ATS chemicals work and we are not afraid to prove it.
ATS has developed the best chemical engine treatments for fuel and engine oil system services for today’s vehicles. There are unique challenges with modern engines from direct injection carbon build-up behind the valves, carbon build-up on injector tips, and engine oil contamination and sludge issues such as clogged piston rings, variable valve timing faults, etc. In this article we are going to look at how chemical cleaning and pour-in treatments manufactured by ATS not only work as they are designed but make a measurable difference in engine performance. We show all this using real test data.
Let’s take a look at a few vehicles with different issues and how we resolved them using a simple to use pour-in treatment.
In our first example, we’ll show you a 2015 Honda Pilot with 96,000 miles had a slight misfire when cold and how our pour-in treatment made a measurable difference in performance. The owner described it as a rough idle. It was also consuming about a 1 quart of oil every 600 miles.
We removed and inspected the spark plugs to see if there were signs of oil burning and found some oil contamination on cylinder #3. There were no fault codes and, when warm, all seemed well with this engine.
What we have here is a vehicle that requires a bit of preventive maintenance. Yes, the engine was rough when cold and there was oil consumption, but most vehicle owners would overlook these symptoms until the Check Engine light came on or the vehicle became undrivable. As it turned out, this vehicle was a great example of an engine that benefited from an oil system cleaning.
To start with, we performed a compression test before carrying out the procedure. The compression results were to be compared to results after the cleaning to demonstrate the actual improvement gains in engine performance.
Compression values before the service:
The initial step for the procedure is to simply pour the oil system cleaner into the engine.
For the next step, you have two options:
• For maintenance: idle the engine for 15 minutes.
• For a deep cleaning (piston rings, oil control, variable valve timing cleaning): idle the engine for 1 to 2 hours.
Once the engine has idled for the required amount of time, replace the engine oil and filter.
Due to the subtle symptoms presented (a cold misfire), we performed the first (maintenance) option. Once this service was complete, we performed a second set of compression tests, under the same conditions as earlier. Each cylinder showed an improvement, some much greater than others with increases as high as 20%.
Compression values after the service:
To compare before and after results, consider this:
- Before the procedure, the high / low difference among cylinder compression readings was 45 psi. This is an unacceptably high difference in cylinder compression.
- After the procedure, the high / low difference was 15 psi, a normal amount.
This vehicle and its symptoms, however minimal, provide a good example of how periodic oil and fuel system pour-in treatments can help maintain maximum performance. Learn more about our pour-in treatments here and you can give our two pack oil and fuel system treatment a try by ordering it here.
Our second example, a 2013 MINI Cooper Countryman with a turbocharged engine (54,000 miles) was brought in for routine oil service. The shop specializes in BMW and MINI, so they have a solid workflow that includes checking for fault codes and of course the normal cursory inspections when replacing the oil and filter. The shop also uses smooth running values to check if the engine is running similarly before and after the service. (This is similar to the old days when we would take a tailpipe reading before and after a service to confirm we didn’t create a problem.) What type of problem can be caused during an oil change, you ask? We could knock off or crack a vacuum or breather hose and create an issue that didn’t exist. So checking smooth running before and after helps the shop confirm that the vehicle is still running smoothly.
The MINI Countryman is equipped with an N18 turbocharged engine, known for carbon build-up behind the intake valves. This is said to be caused by fuel / oil vapors in the intake system from the crankcase ventilation system and the lack of fuel spraying on the back of the intake valves to help clean them.
The smooth running values measured by the technician, 1.3, is normal, but a tad higher than expected on this engine. Zero to 2.5 is considered normal and above 2.5 is a misfire. A reading of 1.3 is half of what is considered a misfire, but still something worth looking into. If the numbers were ignored, the problem could do one of two things: stay as it was or worsen and develop a misfire. Like most shops, the goal of this shop is to keep that customer’s vehicle running well. This is where the preventive maintenance strategy comes in.
In previous decades, in order to inspect for carbon build-up on valves, it was necessary to pull the intake manifold. Taking a closer look is easier these days: we can use equipment like the ATS iC Borescope. We can inspect valves through the intake manifold using a line connection; alternatively, we can inspect through spark plug holes. Spark plugs are easy to remove on a MINI N18; it probably takes 5 minutes to pull them and another 5 for the inspection. Using the iC Borescope, the shop photographed and shared with us carbon build-up on the back of the intake valves, as expected. Two of the four valves shown:
This type of carbon deposit build-up is exactly why ATS developed the 3C Intelligent Induction Cleaner. The cleaning itself takes about 15 minutes once the flushing pump is connected to the vehicle; the entire procedure is fully-automated. Solenoid A and B toggle back and forth, denoted by the corresponding LEDs. This is the layering and cleaning process as A and B cycle ON and OFF. Once complete, solenoid C begins to cycle for a rinse and final clean.
Once the cleaning was complete, smooth running was checked again to make sure the numbers were improved. However, the real proof was at the valves. The tech pulled the spark plugs and took a few more photos for us, showing clean valves; the power and speed of the 3C Intelligent Induction Cleaner was clear.
3C Intelligent Induction CleanerLearn more about the 3C Intelligent Induction Cleaner here.
These are two great examples of how preventive maintenance can keep your customer’s vehicle running as designed and with maximum performance achieved through simple and non-intrusive engine cleanings and treatments.
Questions or comments? Maybe you want to share a success story? Reach out. We’d love to hear about it or tell you more about our industry leading engine treatment and cleaning systems.