Engine oil for performance tuned cars.

After investing much money in modifying your car and tuning the engine it would be a shame to risk a breakdown through bad maintenance.

Never under estimate the importance of a good quality engine oil and regular oil changes and servicing.

When pushing the engine to its limits each and every component is put under more stress. Tuned engines run faster and hotter and the standard oil specified is often inadequate. Firstly we recommend shorter service intervals on tuned cars, so if you car has a 10,000 mile or 1 year service schedule as standard you should ideally shorten this by 1/3. This may sound like a pain but you are pushing the engine harder, it is running more power and suffering from more wear as a result. So a service interval of 6000 miles makes sense.

The single most important thing to do is to change the oil and ideally this should be done every 6 months. The oil is the one barrier the engine has to protect itself against wear but oil degrades as it gets older and accumulates deposits from the combustion process. High mileage engines (240,000) have been proven to be in very good condition and require very little rebuild work due to regular oil changes.

Which oil you use depends on the specifications for your engine but please research this and get it right. Buy a good quality premium synthetic oil. Mineral oils are often too variable and break down more quickly. Choosing too thin an oil will lead to excessive oil burning and damage the engine. If the oil is too thick it can lead to heat build up and premature wear as it shears away from the metail it should be protecting.

Long life oils have better characteristics and can stand up to the extra stress put on an engine but we still recommend regular changes.

As an engine gets older you will need to review the oil you use as the pistons have worn down and blow by can occur causing oil burning. The oil grades typically range from 0w15 to 30w60. Most oils starting with a 0 are synthetic. Semi-synthetics are a mixture of minerals and synthetics and some synthetic oils are actually still mineral based with heavy modification and do not perform as well as a true synthetic.

Remember the turbo is spinning at 100,000's of rpm and is fed by the hot exhaust gases to any oil in the turbo will slowly cook, especially when the engine is switched off suddenly from high rpm runs. You must allow an engine to cool down a little after a spirited run if it has a turbo fitted.

When changing the oil you will also need to change the filter. The small metal particles from the engine will collect in the filter and you don't want the smaller particles breaking up and flowing round the engine again. Magnets fitted to the oil filter will catch the small metal particles which would otherwise accelerate engine wear.

Very few oil additives are effective at improving the qualities of the oil and we recommend that you avoid them unless there is EVIDENCE that they enhance the oil in some way. Get a good quality premium fully synthetic oil which will outperform a cheap oil with an additive (and probably cost less!) Good quality oils have all the additives included in them that an engine needs in very precisely calculated quantities.

Most quality oils come from specialist suppliers, the high street and warehouse chain stores rarely sell these true high quality fully synthetic engine oils. Even popular brand names are not a guarantee of oil quality.

Posted in maintenance.

Leave a Reply