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Tips for Getting Your Boat’s Engine Ready For Summer

Believe it or not, we get customers hitting us up on Twitter and Facebook all the time with boat questions.

If you have a boat, you probably can’t wait for summer to roll around so you can get that thing out onto the water. But if you really want to enjoy your boat this summer, don’t just rush out there. If you take care of your boat now, it stands a much better chance of serving you well all summer long. Getting a boat ready for summer doesn’t have to turn into an expensive chore. If you have the initiative, there’s plenty you can do fairly easily to get your boat ready for summer. Here are some of the top boat upkeep tips for you to consider.


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How to Protect Your Engine From Friction

Friction isn’t something we think about too often, but it is one of the more powerful physical forces out there. Friction helped carve the Grand Canyon, and it can wreak havoc on your engine if you don’t keep it in check. Not only does it contribute to erosion and wear,  but it also creates heat, which can definitely hurt your engine, especially over time. You can reduce engine wear and improve performance by protecting your engine from friction.

Effects of Heat and Friction on Your Engine

Remember that every car engine is made up of moving parts. Motor oil keeps these parts from generating too much heat and wearing down the engine. If you don’t reduce engine wear, it loses fuel efficiency and struggles with performance as it ages.

A primary concern of excess friction is the reduction in gas mileage. Heat, oil, fuel efficiency, and friction can all overlap and affect each other in different ways. Oil helps lubricate the parts and allows them to run smoothly. Without oil, energy is lost in the form of friction, reducing its efficiency. Old, contaminated, or insufficient oil levels can all cause more friction, more heat, and less fuel efficiency, since your engine is working harder to compensate for the energy loss.

Aside from a loss of gas mileage, you also put extra strain on your engine when you allow unnecessary friction to take place. This can increase wear and tear, shortening the lifespan of your engine considerably and reducing its performance.

Ways to Reduce Engine Heat and Friction

Thankfully, you don’t need to let friction have the last word. Below are a few ways to protect your car from heat and friction:

1. Use a Specially Formulated Motor Oil

Some motor oils are specifically designed to address excess heat and friction in engines. Our Engine Treatment and High-Mileage Engine Treatment are designed to reduce friction in your engine with special cleaning agents and protective additives to keep it running cooler and longer.

2. Keep Your Oil Clean

Read the owner’s manual for your car and follow its directives for how often you should get your oil changed. Remember that certain conditions, like start-and-stop commutes and city driving, can increase how often you should get an oil change.

3. Make Sure Your Coolant Stays Cool

After your engine has cooled, take a look at your coolant. It should be bright and retain its original color, whether that’s green, red or something else. If you spot any particles in the liquid or an oily surface, you may need to flush the system. Keeping your coolant in good condition can help you avoid excessive heat on the engine, especially if high friction is contributing.

4. Review Modern Engine Technology at a High Level

If you’re in the market for a new car, keep an eye out for engines that address heat and friction. Many car manufacturers are adopting new technologies such as cylinder coatings and piston designs that aim to reduce engine friction.

Don’t underestimate the power of reducing engine friction! Knowing how to reduce friction in your car’s engine is vital for increasing its performance and lifetime.

How Nanotechnology Benefits Cars

Nanotechnology is something that’s gained a lot of attention in recent years. It applies technologies on a molecular or atomic level, within one billionth of a meter. For reference, a piece of paper is only about 100,000 nanometers.

Usually, nanotechnology refers to a material or substance that has been engineered to work better for a specific purpose. These are used in everything from clothing fabrics and toothpaste to today’s subject — motor oil.

In the early days, nanotechnology was a marketing buzzword without much science behind it. Today, however, the practical science has caught up to marketing promises, which has led to some powerful innovation.

What Is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology covers many branches of science and industry. Everything from electronics to cleaners and sunscreen can make use of these smart little particles. Most of the time, nanotechnology applications involve changing the structure of existing materials to make certain features stand out (like the lubrication in motor oil). They can help scientists make materials stronger, durable, water-resistant, electrically conductive and much more.

Some of the uses for nanotechnology today include:

  • Films on screens and glass: These can be protected from UV light, microbes, scratches, water and glare.
  • Smart fabrics: Working nanotechnology into fabrics makes them capable of monitoring health functions, generating energy from movement, and even taking in solar energy.
  • Materials: Some industries benefit from materials with different properties. Aerospace parts, for example, need to be lightweight and durable. Nanoparticles and additives can help increase durability and reduce weight.
  • Household products: Nanoparticles can improve the performance of many items across the home, like degreasers, stain removers, cleaners and more.

Nanotechnology and Motor Oil

So that’s cool and all, but how does it apply to your car? Well, nanotechnology can now be found in your motor oil, to help it better accomplish a number of tasks that keep your car running clean.

These nanoparticles include things like nanodiamonds and tungsten disulfide, which act like really tiny ball bearings and better lubricate the surfaces in your engine. If you look at the components of your engine on a microscopic level, you’ll see that the edges are pretty jagged and rough. This kind of surface can contribute to friction and wear over time as oil and particles move through it.

One of the ways that nanoparticles work in motor oil is by using these “mini ball bearings” to prevent metal-to-metal contact between moving engine parts. They’ll fill in the jagged parts of the metal to allow the oil to flow more smoothly. Then, as another part comes into contact with them, they move like a spring, bending and providing a cushion between the two parts.

The nanoparticles also react to high pressure by shedding their outer layers, which attach to the sides of the metal, smooth them out, and create a protective barrier. This barrier is called a “tribofilm.”

How Nanotech Helps Your Car

Nanotech oil supplements can improve the performance and longevity of your car in several different ways, such as reducing friction and internal wear, as well as protecting against engine damage from overheating.

Our nanotechnology-infused product, Rislone Nano Prime Engine Oil Additive, offers the following improvements over standard motor oil:

  • Reduces friction by up to 38%
  • Reduces internal wear by up to 37%
  • Better fuel economy and lower emissions from friction reduction
  • Improved performance through added horsepower and torque
  • Protection from heat and friction damage as well as sludge

Depending on how it is used, nanotechnology offers a great deal to the world of motor oils. For more information on how our nanotechnology additive works, reach out to us today.

How to Prevent Motor Oil Sludge

Obviously, motor oil is a blessing for engines. It keeps them lubricated and reduces friction on all the moving parts. But when it turns to sludge, it can wreak havoc on them instead.

When it appears, sludge causes your motor oil to do the opposite of what it’s meant for. Instead of lubricating the parts, they now rub together with added friction and resistance, raising the temperature and creating even more sludge. To avoid costly repairs or killing your engine outright, it’s vital that you know what causes oil sludge and how to prevent engine sludge from forming. We’ve dealt with customers whose engines have had major sludge problems, and it’s not pretty to say the least.

What Causes Engine Oil Sludge in Cars?

So what causes liquid motor oil to become a goopy mess that cakes onto your engine’s components? It all comes down to chemical reactions.

Your motor oil picks up contaminants as it moves through the engine. However, over time, as they are exposed to oxygen and high temperatures, these contaminants can start to degrade the oil. As it degrades, it oxidizes, which changes the chemical makeup of the oil and makes it less effective and more “sludgy.” Eventually, all of these reactions can lead to the formation of dreaded sludge.

Higher temperatures can increase the rate of sludge formation, along with certain driving habits, like excessive idling or short drives. These actions can prevent oil from reaching the ideal temperature, so it can’t flow well. Old cars may also struggle with sludge formation.

How to Clean Oil Sludge From Your Engine

If you’ve already become a victim of it, you’ll need to know how to clean engine sludge. The best way to get rid of it is to use a high-quality engine treatment.

Rislone Engine Treatment is an award-winning formula that helps keep your engine running clean. It penetrates into areas where sludge is likely to form and clears out these deposits by dissolving them into the oil. Then, they’re removed with the next oil change.

This treatment is not an engine flush, and it works for synthetic and conventional motor oils alike. We also offer engine treatments for high-mileage vehicles.

How to Prevent Oil Sludge in Your Vehicle

Follow these steps to keep oil sludge at bay:

  • Check the owner’s manual. In it, you can find information on the type of oil you should be using with your car and any conditions, like city driving, that require you to get oil changes more often.
  • Take care of your oil. Get oil changes as needed and consider going with synthetic oil and additives. Synthetic oil can be more thermally stable, reducing how quickly it degrades in harsh environments, while anti-oxidant additives can reduce the effects of oxygen exposure that turn your oil to sludge in the first place.
  • Get the right gasoline. Low-quality gas can create 19 times the engine deposits of high-quality brands. Higher-quality gas often contains detergents and dispersants that help prevent deposits.
  • Avoid bad driving habits. Try to stay away from driving with frequent stops, long-term idling, or frequently making short commutes. Excessively hot and cold weather can also increase engine sludge.
  • Add an engine treatment. Not only does Rislone Engine Treatment dissolve existing sludge, but it also helps prevent further buildup.

Keeping your engine clean is critical to helping it perform its best. Sludge can shorten your engine’s lifespan and performance and hurt your fuel economy, so be sure to keep it out of your engine. To find Rislone products, use our store locator to find a dealer near you.

How to Maintain Your Engine

Nothing would be more satisfying than having your car run forever with no leaks or breakdowns and an endless supply of fuel.

Would be nice, right?

But we all know engines require regular maintenance if you want to keep them in prime running condition. When you adhere to a smart maintenance schedule and refer to your owner’s manual (because every car is different), you can rely on your vehicle to get to any destination, whether you’re heading to work or taking a quick trip.

Rislone engineers design our performance chemicals to help improve the efficiency of your vehicle. We’ve been doing this since 1921. You can only place as much reliance on your car as what you put into maintaining the engine, especially as the miles increase. Proper upkeep is key to a dependable car, truck or SUV, so learn how to protect your engine by following our maintenance tips.

how to maintain your engine

Advantages of General Engine Maintenance

Having a maintenance schedule is vital for any motor — cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, boats and heavy equipment. Neglecting your engine can lead to expensive repairs that you can otherwise avoid by making sure various components are up to snuff. Maintenance is a crucial aspect of owning a car to ensure it runs well, but it offers other advantages as well, including:

Boosted Resale Value

If you keep your car well-maintained, it will command a higher resale value when you’re ready to part with your set of wheels. If you blow off proper upkeep, you will experience a more challenging resale market (trust us, we’ve seen it happen to customers we’ve talked to).

Potential buyers will conduct inspections and will often ask for maintenance activities and records. Showing that your vehicle has been cared for with proper upkeep can help sell your car at a higher price, end of story. This is one of the biggest arguments for staying on top of maintenance.

Enhanced Performance and Reliability

Engines are very reliable these days, but they are still machines.

While some components last for thousands of miles, others wear faster and require more upkeep. When you make sure each system is running well, you get a more reliable car. By adding chemical supplements (namely fuel and engine/oil treatments), you can enhance the performance of your engine during regular checkups.

Improved Sustainability

Although no car is completely sustainable, you can still do your part of contributing to a cleaner environment. For example, when you avoid burning oil excessive gasoline, you help prevent pollution from reaching the air and waterways. A well-maintained engine will produce massively lower levels of pollutants.

Increased Safety

Having a checklist and doing regular maintenance will help your car run run better. A maintained engine is also a safe engine, and a safe engine helps create a safe car. When fluid levels are topped, and other systems are running as they should, it improves your safety by decreasing breakdowns and causing fewer accidents.

Ever see a totally neglected car flying down the highway at 80 MPH, with body panels hanging loose and a muffler dragging?

Yeah, you have.

That is the furthest thing from safe that we can think of. You don’t want to be that guy.

Minimized Emergencies

Driving with a high-performing engine means you have a reduced chance of breakdowns caused by overheating, low oil levels and fuel problems. If you can avoid pulling over on a busy highway, you can remain safe and not have to worry about calling roadside assistance.

Even as your car gets older, proper engine maintenance gives your vehicle far better longevity. Think of maintenance as weight training and a proper diet for your car. It’s preventative medicine.

Reduced Repair Costs

Owning a car is expensive in itself, especially if it’s straight from the dealership. But when you have to handle repair costs on top of your monthly payments, it becomes a massive investment. By implementing small repairs and maintenance steps when necessary, you can avoid extensive overhauls in the future.

This cannot be overlooked – repairs are way cheaper when you don’t have to make them because your car never fell out of maintenance.

advantages of general engine maintenance

Tips for Keeping a Healthy Engine

Professional mechanics aren’t the only ones who can inspect different engine components. If you want to learn how to protect your engine by undertaking regular maintenance, you can refer to our eight maintenance tips easily. Each one plays a critical role in keeping your engine running like it should.

After investigating several fluid levels, hoses, wires, and filters, you’ll be able to determine which areas need top-ups, repairs or new parts. You can often rely on performance chemicals to enhance your engine’s operations. However, when you come across more serious and detrimental faults within the system, you should refer to the expertise of a maintenance shop. To make sure your engine stays healthy, be sure to:

Adjust Spark Plugs and Wires

Wires within your car send electrical currents to the spark plugs when you turn the ignition. In return, the plugs generate a spark to ignite the air and fuel mixture in the cylinder.

Exciting, huh?

Point is, change the spark plugs and wires at recommended intervals — and do both at the same time to ensure a steady electrical current. They can also form a buildup of corrosion and develop a larger electrode gap over time. Swapping out the components for new ones will ensure the engine operates well.

The best part? This isn’t terribly expensive.

change spark plugs

Change Oil and Filters

Changing your oil and oil filters is one of the most vital engine maintenance tips you can follow. Oil is what lubricates your engine’s gears to help prevent overheating. The recommended frequency of oil changes depends on several things, like the age of your car and how many miles you drive each year. It’s best to refer to your maintenance manual and manufacturer’s suggestion for the correct oil change interval.

On average, drivers change their oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. If you have an older car, it may suggest oil services sooner than 5,000 miles.

If your vehicle requires synthetic motor oil, it can last up to 15,000 miles between oil services. Many modern cars use synthetic oil to provide more protection against the higher temperatures and tighter engine tolerances. Synthetic options also last longer and are superior at lubricating your engine at low temperatures.

(Yes, they’re more expensive, but they’re overall worth it for the protection and longer intervals alone.)

No engine can function without oil. If you neglect changes for extended periods, it can cause increased friction and permanent damage to various components. Worst case, you can “seize” the engine, making it a permanent boat anchor. Changing old oil will get rid of contaminants such as dirt, water, chemicals, metal scrapings and other impurities.

Oil also breaks down over time from high temperatures, causing it to lose its lubricating characteristics. As a result, carbon deposits form on the engine’s internal parts. Oil sludge inside the system can trigger the check engine light in some engine designs. Friction from the carbon deposits can even elevate wear and tear.

If you change your own oil, when you drain the old oil into a pan, make sure to recycle the used oil properly.

Oil filters also need replacing at the same time as the oil. Filters trap dirt and debris to keep it from reaching the engine. Installing a new one and changing the oil will help your engine run smoothly with lubricated parts.

Whether you’re swapping out old oil for new or topping off, you never want to opt for the cheapest oil brand to save money. Instead, invest in a high-quality solution each time.

For example, you can supplement your engine with our fully-synthetic Nano Prime Engine + Oil Performance Boosterwhich is the most advanced engine/oil product we’ve ever developed. The patented MoS₂ with WS₂ nano technology chemical protects internal engine components, maximizes horsepower and torque and repairs light engine wear by filling and coating worn metal surfaces. If you want a more conventional engine treatment, you can also invest in our legendary Rislone Engine Treatment (100QR), which is literally the product that made Rislone famous with everyday drivers as well as Indy 500 race teams.

Check for Leaks

Oil and antifreeze are common liquids that seep through seals and hoses. You can check for leaks by inspecting for puddles under your car and looking under the hood. You can also tell if you have a leak if smelling potent odors that weren’t there before. Cracked hoses most often cause leaks, along with failed hose clamps. Extreme heat and pressure from the engine can cause the rubber material to fail and break. We see it all the time.

Fluids can also leak where a rubber seal meets silicon. Seals can break down over time and allow fluid to seep through. Immediately taking care of leaks will prevent further damage and save you from losing fluid.

check for leaks

Watch for Dashboard Warning Lights

Many of us hope our check engine light or tire pressure indicator will go away the next time we turn on the car.

Guess what? That’s typically magical thinking.

The worst thing you can do is neglect the different warning signs as they appear on your dashboard. Some lights may indicate a minor problem, while others mean something more substantial.

Either way, it can turn into a severe issue if you don’t get it checked. You can run a diagnostic test to determine the problem or take your vehicle to a mechanic. Most auto parts retailers (AutoZone, O’Reilly’s, Advance, Pep Boys) will also pull engine diagnostic codes for you. While the check engine light is one of the major indications, others include battery, alternator, engine temperature and low oil pressure.

Inspect Cooling System

The cooling system is an important part of the engine that keeps the system from overheating. That much is fairly self-explanatory.

The cooling system contains the thermostat, radiator, coolant and water pump. When the engine becomes hot, the thermostat indicates when the coolant, or radiator fluid, needs to circulate throughout the engine, and when the fan should kick on. The water pump pulls the liquid from the radiator and shoots it into the engine block. The coolant then comes back to the radiator to cool down.

Check the coolant level by inspecting the coolant tank. Ensure the liquid is above the minimum mark and below the maximum. If your car begins to overheat with the right amount of coolant level, refer to the experts for additional support.

Maintain Belts

Your vehicle’s belts (often called a serpentine belt) helps run various gears and subsystems within the engine, such as the alternator, fan, water pump and AC unit. The belts get a ton of use every time you turn on your car, and over time, belts can stretch, wear and crack. You will want to replace the belts as soon as you see signs of wear. If a belt breaks while driving, it can cause severe damage to your engine, strand you on the side of the road, and put you at risk of an accident.

Turn the belt over to check for cracks and damage. If the component is squealing when you turn the ignition, it may need replacement or adjustment.

Replace Fuel Filter and Top-Up Gas

We all know one person who drives their car down to the last bit of fuel before heading to the gas station.

(Half of us in the Rislone office operate this way. Don’t hate!)

However, it’s more detrimental than most think. If you run your car on empty, it will pull accumulated sediment from the bottom of the gas tank, causing it to reach the engine and cause damage. Although the fuel filter will catch most of the debris, sediment that makes it through the fuel lines will make your engine work harder.

You also want to replace the system’s fuel filter to keep your engine running at its best. It will keep the gas clean as it reaches the engine and will create less buildup of sediment.

Swap Engine Air Filters

Every engine needs a continuous flow of air with no restrictions. Air filters capture contaminants ranging from dirt and leaves to bugs, sand and other pollutants. The filters prevent various materials from reaching the engine. Over time, the screens can become clogged and need replacing.

If you fail to replace them regularly, the filter can’t deliver clean air to the engine. When it becomes clogged, you will experience less power when accelerating.

Proper engine maintenance requires dedication to your schedule to ensure you’re driving a dependable car that can transport you five miles down the road and 800 miles across several states.

Especially when it comes to your system’s oil, it’s imperative you put in what you expect the engine to put out. The Rislone Compression Repair with Ring Seal (4447) treatment, for example, is available to restore lost power and worn engines while rebuilding compression and repairing engine blow-by.

How to Know if Your Engine Needs a Tune-Up

The best thing you can do is inspect your car, truck or SUV frequently. Check your owner’s manual and refer to your vehicle’s manufacturer for specifics on how often you should inspect your engine. The manual can indicate how to check specific parts related to your car’s make and model. Keep an eye out for:

  • Excessive debris in filters
  • Leaks on pavement or other engine components
  • Low cooling system levels
  • Low oil levels
  • Overheating
  • Poor acceleration
  • Rough idle and misfiring
  • Squealing noises upon startup
  • Warning lights

Understanding how different engine components work, and what you can expect performance-wise, will help you stay on top of a maintenance agenda. Whether you need to replace an air filter or perform a simple top-up of fluid, you can keep your engine running to its best ability.

How to Maintain Your Engine With Rislone Performance Chemicals

Rislone is at the forefront of engineering products that help maintain and improve your vehicle’s performance. With more than 95 years of experience in the industry, we have honed in on the development of exceptional products that can advance the longevity of your car and keep it at its maximum operating levels. We form a relationship with you to understand your particular needs, and value the time and effort you put into maintaining your car.

Learn how Rislone engine products can help protect your engine. You can also find Rislone products at a store near you, or contact us for further details about how we can support your regular maintenance program.

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