Here’s why the upper cylinder is one of the toughest areas of an engine to lubricate and protect.
Matt Erickson | DIRECTOR, TECHNICAL PRODUCT MANAGEMENT
One of the toughest areas of your engine to lubricate – and one for which we haven’t had a product until recently – is the upper part of the cylinder. The market has several additives that promise to protect the upper cylinder. In fact, Dealers and customers have been asking us for a similar product for quite a while. I’m happy to say we’ve delivered on that request. We worked hard testing numerous formulations before introducing Upper Cylinder Lubricant (UCL), which delivers the protection AMSOIL customers demand.
Before talking about Upper Cylinder Lubricant’s benefits, let’s talk about the inherent difficulties to lubricating the upper cylinder. Most stock automotive pistons have three rings. The top two press tightly against the cylinder wall and form a seal to build compression and prevent combustion chamber gases from contaminating the oil.
The third ring, called the “oil” ring, removes oil from the cylinder wall and returns it to the sump to prevent it from burning during combustion and increasing oil consumption. The “upper cylinder” can be defined as the area above the oil ring when the piston is at top dead center. Since the area is above the oil ring, it receives little to no lubrication. In the old days, leaded gasoline lubricated this area. Since leaded gas was abolished, it’s been left to engineers to combat wear the best they can through piston-ring and cylinder design.
In this scenario, you end up with lack of lubrication in a critical area. Without lubrication, the piston rings and cylinder wall can wear, creating a gap between them. This allows pressurized gases to escape the combustion chamber, which contaminates the oil and reduces power. It also allows oil to enter the combustion chamber and burn, increasing oil consumption and harmful deposits.
That’s where Upper Cylinder Lubricant steps in. It provides added lubricity to the upper cylinder, helping fight piston-ring and cylinder wear. It helps maintain engine compression and horsepower. In addition, the valve guides benefit from receiving lubrication on the combustion side, helping them to move freely and the valves to seat properly.
The product’s lubricity also aids in protecting fuel injectors and pumps, helping ensure excellent performance and long life. It delivers 18 percent more lubricity than Lucas* and 20 percent more than Sea Foam* for better retention of horsepower and fuel economy. 1
In addition, Upper Cylinder Lubricant helps clean fuel injectors, which maximizes fuel economy. It also contains inhibitors that coat metal surfaces, controlling moisture and stopping corrosion before it starts. This is especially important given the prevalence of ethanol in most gasoline sold today since ethanol attracts moisture and hastens corrosion.
You might be wondering, “But, what about AMSOIL PI. (API)?” P.I. is a deep-cleaning additive. It contains potent detergent additives that attack and clean stubborn deposits on fuel injectors, piston tops, rings, port-fuel-injected intake valves and the rest of the combustion chamber. But for all its great benefits, P.I. doesn’t provide the lubrication or corrosion protection of Upper Cylinder Lubricant.
The table breaks down what each additive does and how often to use it. For best performance, use both products. Add Upper Cylinder Lubricant to every tank to provide needed lubricity, corrosion protection and injector cleanliness. Then use P.I. every 4,000 miles to clean the other areas of the combustion chamber. The products work in tandem to protect your vehicles and keep them running for the long haul.
1 Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Upper Cylinder Lubricant, Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Sea Foam Motor Treatment obtained on 2/13/2019 using the ASTM D6079 modified for use with gasoline.
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