The "clean" engine

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Apr 18, 2004
I see some people posting that conventional oil can't keep an engine as "clean" as a synthetic over time. I am a 210k mile user of dino (4k and Valvoline mostly) except one Mobil 1 run. The car still achieves 35 mpg average mileage and does not seem to have lost much if any power. I saw the valve cover off and just saw a mainly gold varnish on the engine components underneath. I have never put one additive or cleaner into the car. Anyway my question, I imagine my motor is not "clean" but what will the "clean" motor get me? Lastly what are the determental effects of a not "clean" motor etc.
Sounds like the Valvoline has done a good job of keeping your engine clean. Synthetics get to be exspensive when your car begains to consume oil,something to think about. Another thing to think about is who cares if the interior of the engine is clean when the rest of stuff on the car is breaking and looks like crap. [crushedcar] .
Here's a couple things to think about. How about the ring land area or some oil passages not much bigger than a pin hole.
"Here's a couple things to think about. How about the ring land area or some oil passages not much bigger than a pin hole." ________________________________________ I'd like an engine that's spotless as much as anyone else, and typically, my rides have had very light varnish and no sludge at all. That said, I'm not sure why some folks assume that engines somehow aren't designed to handle small amounts of sludge or varnish, or conversely, that small amounts of S/V will likely damage an engine, or that it's an unacceptable abberation to have same in one's engine. There's been valvetrain and intake valley photos on this board that almost looked like they were covered in wet roofing tar -- you could barely make out the engine components -- yet the engines still ran (although poorly). Andy: If you have a modest coating of varnish on your 210K mile engine, I'd call that perfectly normal. Not the norm for fans of this board, but certainly normal for the driving public. I'd also suggest that your level of deposits is not only acceptable, but EXPECTED by the powerplant engineers who designed your engine, with little or no impact on performance. After all, you EXCEEDED the manual's requirements regarding change-outs of your API-spec'd oil. There's enthusiasts on this board who'd suggest that an engine you couldn't eat off of, or internal components that didn't shine like chrome, are somehow "unacceptably dirty." None of this reflects reality, nor the Detroit/Tokyo/Munich engineers' expectations of how "Average Joe" will service his ride. Engines can typically endure a high level of abuse before damage -- let alone death -- and moderate varnish doesn't rise to the occasion. If you desire to address the varnish (and why the heck not), you might try a reputable oil additive or go a cycle or two using a mixed fleet "diesel" oil -- these have especially high levels of detergents/dispersants, even more so than synthetics.
andyfish, you might want to click on the link to Auto-Rx under the Site Supporters heading on the main page of Bobistheoilguy. This has a majority consenses among quite reputable people that frequent this forum of being a quality product, opposed to most of the "snake oil" cleaners you'll find off-the-shelf. Running good dino oil with regular OCIs and then performing a good cleaning with something like Auto-Rx every 50K miles is one way to beat the high costs of synthetics while keeping your engine in top running condition, IMHO. If your satisfied with the way your vehicle looks, runs and don't care to go the extra step in preventative maintenance to help insure it keeps running at it's best, then don't. Dirt and sludge will hurt your engine eventually. Depending on the design of the engine and it's environment, it could be sooner or later. If it's one of the Toyota sludgemonsters it'll be much sooner. If it's an early 90s Honda, it'll probably be much later.
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