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How to fix engine blow-by

Supplier: Cost Effective Maintenance By: Brid Walker
19 December, 2018

Engine blow-by, smoke and oil use are related issues that, if ignored, can turn into very expensive repairs. Fortunately, in over 80% of cases this can be corrected at low cost.

According to Brid Walker, of Cost Effective Maintenance, “There’s a big window of opportunity on how to fix engine blow by problems, before serious engine wear occurs. Most drivers can easily tell when thing aren’t quite right, for example , the engine is  “Getting a bit tired” or “starting to breath heavy”, it’s “using more oil  than usual” or “there’s a fair bit of  smoke out the exhaust”.

Engine blow-by, smoke and oil use are related issues that, if ignored, can turn into very expensive repairs. Fortunately, in over 80% of  cases this can be corrected at low cost, and without any downtime.

Typically, blow-by is cylinder pressure leaking past the piston rings into the crankcase. Commonly, it starts as cylinder glazing or carbon forming in the top ring grooves, both of which allow cylinder leak down, and some oil burning. Oil burning produces further ring deposits, and more blow-by. And of course, more internal engine stress.

Using our Truckies Blow-by Pack is the logical solution, because it directly addresses the root cause of blow-by. It does this by enhancing combustion to burn off cylinder glaze and carbon (particularly from the top ring grooves).

What do i need to fix engine blow by

“To fix engine blow by, FTC Decarbonizer is added to the diesel at each fill, and you literally just drive the engine clean! The decarbonizing process is gentle and progressive, but efficient, even cleaning turbos and DPFs.”

Most engines will also need cleaning from the oil side to restore full cleanliness to the lower piston rings as well. This involves running Flushing Oil Concentrate through the engine. It uses detergents to target hard, baked-on deposits and engine sludge, and according to the manufacturers, restores “as new clean” throughout.

The longer blow-by is ignored, the more carbon accumulates in the engine. Black smoke increases, and oil soot increase! Performance and fuel efficiency deteriorate. Excessive carbon on pistons can cause rapid wear. Most broken piston rings are the result of carbon accumulating in the ring grooves. By cleaning the engine up, and more importantly, keeping it clean, the risk of engine failure is greatly reduced!

Engine blow-by reduced

The photos below are examples from Caterpillar D11R dozers operating in Queensland’s Bowen Basin a decade ago. Recommended rebuild life was about 11,000hrs. There were many failures due to severe carbon build up, some with only 3000-4000hrs. Typical rebuild intervals were 8,000-10,000hrs. One 10-piece fleet using FTC Decarbonizer stood out! The first engine was stripped down at 15,000hrs, and was found to be in excellent condition. After a while they settled on 18,000hr rebuild intervals.

Increased exhaust soot fouls turbochargers, EGR valves and diesel particulate filters. Increased oil soot chews out turbo seals. Many catastrophic failures result from neglecting blow-by.

By fixing engine blow by issues, engines operate with much reduced stress, more efficiently and much longer. The key to getting long life from Euro V emission controlled engines is burning the fuel clean for low exhaust soot, and maintaining low oil soot levels.

For more information on  flushing diesel engines, give Brid and the team a call on +61 7 3376 6188