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Why Are Fuel Doors on Different Sides of the Car?

We’ve all done it. Say you borrow or rent a car, pull up to the gas station, get out, and swipe your card, only to realize your gas tank is all the way on the other side. Different manufacturers choose to put the gas tanks on different sides — but why is that? Your steering wheel is always on the same side (unless you’re traveling across the pond), so why isn’t your gas tank?

Back in the old days, many gas tanks went directly in the center of the car, with the door in the back. They found that this design could turn a run-of-the-mill accident into something much more fiery and explosive. So, for safety reasons, they moved it to the right or left.

But which side is the gas tank on now? This concerning question is one that has a few different answers.

The Case for Efficient Gas Stations

One argument revolves around the way we use gas stations. If every car had the gas tank on the same side, then gas stations would fill up only on that side. In locations that drive on the right side, like the United States, it’s easier to take a right turn than a left across oncoming traffic. This means many drivers enter gas stations by taking a right and enter the pump closest to them.

If all cars had a left-sided tank, they would take up the pumps on the right side, leaving the left side open. And vice versa — if their tanks were on the right, the entire left “lane” would be filled. Of course, this would make cars that had tanks on the opposite side something of a selling point (“Beat the line with the new left-sided gas tank!”).

But there is one clear rebuttal to this view. Cars can simply turn around when the first pumps fill up. It might lead to a little congestion in a gas station, but it doesn’t seem to be a particularly strong argument.

The Case for Roadside Safety

Many manufacturers say they put the gas tank on the passenger’s side to keep drivers safe during roadside incidents. For markets that are mostly European, where right-side driving occurs, this puts the tank on the left. For manufacturers that mainly reach American or Japanese markets, the tank can go on the right. This way, if the driver has to pull over, the car stands between them and incoming traffic. It may improve safety and minimize roadside incidents.

Of course, many manufacturers rebel against this and others have big markets in both right- and left-side-driving regions.

The Case for Car Design

Even still, for a lot of manufacturers, it seems that it varies from car to car. Much of the decision comes down to the design of each individual car. If more room is needed on the right, they’ll put it on the left. Given that this decision isn’t usually at the top of buyers’ priorities, designers can flip flop if they need to.

Overall, it seems that the answer to this debate is, “It depends.” Safety and design requirements are all considerations, and each manufacturer varies with their approach.

Tech 101: Why Does Motor Oil Need Additives?

Oil is the lifeblood of a car. It keeps the components healthy and makes sure the moving parts keep on moving. There is a lot more that goes into your oil than you might think, however. Depending on your purposes and how you use your car, you may want to consider a motor oil additive. These specially-formulated chemicals can help improve your engine’s performance and longevity without breaking the bank.

Modern oils are better than older oils, yes. But are they engineered with a specialty in mind? No – they are general lubricants for a wide range of operating conditions. If you want the best performance, or the longest wear protection in severe conditions, you need to look for a specialist. That’s where we come in.

Motor Oil Additives and Their Purpose

Motor oil additives can be all-purpose and work for most standard vehicles. These additives usually reduce engine wear and friction and can improve fuel efficiency. Other additives may address more specific problems, like corrosion, emissions or engine smoking.

Some common problems are often addressed with the following ingredients. Many of them can be found within a single additive:

  • Viscosity index improvers (VIIs): Viscosity refers to the thickness of the oil, which determines how easily it flows throughout the engine. If the viscosity is too high, the oil can stick and become gummy. If it’s too low, it will flow quickly, closer to the consistency of water. When the oil moves this quickly, it doesn’t really have time for its various benefits to be left on the metal. Viscosity also changes with the temperature. VIIs can help limit this behavior, keeping oil at a more steady viscosity across temperature ranges.
  • Corrosion inhibitors: Keeping the engine in good condition is vital to its longevity, and preventing rust and corrosion can help.
  • Anti-wear agents: These additives help keep machine parts protected from wear over time. They typically form a film on the surface of the metal to create a barrier. One of these is zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP), which older cars, especially, can benefit from. Zinc is an important part of corrosion resistance. However, new cars don’t need it as much, so oil manufacturers stopped including zinc by default.
  • Detergents: Detergents help keep deposits from forming on the metal components and can neutralize certain acids.
  • Dispersants: Dispersants and detergents often work together. Dispersants help remove any particles or contaminants in the oil, preventing it from sticking to the components and becoming sludge.

Other additives include anti-foaming agents, demulsifiers, emulsifiers, biocides, and extreme pressure modifiers. Oil additives and their purposes can vary widely.

Benefits of Using Motor Oil Supplements

With all these options, you might wonder if motor oil additives will work. The answer depends on your needs. The motor oil supplement you choose needs to be right for your car and your engine, so make sure you follow specifications.

While motor oil is not a necessity to run your car, it can improve its functioning, performance and lifespan. Motor oil straight out of the bottle typically has a small percentage of additives already, but you can further improve your results with aftermarket options.

Overall, some of the benefits of using motor oil additives include:

  • Reducing friction
  • Reducing wear
  • Removing and preventing sludge and buildup or blockage
  • Increasing your engine’s lifespan

If you have more specific needs, like zinc or high-mileage treatments, you can find those too. At Rislone, our famed Engine Treatment is the perfect go-to for most cars and can improve your engine’s life and performance.

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.