I learned a long time ago while working on Submarine Design that sealing systems, especially, O-Rings are highly engineered solutions. The design of the grooves and mating parts is critical down to a few mils. The application of backing rings in some applications is also critical.
For the new submarine, a change in o-ring material from buna-n to viton was a very big deal.
Consider the o-rings used in the shuttle boosters, that is a highly engineered solution and it failed in a spectacular fashion at a cost of billions.
As simple and easy as o-rings look and feel to a consumer they can be critical in many places and adversely affect a products reputation and reliability. Systems that leak and create a mess for consumers to clean up, let alone deal with expensive failures are a painful testament to these highly engineered systems that look so simople.
What did it seem the cause of the problem was with the o-ring? Did the monkey in the "C" country use a poor material choice for the application or were the mechanical tolerances wrong? (or something else?)
I have only had bad experiences with Quick Lube places. Stripped out oil plugs are a common problem. Also, I only had three quarts of oil put in my engine while it required 5. Now, I change my own oil.
Additionally, performing our own oil changes allows a lot of extra benefits:
1) You can visually check the appearance of the oil. Putting a couple of drops on a piece of white napkin paper will show discolorations; smell it, does it have the slightest gasoline odor?; how thick or thin it appears to be? Does it contain the slightest traces of visible metallic particles (under sunlight)?, How much oil is using your engine between changes? Ideally, you could even cut the oil filter to check the filtered matter... It is done in carefully maintained fleets. There are some excellently designed filter cutters that make this more a fast move than a chore. How much do you love your engine?
2) You can be shure the replacement Oil and the Flter are of good quality, not something the Quick-and dirty- place buys in a drum size container...
3) You can add an "Oil System Cleaner" or "Oil Flush" before draining the used oil, allowing the engine to fast idle for 3 minutes, which will get more dirt out of the engine that only draining the used oil; specially with Turbo or Supercharged engines, since the Turbo bearings and oil galleries are thinner than those of the rest of the engine. Flushing the engine oil is safe as long as you Don't load it or rev it above fast idle.
4) You can allow the used oil much more time to drain out, much more than the "Quick Change" places allow... in the mean time you can take out spark plugs, change the air filter, or the gas filter; check the condition of the belts, the coolant and the brake fluid.
5) You can check the condition of the engine gaskets, re-grease the suspension in older cars, or just drink a cool beer in the meantime!
6) I've SEEN several "Quick (and dirty) Change" places just clean the outside of the used oil filter, instead of replacing it. Not replacing the filter at EVERY oil change means up to 25% of the oil is not changed. One time I saw the old filter got a shining new STICKER with the date on it!
7) Be sure to carefully collect and dispose of the used oil and filter at a proper collection center, remember it only takes 5 quarts of used motor oil to render a full water truck undrinkable ppm's).
I have had the pleasure to disassemble some well cared engines, where the owner was careful enough, they are clean, free of dirt and goo... but also have seen some that appear to have the factory oil left in them! Nothing can be and look so different.
Have it in all my cars since 1985, and it really works.
But when ever I tell anyone about it and the fact that it works as claimed for me, I still can not get used to the fear that other people express about NOT changing Oil.
Oil industry keeps convincing you that you ahve to do it every 3 months or 3,000 miles (they sell oil and more of it they sell the better for them)
GM and others try to convince you that you do NOT have to chagne the oil as often in their superior vehicles that sport the OIL LIFE system, but then you find out that it only estimates oil chang einterval based on their OEM Dexos Oil and the oil monitor does not have any idea what oil you have (or even if you have enough of it in)
Yet it is really strange that the 3,000 miles Motor Oil change has caught on that well and still persists, and at the same time almost no one ever changes or checks oil in RWD differential - and that oil when towing can get up to 300 F or more !!
If motor oil gets over 220F in liquid cooled engine, you ahve some other serious problem (like no coolant) to worry much about the Motor Oil.
Considering that the oil has oxidation rate that doubles for every 10 to 12 F increase in temperature, the gear oil in RWD differential is the most stressed lube in a vehicle.
This is a subject that simply cannot be discussed in this short space, but trying to keep it simple: even the most advanced lubricating systems in latest cars cannot cope with the inevitable: Dirt Ingress. All AIR filters in automotive use are NOT absolute systems, and it is practically impossible for them to remove 100% of the solid particles at the size range that damage the engine (abrasive damage). PERHAPS, if you live in a dreamlike place, free of abrasive dust in the air, well...; But for the rest of us, the oil change has to be executed in order to maintain an acceptable cleanliness of the oil (and that ignoring the measurable oil degradation altogether...). On OIL fliters, it is the same, no car oil filter can maintain the oil contents of the crankase as pristine as new oil, not to talk about the crankase contaminants added by the internal combustion engine, nor withstanding how advanced it is claimed to be.
One thing is to analyze the (possible) excessive oil change frecuency (and I concurr that the ever present practice of oil-changing at the familiar intervals is NOT the correct way to stablish a car maintenance schedule); and that Synthetic oils are capable of much longer service life than it is currentkly realized by people; BUT, the statement that there is an "Oil that does NOT need to be changed" is not a total, complete and absolute truth, and could conduce to some some engines being damaged.
Two extreme perhaps, , but clear examples: 1) At a factory producing cardboard boxes, several Forklift engines were completely destroyed in a matter of a few days (not months, not weeks). Reason: The extremely abrasive nature of the dust in that factory, the standard oil change schedule from the engine operating manual being followed, coupled to a failure prone air filter design that, when subjected to a large dust accumulation, flexed inside owing to its design and allowed some by-pass of the air into the engine.
2) Here where I live (Mexico City), we always have had the presence of appreciable dust quantities, but since 1996, its contains damaging levels of Volcanic Ash from "Popocatepetl" volcano near the city, varying along the year as the winds change direction. To leave the same oil charge for a long period is not a sane advice!
Maybe the only PROPER way to find how often the oil should be changed would be tru Oil Analysis, which unfortunately is not as inexpensive or easy for the gross of the population. (But is strongly advised for fleet use). And talking about car fleets: the most confirmed good practice for the maintenance of the Mexico City Airport Cab fleet, is to change the oil every two weeks! The difference in engine life of these Taxy cabs has been pretty well stablished, even using Synthetic. As I said, independently of how marvelous a synthetic oil could be considered, oil degradation is not the only aspect; feedom from abrasive particles is at least as important, and no oil could claim to be so advanced as to "repel dirt". amclaussen.
"Considering that the oil has oxidation rate that doubles for every 10 to 12 F increase in temperature, the gear oil in RWD differential is the most stressed lube in a vehicle."
Diff lube may see higher temps than engine oil, but the diff lube is not subject to outside contaminants such as engine oil is, especially from blowby - all engines have blowby and the majority of contaminants in engine oil is dilution from fuel (from the blowby).
So recommended drain intervals for diff lube can be in the 50K or more range, but you could never do this with engine oil regardless of how good the oil is unless we can somehow minimize blowby to nothing.
Also, because diff lube is not subject to fuel dilution and the variety of things an IC engine oil sees, it can be engineered for a more narrow set of operating parameters (i.e. temp and shear) thus giving it longer life.
. . . the more I figure I should have done it myself. In this age of outsourcing, I find that the money saved seldom equals the increased cost of poor workmanship and materials. Whether automotive work or home maintenance, I almost always try to do it myself unless it requires being on the roof or using an engine hoist. Even then, I find it necessary to surpervise most operations if I want it done correctly.
It is sad but it seems as if quality of service these days is hard to come by. I do all of my own maintenance and repairs on vehicles and around the house because I can't trust that anyone will do the job correctly. What has happened to the days of pride of workmanship? Attention to detail? It is frustrating to think when I get older and can't physically do these things myself what will I do?
A disturbing trend has been occurring in the automotive replacement parts business over the last few years. Namely, parts made in China. I recently learned that my last trusted supplier (NAPA) is even sourcing some parts from China now. The terms precision, quality and durability do not appear to translate into Mandrin. A cheap price is about all they have to offer. As we all know, cheap and quality do not always go hand in hand. This has been my experience in my former job. I tested Chinese made components and assemblies for durability and function. Needless to say, most were graded "D" or "F". Despite the test results and my test reports the employer proceeded to source components and complete units from Chinese suppliers because they were cheap. In the end the company lost many of its valued customers and filed bankruptcy. I do much of my own automotive work and when I can avoid it, I will pay more and not buy Chinese made parts.
averagejoe72677 wrote:"The terms precision, quality and durability do not appear to translate into Mandrin[sic]. A cheap price is about all they have to offer..."
While most of the blame on Chinese products is deserved, blaming all on them automatically is plain shortsight (no offense). While I sympathize with your feeling sometimes, I invite you to carefully look around you in this very moment... The phones, computer, monitor, memory on your portables, your portables, cameras, TV's, tools... Gosh!, almost all them are made in China, and most of them work perfecly OK; Don't they? ...These items HAVE enought quality. -SO, Where needs the blame to be assigned?
I guess it begins with the stupid, greedy CEO's in most american (and too many other countries) companies, that rejoice comptemplating the very few cents they are "saving" (or the many thousands in bonuses they are collecting for their "hard" work) when they send the production, fabrication, assembly, and even design to China or similar countries.
To put it clearly: Today many Chinese companies are more than able to produce the best quality in the world. BUT, why are so many cheap, improvised, badly designed items reaching the buyers? It is because the buying companies persist in lowering costs without even checking that the quality level of the goods is truly built into them. Do the company buying/ordering/fabricating then in China bother to inspect the items? (or are they going to say it is costlier than fabricating them?)
One friend of mine is into the Model Airplane Hobby Business; He travels to Oriental countries yearly to check for their offerings. He has told us that a given fabricator has up to SEVEN different versions of (almost) the same engine... at a range of prices according to quality, but the important thing is that even to his trained eye, the different versions look amazingly similar, almost equal! Then the problem lies in the buyer or importer, or the company that fabricates them in China, more than anything else. Besides that, he tells me that there are no american made model airplane engines still made today, other than a very few specialty ones, and some of them are made from components made in China!
Another aspect that needs consideration is that for a given product, there a hundreds or thousands of Chinese companies available to deal with. Without a CAREFUL, slow and through revision, there is a possibility to make a deal with the wrong ones.
Next time you feel the urgent need to blame on a Chinese product, ask yourself if the people that produced it was asked to deliver their best effort based on COST or QUALITY by the persons making the deal. And that the american (or any other foreign) businessman visiting the Chinese takes the time and effort to learn at least a little Standard Chinese(Putonghua / Guoyu / Huayu), not Mandarin, instead of specting the other side to fully understand and correct all the terms of the deal. amclaussen.
Many of the companies based here in the US have their products assembled in that country. To maintain a good reputation, it is pertinent that the company in question ensure that materials used are to specification. Some o-ring materies are not suitable for use with motor oil (EPDM being one of them) and many companies require component suppliers to provide material certs to ensure the correct material is used. Our company has, in some cases, insisted that an out-of-country supplier of subassembles use only parts made here in the US but in other cases, other countries' suppliers were able to provide proof of material before a particular component was accepted both here and in the country of assembly.
were not the same as the oiul filter o-rings. Apparently the originl Shuttle O-ring was made with an asbestos compound, to withstand the conditions of launch, etc. But when asbestos was declared evil, they changed the material and it failed. The moral being, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I had a friend who was running his car without the air cleaner. He went to some garage for an oil change and the "mechanic" poured the oil down the carbureter instead of the oil filler opening. My friend said, "don't sweat it," and started up the engine right there in the service bay. Have a little smoke! Bet the mechanic never made that mistake again!
The sad fact is that when an organization does not have the information to deliver the correc product, they usually purchase the cheapest product. Many times the failure takes a while, but it does fail. Used motor oil is hard on many kinds of rubber, so having the correct choice does matter. It seems that the quick change place management either did not know or did not care. LIke some others have pointed out, It is possible to get excellent quality work in China, BUT it does not happen at every shop that you see.
And I don't mean you buying an oil change at a national chain.
The failure occurred because the oil filter company did not perform quality assurance on the parts purchased from China.
When you purchase chicken at the supermarket, do you do a single check of quality on the first chicken purchased, the first time you visited the store? If that one chicken passed your quality tests, do you stop checking that the meat is good for ever?
If a part or process is outside of my control, quality checks get performed.
While having the oil changed at one of the "quick change" chains, I inquired about the filter they were using. They told me it was "a really good quality one - we use Fram." I let them finish, but reckoned that I'd do some checking before the next oil change. I requested and got the old used (OEM) filter at that time.
I purchased a new OEM filter from the dealer (this was a Mercedes, but I had the same results later with a Mazda filter). Then I went to the local Pep Boys and got the recommended Fram replacement filter. The Fram unit was only about half the weight of the OEM filter. Figuring that it was only a few bucks, and I certainly wasn't going to use it on my car, I opened it up with a bandsaw, and did the same with the used OEM unit from the previous oil change.
Both filters were constructed with an accordian pattern of filter material (similar to porous paper), but the OEM unit had roughly three times the amount of material as compared to the Fram filter. Since car oil systems have a bypass pressure valve to allow oil to continue flowing even if the filter is clogged, the Fram filter could easily become completely clogged much earlier than the factory recommended service interval, allowing unfiltered oil to circulate throughout the engine.
I always provide my own filter at the quick-change shops now, for which I'm usually credited the princely sum of $2.00. I guess this is part of the reason that these outfits recommend a 3000 mile interval rather than the invariably longer (7500 on my car) manufacturer-recommended interval...
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.