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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.

contact rislone

Expert Overview: What Causes Engine Compression Loss Anyway?

Most of the time, engine maintenance doesn’t require you to take your vehicle to the shop for an expensive repair. And doing it yourself can much more rewarding anyway. If you’re like us at Rislone, you want your engine to perform at its peak levels, whether your car is a hard-working truck, performance car, or average family sedan.

Your engine keeps your life moving, and you expect it to remain reliable and efficient. But when problems start to occur, the best thing you can do is educate yourself before taking it to a dealership or mechanic.

Engine compression loss can be the result of many faulty components, so we’re going to give you a rundown to show you each possible problem and how you can perform easy and effective repairs.

Engine Compression Explained

Whether you’re a car enthusiast or like to learn as you go, it’s essential to gain insight into how various components of an engine work. Once you have a basic foundation, it will be easier for you to find problems and fix them on your own.

Your vehicle has an internal combustion engine (sometimes noted as ICE) that relies on compression to transfer energy. Compression occurs in the internal combustion cylinders as the fuel injectors push air and fuel into the combustion chamber. The mixture ignites, and the expansion of the burning gases in the cylinders drives the piston, transferring the energy from combustion into mechanical energy that moves the vehicle.

Because the cylinder compresses the air and fuel before they ignite, compression is a vital process that allows a vehicle to operate. Compression loss is a result of a leak in one or more of the cylinders caused by normal engine wear and tear.

If you experience compression loss in one cylinder of the engine, it can cause misfiring and poor vehicle performance. A decrease in power output is a sign of worn-out internal parts. Sometimes, an engine misfire code may indicate compression loss, but first, check the ignition and fuel for problems. If both are fine, it’ll be time to investigate the cylinders for proper compression.

In the case that no compression exists at all, it means a more severe mechanical problem occurred, causing your engine not even to start. When the cylinder doesn’t create enough compression, then there isn’t enough force to move the piston and crankshaft, causing your car to fail entirely.

How to Check Your Engine’s Compression

When you experience sketchy car performance or your vehicle misfires at the turn of your key, the first step is to conduct a compression test. Because many elements can trigger low or no compression in an engine, the test can help you find the internal problems that are causing the loss of compression.

Before using a compression gauge, make sure you remove all the spark plugs and deactivate the ignition coils or ground the high tension lead. If your vehicle’s engine has a distributorless ignition, you must disable the ignition coils to keep them from firing. Once you’re set up and ready, hold open the throttle and crank the engine for several seconds while the compression gauge is in a spark plug socket. Record the maximum compression reading, and repeat the test for each cylinder.

If it turns out your engine has low compression, you can conduct a cylinder leak down test, which will help you see what’s happening internally. You can then pinpoint where the specific leaks are occurring. A leak down test uses pressure gauges along with a regulating device. Together, they provide information that allows you to quantify the percentage of leakage.

What Causes Loss of Compression in an Engine?

We wish we could tell you there was a single reason for compression problems, but when it comes to the causes of low or no engine compression, there are eight different potential components. Common snags such as bad valves, piston complications, leaks in the cylinder head and faulty timing belts are just the beginning.

When you know what causes leaks, it can help you understand the source of compression loss, making it easier to fix. We’ll cover each possibility and discuss what you can do to repair the engine.

1. Holes in the Piston

Located in the cylinder of an engine, pistons receive an excessive amount of wear because they’re next to the combustion. Each time you fire the engine, the piston gets blasted with the explosion. When combustion occurs, it expands the compressed gases and moves the piston, which, in turn, operates the crankshaft.

Because the cylinder experiences extreme temperatures from the air and fuel mixture, overheating can occur. It forms hotspots on the piston and can cause holes or cracks in the piece. When holes and gaps form between the piston and the wall, they allow the gases to leak, resulting in low engine compression.

Instead of the gases building up in the chamber, they leak and create a loss of energy. Components that can trigger hotspots include gas with a low octane, bad spark plugs and malfunctioning fuel injectors.

You can check for battered pistons by pouring oil into the spark plug socket and testing for compression. If it’s higher than average, you have a piston issue. You can also take out each piston and visually inspect them to see which ones are suffering. Holes in a piston affect an engine by causing low or no compression in a single cylinder.

2. Leaking Valves

Intake and exhaust valves often face impairments from an overheated cylinder. The extreme temperatures can warp and ruin the valves, causing them not to seat or close properly. Once the seal breaks between the valves and the cylinder, the gases can leak. The result is compression loss.

In a vehicle, the intake and exhaust valves are at the top of the engine’s cylinder. The intake is where fuel and air pass through into the cylinder. When the elements combust, the exhaust valve gets rid of the gases. The exhaust valve fails more often because it has the most exposure to the heated gases that can reach temperatures between 1,200 and 1,350 degrees Fahrenheit.

The heat can either distort or break the valves, causing excessive leaks and compression loss. The cylinder’s valves can also gain carbon buildup, which often occurs on the exhaust as well. Carbon buildup happens here the most because it’s where a constant flow of burnt gases happens. Excessive amounts of carbon can destroy the seat, diminishing the seal on the valve.

Place a compression tester in the spark plug socket, and crank the engine. The test will show if there are problems with the valves. You should also be aware of leaks from the exhaust pipe or the air inlet manifold. Leaking valves can be a reason for low ignition in a single cylinder.

Impaired valves can also be due to a faulty computer system that tells the intake and exhaust to open and shut at the incorrect times. Make sure to check the computer or electrical system if the valves still don’t operate well.

3. Blown Head Gaskets

Blown head gaskets or cylinder head leaks are the third culprit to low engine compression. You can find the cylinder head at the top of the engine block, and the head gasket is between the bottom and top half of the car’s engine. The gasket separates the oil from the fuel and air mixture while allowing the gases to move into the cylinder to cause combustion. After the gases burn, they exit through the exhaust valve.

The cylinder head has a gasket between itself and the engine block. If the gasket deteriorates or breaks, a hole or gap can form airspace between the head and the cylinder. The engine can also have a gasket that is misaligned, worn, cracked or warped. This is known as head gasket failure. It can prompt the gases to escape, causing compression loss. Head gasket failure is often attributed to overheating.

An outcome of lost compression includes diminished engine performance. You can use a pressure tester to determine where the damaged gasket is by measuring the cylinder’s compression level. If you record different readings, check the gaskets to find the problem. If two cylinders are damaged next to each other, a blown gasket is often the reason. Cylinder leaks are the reason for low compression in a single cylinder.

4. Glazed or Splintered Cylinder Walls

A cracked wall in the engine’s cylinder can elicit poor compression. You can investigate the problem by working with an open radiator cap. Crank the motor and see if air bubbles come out. If so, the bubbles indicate leaked combustion gases that found their way through the splintered cylinder and into the cooling system.

5. Weakened Timing Belt or Cracked Chain

A timing belt is a component that bridges the crankshaft and camshaft. It controls which pistons are up and down to move your vehicle. When one piston moves downward from the ignition, the timing belt turns and moves other pistons up.

The camshaft can’t function and turn when the timing belt fails. Therefore, the intake valve cannot close, and the exhaust will seal inside the cylinder. It’s all a chain reaction throughout the engine. On average, a timing belt can last between 60,000 and 100,000 miles before it needs replacing. The trapped gases inside the combustion chamber can cause low or no compression in all the cylinders.

6. Worn Piston Rings

Three rings support and connect the piston to the shaft. The top ring seals the piston to the cylinder’s walls, and the second ring catches anything missed by the first. The final ring helps control the amount of excess engine oil by wiping it away.

The shaft moves several pistons up while lowering the others at an alternating pace. Any worn-out piston rings in an engine can overheat and give way to gases leaking into the crankcase. When the pistons don’t operate properly, they may not move as high as necessary or raise at all.

You can test the issue by pouring viscous oil into the spark plug socket, which will allow the liquid to reach the combustion cylinder. If the compression increases, you can tell there is a piston or piston ring problem. While the pistons may encounter damage from overheating and fail to seal in the gas, they are still intact. Worn rings can cause low compression in one or all cylinders.

7. Damaged Valve Springs, Seats and Retainers

A lot of lost compression is due to faulty valves. In this case, the engine can possess damaged valve springs, seats or retainers. Valve springs help the intake and exhaust valves to close after the camshaft opens each one. While the springs are constructed from high-tension steel, they can also be quite brittle. If a spring breaks, the valve cannot close all the way, and the ignited gases can leak.

A valve seat is a metal ring pushed against the cylinder head. Mostly made from aluminum, they can expand from overheating and loosen. Once loose enough, the seat can fall off the head and allow air to escape into the port. You can either repair or replace a dropped valve seat.

Finally, a valve retainer is a tiny piece located in the valve spring that can dislodge. Retainers keep the valve connected to the spring. But if it dislocates and drops into the cylinder, it can touch the piston and interfere with the ignition process.

All three elements of the valve can affect an engine by causing no compression in one cylinder.

8. Worn Out Camshaft

Camshaft lobes attach to valves, triggering them to open and shut. Like everything in your car, they can deteriorate over time and prevent the valves from opening. It can set off a chain reaction — when the valves can’t open, the ignited gases remain in the chamber. Worn camshafts can be a reason for low compression in a single cylinder or can result in no compression in all the cylinders.

You can check the issue by taking off the valve covers and turning the engine over. Watch how the valves react and replace the camshaft as necessary.

Understanding the eight potential reasons for an engine’s compression loss is vital in keeping your car in operation and avoiding the repair shop. The more you know, the more likely you can fix the issue yourself and get on with the more important things in life — like enjoying that Sunday afternoon drive.

In most cases, your engine will encounter low compression in one cylinder with a misfire when you start your car. The problem becomes more serious when there are more than one that have issues, or if the engine has no compression and won’t start.

How to Fix Low Engine Compression

If you suspect your vehicle is suffering from low or no engine compression, you’ll want to make sure your hypothesis is legitimate. The first step is to determine whether there is an actual loss of compression in one or several cylinders by conducting a compression gauge test.

Ensure you have the engine shut off before proceeding, then remove the ignition coils and the spark plugs. Insert and tighten the compression gauge into the spark plug socket and have a second person crank the engine. Watch the gauge until it reaches its maximum compression. A healthy engine should have about 100 PSI per cylinder. If leaks are present, it’s crucial to check every possible component.

Examine everything from the piston rings, gaskets and camshafts to cylinders, valves and pistons. Look for cracks, worn areas, holes, damages or slits. Once you discover one or more broken cylinders, start repairing or replacing the parts.

Rislone Treatment Solutions

Some pieces need physical repairs, while less severe leaks can be treated with products. For example, Rislone provides you with our Compression Repair with Seal Ring (4447). It’s an engine compression restoration treatment that can unstick piston rings and fill a cylinder’s scratches and wall gaps. The solution can also decrease wear and friction as well as renew worn engines, repair blow-by, rebuild compression and restore power.

The makeup of the product doesn’t involve harmful leads that have the potential to damage your engine or other risky metals that can contaminate various components. It has a blend of petroleum additives that are ideal for high-mileage engines experiencing decreased or no compression.

Rislone engineers use a special additive to repair degraded cylinder walls to restore compression and boost engine performance. Our compression repair treatment works in two ways. Chemical polymers fill in the grooves, dents and scratches within a cylinder. Any abrasions can be caused by age, wear and high mileage. The solution also helps free up sticky rings located in the piston’s grooves, helping them to seal better and fix compression leaks.

Many times, faulty compression requires repairs and replacements, but in other cases, you can find a solution like ours that supports all petroleum-based oils and works with gas and diesel vehicles.

When you rely on our expertise and exceptional products, you can mend low compression mishaps and enhance your car, truck or SUV’s operation. We can even help you advance the longevity of your vehicle. As it drives in the elements and coasts through thousands of miles, your car can withstand harsh conditions. But if you don’t supply the engine with proper care, the system can degrade faster than usual.

Treatments for Low Engine Compression

Rislone has been at the forefront of performance chemicals for more than 95 years, supporting people who want to repair and improve the peak operating levels of their car. Our products like engine treatments, fuel and diesel treatments, compression repair formulas, zinc oil additives and transmission repair fluids help to maintain and boost vehicle performance.

Learn more about our compression treatment product and how it can support your engine, or search for a location near you offering our solution. If you need additional support on how to repair low engine compression, you can rely on our team of experts for personal and trustworthy assistance.

What Are Fuel Additives and How Do They Work?

When was the last time you thought about your choice of fuel? Have you ever considered how you can make it work better? Sometimes your gasoline can even be the source of a major problem with your engine.

Fuel additives allow you to enhance certain aspects of the gas you put in your car every day. They can be particularly helpful for old cars, diesel vehicles and driving in specific environments. There are a few things to watch out for, however, and the number of types and options can be overwhelming. Due to the vast quantity of choices, determining what will help and what will hurt your engine can be tricky. Today, we’ll go over what fuel additives are, the different types, what they do and the importance of fuel additives so that you can get the most out of your fuel.

What Are Fuel Additives?

Fuel additives work with the regular gas that you put in your tank. They function by, as the name suggests, adding substances, such as system cleaners, lubricants and performance enhancers, to the fuel to achieve a specific goal. No matter what your pump gasoline says or how it’s advertised, it does not have anywhere near the additive packages a professionally-formulated fuel treatment does.

People typically use additives in small quantities, and they’re cheaper than changing the fuel itself. Modifications to an entire engine are obviously much more expensive, and additives can help drivers avoid them by addressing a specific problem or by helping with preventative maintenance. Using a fuel additive can solve problems on an engine without breaking the bank or the parts. Additives work on issues related to the movement of gasoline or the system it flows through. Cleaning agents, for instance, might be mixed with fuel to remove heavy deposits, reducing friction and improving flow. Individual components like injectors and valves need to be free of any buildup to work at their best. Cleaning out the system can put a stop to sluggish responses and hard starts, among other issues. Lubricants work similarly, helping parts to move better and more efficiently. Other tasks a fuel additive can take on include preventing gas from freezing, adding potentially performance-boosting octane and keeping fuel from going bad over time.

There are a variety of different types of fuel additives, including those meant for off-road and marine usage that may not be legal for use on the streets. Others might be intended for specific environments, such as in cold weather or high-moisture areas. Most fuel additives, however, are developed for an everyday car that might need a little something extra to get it working efficiently.

Different Types of Fuel Additives

The benefits of fuel additives vary widely. They could be performance enhancers or fuel stabilizers. Fuel performance enhancers improve the functioning of your fuel. They may do so by cleaning a system and preventing buildup for the future. Fuel stabilizers keep the fuel intact, preventing adverse long-term effects, such as solidification and corrosion. Below are just some of the types of additives you can use in your vehicle.

1. Fuel Stabilizers

Got an old lawnmower gathering dust somewhere? Chances are, when you go to start it, you’ll have some sputtering to deal with. The gasoline that’s been sitting in the mower may have also caused some damage. As mentioned earlier, a fuel stabilizer will help your fuel hold up over time. Most stabilizers are intended for vehicles and equipment that sees intermittent use or goes long periods without seeing use. Seasonal vehicles such as boats and RVs, lawn care equipment and generators are a few examples. The additive improves efficiency by preventing the separation of gas and water. When fuel separates after being left sitting for a while, it can cause hard starts and engine corrosion. A stabilizer blocks this process and helps the components to stay thoroughly mixed. If your fuel will be sitting for over a month or so, it is probably a good idea to add some stabilizer, especially if conditions are cold.

2. Octane Booster

Before the ’70s, tetraethyl lead, high in octane, was used as an additive in gasoline. Of course, that practice ended when the health hazards of lead came to light. Some people still look for high-octane fuel to put in their cars, whether it makes sense or not. High-octane gasoline is often associated with high power, as it can increase the compression ratio. When the compression ratio is higher, there is more air in the engine’s cylinders. This creates a more powerful explosion when it ignites. The octane levels reflect how much the air-fuel mixture can compress before it ignites.

Engines are typically designed to work with fuel at specific octane levels. Low octane levels can cause fuel to ignite under pressure. The shockwave from this pressure ignition meets up with a similar shockwave coming from the almost-simultaneous ignition from the spark plug. This process can lead to a knocking sound and make your engine less efficient. Using ethanol is one way that refiners increase the octane levels in gas.

Unless your engine is making this knocking sound, you likely don’t need an octane booster. Some older cars that use high-compression engines will benefit from octane boosters. Other vehicles that may require higher octane fuel include premium sports and luxury cars. Octane boosters can also include lubricants for the cast-iron valve seats in these older models. Lubricants can help to reduce wear on these components so that they cool the engine more efficiently.

3. Diesel Cetane Booster

In a diesel engine, you can increase the power in a similar but opposite way. A higher cetane level causes quicker ignition and better fuel usage. A short delay between the fuel injection and ignition is a sign of high cetane levels. A long delay, a sign of low cetane levels, can lead to incomplete combustion, significant noise and more emissions. With gasoline, a high octane level makes the engine ignite more slowly, while a high cetane level in diesel makes it ignite more quickly. Different types of vehicles have different optimal levels of cetane. Few areas in America offer the cetane level needed for most vehicles, so an additive may bring the fuel up to par and increase the efficiency of an engine.

4. Fuel-Line Antifreeze

In especially cold weather, it is not uncommon for condensation to build up in fuel tanks, freezing up the line. Using this additive can prevent freezing using an alcohol base. Others use water dispersants that absorb water in the fuel and move it to the engine, where it safely evaporates into steam that leaves through the exhaust. Ethanol accomplishes some of the goals of gas-line antifreeze, so if you’re using ethanol gas, you probably have some amount of freezing prevention already. An additive may be more beneficial for vehicles using gasoline without any added ethanol, particularly diesel. It’s most helpful when temperatures jump between freezing and thawing. If this cycle occurs frequently, fuel-line antifreeze should help avoid frozen condensation.

5. Fuel Injector Cleaners

The fuel injector in your car uses electronic controls to spray fuel into the engine, creating just the right mixture of air and fuel for optimal combustion. Pressurized fuel is pushed through the nozzle and sprayed out the other end of the injector as an atomized mist, so it combusts more easily. When this injector gets clogged, it can spell trouble for the entire fuel combustion process. Your engine may begin to stutter, misfire or stall, even during idling. General performance can suffer too, giving you less engine power or slower acceleration. Issues like these can be especially prevalent in cold weather.

A proper fuel additive will help to keep this system clog-free, so you don’t run into performance problems on the road. Some additives are for preventative maintenance, while others are a little stronger and can remove existing deposits, which are made of carbon that develops from the combustion process. In general, additives can significantly reduce the deposits on intake valves across a variety of fuel types. They can also reduce hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.

6. Anti-Gel Diesel Additives

Diesel fuel can have a tough time with cold weather, which causes paraffin wax particles to crystallize in the fuel and clog lines and filters. Cold weather can impede on engine performance, possibly even preventing your engine from starting at all. This can lead to major repairs if not addressed. The fuel combustion process is time-sensitive and depends on proper angles, flow and dispersion. To prevent gelling, this type of additive helps to bring down the freezing point of the fuel. They are better used before the cold temperatures hit, but can still be added after the fact, since they don’t hurt your engine. Many diesel vehicles also use heated fuel lines, but these don’t prevent hard-starting like an additive would.

7. Ethanol Treatment

We hear about the benefits of ethanol gas all the time. Over 98% of gasoline in the US contains some ethanol, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have adverse effects on your car. Distributors use it for a variety of reasons, most notably its widespread availability and capacity to reduce emissions of pollutants such as carbon monoxide. Ethanol fuel uses renewable sources, including corn, making it an attractive eco-friendly option. One problem with ethanol fuel is its tendency to absorb water from the air, making it more prone to separation. Also, some older engines aren’t built for ethanol fuel and can have problems with deposit buildup. Additives can be especially beneficial for ethanol fuels because of these reasons. They can stabilize the gas and help to keep the engine clean.

8. Gas Treatments

A comprehensive gas treatment can address multiple aspects of performance or preventative maintenance. These treatments often remove and prevent carbon deposits, including detergents, to clean parts and stabilize the fuel. Some will only include one or two of these, and sometimes you can combine them with more specialized additives, like octane boosters. If you’re looking for a preventative maintenance solution, a gas treatment is likely your best bet.

You can even find additives for aviation, such as antistatic agents that reduce the safety hazards associated with static charge buildup. An additive makes the fuel more conductive and helps to prevent the accumulation that occurs when moving fuel between vessels. Marine applications may benefit from additives as well, especially if using ethanol fuel. Ethanol’s reaction to water is quite powerful and can easily cause separation and ruin an engine in a marine environment. Stabilizers help to improve the absorption, so it all stays together. Other concerns include contaminants and sludge, which additives can address as well.

What Do Fuel Additives Do?

Some people wonder if fuel additives actually do anything. If you use a high-quality additive for its intended purpose, you can typically expect it to provide the results it manufacturer promises. Additives are not one-size-fits-all, and you must use them to address the correct issues with compatible vehicles. Using an octane booster on a modern car, for instance, may push the octane levels higher than necessary for your engine. You may not see any benefit in that situation. Similarly, a stabilizer for a car that you use every day isn’t likely to do much. A stabilizer would address problems that occur when you don’t drive your vehicle for a while. Unless formulated for multiple purposes, it also won’t provide the benefits of other additive products. So, a stabilizer won’t necessarily offer you any deposit removal or anti-freezing properties.

Preventative maintenance is a primary use for fuel additives. In one study on a direct-injection gasoline engine, base fuel saw a 9.4% loss in fuel flow due to the buildup on injector nozzles. Keeping deposits out of your engine is just one way an additive can improve vehicle performance through preventative maintenance. It may also make your engine run more efficiently and avoid hard starts and sluggish movements, among other adverse effects. It may also prevent a costly repair down the road from an engine that’s been battling gunk and corrosion its entire life. That’s one expensive fix, and if fuel additives can prevent it, you may be looking at significant savings in repair costs.

Fuel additives may need to be reapplied with every fill-up, though some can go longer. Check the packaging to be sure. Some will suggest you add it at every oil change, and others tell you to change it after a specific amount of miles. Typically, you should pour in the additive to your tank before you fill it up. Doing this ensures that the fuel and additive are appropriately mixed, similar to pouring your laundry detergent in the washer before you dump in your clothes. Pouring an additive on top of the fuel doesn’t create as much dispersion.

Do fuel additives work for improving your fuel economy? You may see slight improvements at first due to the cleaner system, but nothing crazy. Many manufacturers will advertise that their product improves fuel economy by leaps and bounds, but these claims are often unfounded. The FTC has even had to step in on some accounts.

The good thing is that, even if you use the wrong additive, it probably won’t harm your engine. These additives are designed to solve specific problems without causing other ones. This no-harm design means that, in general, you can safely use an additive without worrying about doing damage to your engine or fuel. Some additives, however, can harm the sensors in your system, especially in high quantities, so be sure to check with the manufacturer. RISLONE products do not damage your engine. You can also check with your owner’s manual or the manufacturer of your car. Some of them test products themselves for compatibility.

Are Fuel Additives Important?

If you want to keep your engine and fuel lines running smoothly for years to come, then yes, the importance of fuel additives can’t be understated. Again, preventative maintenance applies to any vehicle, and ensuring your fuel is up to par will help keep it moving. Additional lubrication and cleaning qualities help your engine to avoid high friction and wear and tear. A clean engine experiences fewer hard starts. Premium gasoline is not exempt from the requirements of preventative maintenance.

There is room for improvement in general engine efficiency. According to the EPA, the average conventional vehicle only converts 12-30% of the chemical energy in the gasoline to kinetic energy to move the car forward. As much as 72% of these inefficiencies occur in the engine. Any improvement here can significantly help the efficacy of our fuel systems and help us get more out of the fuel we use.

  • For old cars: Fuel additives may be especially beneficial for older vehicles since they were created for different fuel types and have different needs than modern cars. Older valve seats, high-compression engines and old parts may require additives to keep them moving as initially intended.
  • For seasonal items: The fuel in a lawnmower will go bad if left in disuse over the cold winter months. A stabilizer can keep it fresh. A stabilizer would also help a boat that only sees the water over the summer. Depending on the fuel you use, stabilizers might be especially necessary here, as ethanol fuel can react strongly to exposure to water.
  • For diesel vehicles: Diesel is a whole different ballgame due to the differences in engine construction and fuel composition. Stabilizers, antifreeze and anti-gelling additions can all be a massive benefit to diesel vehicles. A truck that won’t start can be detrimental to delivery or the truck itself, stalling production and causing expensive delays or repairs. Drivers can keep them running well and prevent these problems with additives.

Additives can help you solve a wide variety of issues without spending a fortune on repairs. If you have a seasonal-use vehicle that is prone to trouble with startup, a stabilizer can enable you to use it after long periods of disuse. If you deal with sluggish starts in cold weather, a fuel-line antifreeze can offer lower freezing points to solve the problem. An old car with a high-combustion engine likely needs a high-octane fuel to work correctly and avoid knocking. All of these problems are easily fixable with additives.

It is useful to note that you should not combine additives. This factor makes multi-functional additives more attractive, as they can accomplish several jobs with one product. For instance, our array of products includes a complete gasoline fuel system treatment that covers the cleaning gamut, including the valves and combustion chamber. It also lubricates, removes contaminants and prevents the gas from going bad. This product won the Professional Tool & Equipment News Innovation Award — an industry-respected prize for 20 years. These kinds of products make an additive perform a variety of tasks that might otherwise require multiple solutions. They can help you save a substantial amount of money while improving performance.

Start Using Fuel Additives Today

Whether you drive a classic car from the ’50s, a brand-new SUV, a massive sixteen-wheeler or anything in between, fuel additives can make a major difference in the way your engine performs and holds up over time. This improvement may be through general maintenance that keeps your fuel moving smoothly or through antifreeze treatments that allow your car to start in the coldest of temperatures. Nearly every vehicle can benefit from some kind of fuel additive.

RISLONE has been working on performance chemicals for over 95 years and we know a good additive when we see one. With our wide range of products for different vehicles, you can trust that your engine is getting quality treatment. Find a RISLONE retailer today to discover how we can keep your car running smoothly.