How Engine Wear & Deposits Kill Horsepower

Most people equate engine wear and deposits with a sudden, catastrophic engine failure that leaves you stranded alongside the road. In reality, wear and deposits are more likely to erode engine power and efficiency over time. Here’s how it works and what you can do about it.

Engine compression = power

For your engine to produce maximum power, the combustion chamber must seal completely during the compression and combustion strokes. Wear and deposits can prevent the valves or piston rings from sealing, allowing pressurized gases to escape the combustion chamber and take potential engine power with them.

To illustrate, imagine using a hydraulic floor jack. Pumping the handle will raise the vehicle as long as the release valve is tightly seated and doesn’t leak. A poorly sealed release valve, however, allows pressure to escape, causing the vehicle to sink to the ground no matter how much you pump the jack handle.

The same principle applies inside your engine. If some of the pressure created during the compression and combustion strokes is lost due to valves and piston rings that don’t seal completely, the engine will create less power.

Wear & deposits reduce compression

Over time, deposits or valve wear can prevent the valves from closing completely, interfering with a good seal. Wear can also interfere with proper valve operation, disrupting optimum fuel/air flow.

If the piston rings do not seal tightly against the cylinder wall, pressurized combustion gases can escape past the rings and enter the crankcase, taking potential power with it.

Worn or stuck piston rings produce the same effect. The rings are designed to move freely in their grooves and press tightly against the cylinder wall. They should form a seal that prevents fuel/air from escaping. Ring wear can interfere with formation of a tight seal. Likewise, deposit buildup can cause the rings to stick in their grooves, also preventing a good seal. As a result, some fuel/air escapes the combustion chamber during compression, reducing power. On the combustion stroke, pressurized gases can blow by the rings and travel down the cylinder wall and into the oil sump, taking potential power with them. This is what’s meant when someone says an engine has lost compression.

(Check out our 5 Ways to Boost Horsepower for Under $500)

AMSOIL Signature Series helps prevent the problem

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil provides…

  • 75 percent more engine protection against horsepower loss and wear*
  • 90% better protection against sludge **

Its outstanding performance helps prevent deposits and wear that rob engines of horsepower, helping preserve that like-new feeling you crave when driving.

FIND AMSOIL PRODUCTS FOR MY VEHICLE

*Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 0W-20, in ASTM D6891 as required by the API SN specification.

**Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the ASTM D6593 engine test for oil screen plugging as required by the API SN specification.

05Feb 2019

Today’s Gas Engines can Produce as much Soot as Yesterday’s Diesels. Matt Erickson | TECHNICAL MANAGER – PCLT PRODUCTS AND MECHANICAL R&D I bet most of you reading this have some level of emotional attachment to traditional vehicles. The muscle-car era of the 1960s and 1970s kindled a lifelong passion for cars for millions of […]

05Feb 2019

Why Motor Oil Deteriorates Like just about everything else, motor oil has a lifespan. Even the best oils eventually require you to change them. Historically, many motorists like the convenience of changing oil with the seasons, visiting the quick lube or pulling the ramps out of their garage each spring and fall. Motor oil can […]

04Feb 2019

Why You Should Invest in a Fishing Guide Dan Peterson|Jan 24, 2019 10:48 AM Beginners and experienced fishermen both benefit from hiring a fishing guide, but for different reasons. Beginners are interested in learning the basics of how to catch fish. Without a guide, they would most likely not be successful. Experienced fishermen benefit from […]

31Jan 2019

From the Presidents (Archive) This issue of AMSOIL Magazine is one of our favorites so far this year. It has a little bit of everything – testimonials, technical information, new products – and it’s all good news. Sometimes you have to stop to appreciate all of the good things happening around you. Take Lavon Miller, […]

31Jan 2019
easy squeeze pack

The New SEVERE GEAR Easy-Pack Makes Changing Gear Oil Easy Andy Arendt|Aug 01, 2018 10:28 AM Changing gear oil in differentials and manual transmissions is critical for smooth operation and reduced maintenance. But professional mechanics and DIY enthusiasts agree: changing gear oil is a hassle. – YOu gotta see this new Squeeze Pack That ’70s squeeze bottle […]