doesn’t use electric phasers(like Mercedes S420/500/600 and the E400/500 and SL500/600 from the 1990s, Toyota VVT-iE). It uses engine oil to operate the phasers via a PWM controlled electro hydraulic solenoid.
 
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Hi, thanks for your reply! Someone else said I should use a different type of oil too… something d like 0w-40. I live in Florida so I don’t know how much I can get away with by changing the viscosity by that much!

I don’t know if it was wet or dry when they did it. What do I ask them to determine if it was a wet or dry compression test result?
At worst, a thicker oil will delay VVT actuation, which you might not even notice with that compression. i wouldn’t keep a 0 weight oil. 10-40 or 20-50. In Florida that shouldn’t be a problem either.

regarding the compression test, it means they did it twice… and the second time they’d put a splash of oil in the cylinders. Oil would seep against the rings. If the numbers improves, it would indicate the rings were worn because the oil would be slowing the leakage. If there was minimal difference, it means the leaking is above in the valves. I’d ask if they tested the compression wet and dry, and if they don’t know what that means you could explain with and without a splash of oil in the cylinders. Chances are, if they had done it, they would have told you, unfortunately. However, it would be worth having someone do that, because a cylinder head R&R would breathe new life into the car for much less money than a rebuild
 
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Simply because Restore clearly explains that it is not compatible with features your engine has- I say do not use it. You may try a high mileage 10w/40 oil and maybe toss a qt of Lucas in there just to see if it helps.
 
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Simply because Restore clearly explains that it is not compatible with features your engine has- I say do not use it. You may try a high mileage 10w/40 oil and maybe toss a qt of Lucas in there just to see if it helps.
GMboy has some good advice I like to add seafoam and then drain after 1000 miles, rinse and repeat as required
 
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How many miles on this Buick? How often was the oil changed? What are the chances that compression is less than ideal due to stuck/seized rings? Might be worthwhile to take the oil pan off and take a look at any deposits in there.

If it were my car, I'd run a good engine cleaner in with the oil then do a couple very short OCIs with a good quality synth that has some esters in it. I'd take the valve cover off and see before and after if there's a change to the way the metals look (ie, dirty to clean).

Then I'd use the correct spec oil and have the compression tested again.
 
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I used RESTORE in my 1976 Buick Electra 225 back in 1990 and it did absolutely nothing except lighten my wallet. I put it in at the start of a 600 mile trip and no improvements in anything.
 
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Restore product has it's place, but I doubt it will do anything positive in this application.

The engine in your vehicle has Direct Injection, if my memory serves me well. If that's the case - my bet is on carboned up intake valves. Walnut blasting should take care of that much cheaper than a head rebuild, or full engine rebuild.
 
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Look into DMSO. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyl_sulfoxide I know a couple of posters at E46 Fanatics (the E46 was a 3 series BMW produced from 1999 to 2006) who have used it and have had excellent results. The problem with the engine (BMW M54 inline 6) was the rigns were carboned up. DMSO freed up the rings and restored compression.



 
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