A Couple Potential Problems To Think About

  • Potential Problems With GDI Engines.
  • Lifter Noise In Hemi Engines.

GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection): If you have a vehicle with GDI you need to be aware of a couple of drawbacks that go along with the benefits.  

Because fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber, there is no fuel hitting the back side of the intake valves helping to keep them clean. This wouldn’t be much of a problem if you were only pulling clean air from the air filter but, you are also getting gases from the crankcase through the PCV system. These gases contain combustion chamber blow-by contaminants and volatized lubricant compounds which develop carbon build up on the backs of the valves.

Another problem with GDI engines is the danger of fuel dilution in the oil. Unburned fuel that gets past the rings can build up in the oil to levels that reduces the oils ability to lubricate properly lead to accelerated wear.

To help prevent this problem use a high quality synthetic oil with a low NOACK rating (ASTM D5800). A high quality synthetic should be able to handle the fuel dilution better than lower quality oils and lower NOACK ratings means the oil doesn’t volatilize / vaporize as much when hot. This helps reduce the contaminant load and as a side benefit, helps the catalytic converter last longer.

While I haven’t seen any study results yet, another thing that may help is the use of a quality upper cylinder lubricant such as the AMSOIL UCL. This product is designed to lubricate the fuel system and upper cylinder, fight ethanol related corrosion, and help keep injectors clean. Clean injectors put out a better spray pattern promoting a more complete fuel burn which means less fuel to get into the crankcase. Lubricating the upper cylinder area should help rings maintain their seal against the cylinder wall again reducing blow-by into the crankcase. Combined, these two factors may help reduce the amount of raw fuel that makes it past the rings and into the crankcase causing the fuel dilution of the lubricating oil.

Note: To really keep injectors clean, use AMSOIL PI every 4,000 miles to keep injectors clean and operating as designed. To review a study of what PI can do in your engine, click here.

If you have one of these engines and haven’t done oil analysis to know if you have a fuel dilution problem, make sure you follow the manufacturers recommended severe service oil change interval, no matter what oil you are using.

National Oil and Lube News put out a list of GDI engines last year. I don’t see any 2020 engines on the list but you can check out the short article here and the list here. A Google search of GDI Engine Problems should provide all the information about the problem.

Hemi Engines And Lifter Noise: I don’t own one and haven’t had any comments from my customers so this info is strictly second hand. Apparently some hemi engines have a significant lifter noise, especially when cold.  If you have a hemi I would be interested to know one way or the other if your engine makes a lifter / ticking noise when it is cold and what oil you are using. Several dealers on the AMSOIL Dealer Forum have noted that with AMSOIL, there is no noise. 

If you do a Google search of Hemi Engine Problems you’ll find more info.

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