A recent scientific report from the X-1R Corporation of the USA has found that the use of their products will dramatically reduce the chance that your engine will develop sludge infact by as much as 61%. Automologist MAC is on hand to tell you all about this good news.
For drivers of all modern cars, sludge has become the scourge of carefree motoring. It doesn’t matter what type of vehicle you drive, whether it is a Proton CFE, a Toyota Camry, a Dodge, a Volkswagen or a Ford; just about any car will get it. Sludge is a car killer and the chances are, if you drive in stop-start traffic like most of us do, sludge could already be building up in the ‘arteries’ of your car; it is ready to kill your engine with the equivalent of an automotive heart attack!
We have previously written extensively about this modern-day scourge but the strange thing is it is not all that new. (Read Sludge, the engine killer and The silent killer). Ever since we started to drive cars, sludge has afflicted our vehicles; in fact, from the moment you pour the oil into your car, it goes from the controlled environment of the oil refinery into a completely uncontrolled chemical factory – the engine. The oil is subject to extreme temperatures and pressures, and bombarded with contaminants. Gradually, oxidation occurs due to an increase in the acidity caused by this contamination and the effect of the mechanical breakdown or “cracking” of the oil.
More and more manufacturers are reporting sludge problems, particularly in the latest generation of High Compression, Short Stroke ‘Eco’ engines. These engines generally operate at higher temperature, pressure and speed than older engines and seem to be slightly more susceptible to sludge than engines from previous generations. To make matters worse, all manufacturers have been trying to drive down the cost of ownership of their cars and so have been pushing for longer and longer service intervals; in some cases, that has definitely contributed to the sludge problem.
It is not that there is a design flaw in the engines though, as there is not; but if you look at the recent Toyota North America Car Owner’s Manual, there is a caveat added when they talk about the service interval. Where they refer to “normal driving conditions” seems to mean an average of about 72kph, when the reality for most town and city dwellers is an average of less than 50 kph. So, most of us drive in what are best described as abnormal or severe conditions, which means the owner should service the car and change the oil more frequently. So, in a way, it is the owner or driver who is at fault, according to some manufacturers, and NOT a design flaw.
In late 2014, a prominent South East Asian Car Manufacturer tasked the X-1R corporation to show how the addition of their patented Engine Treatment formulation could prevent the onset of sludge in engines, particularly high compression engines. As the amount of oxidation is a precursor to the formation of sludge, it was agreed that X-1R would use three reference oils common in South East Asia – Petronas Synthium 800, Castrol GTX and Valvoline Max Life; the ASTM D4742 Oxidation Stability test was conducted and the results speak for themselves: an improvement in the Oxidation Stability of 21%, 46% and a massive 61% respectively.
For the more technically-minded readers out there, the test data can be found at www.x1rasia.com.
Not satisfied with the results from the one test, a further test was performed to gauge the effect, if any, that the addition of X-1R Engine Treatment would have on the viscosity of engine oil. To make this more of a ‘real-life’ test, the ASTM D4683 High Temperature High Shear Viscosity test was selected. Once again, X-1R Engine Treatment passed with flying colours, proving that it does not alter the viscosity of the oil to which it is added.
A spokeperson for X-1R said, “Our products have been used on the quiet by a number of top manufacturers for years as an integral part of their preventative maintenance programs, particularly in congested cities where stop-start driving significantly increases the occurrence of sludge in engines.”