The Internet is abuzz over the latest Blackstone Labs newsletter. OK, “abuzz” may be a stretch. But the newsletter certainly has sent the motor oil geeks among us into a tizzy. The distinguished oil analysis laboratory sought to answer the age-old question: Does it really matter which brand of motor oil your use?
Recent Posts by John Baker
A 10-mile trudge down gravel roads more trafficked by mosquitoes than people. That’s the situation I faced after dumping my Honda 350 motorcycle on a patch of loose gravel. Back then (the mid 1990s), cell phones were a luxury, especially deep in the woods of northern Minnesota where I lived.
My mother took the Culligan Man to task not long ago. Not the flesh-and-blood Culligan Man, but the actor on TV. It happened when I was visiting my folks during lunch. I have lunch at my parent’s house here in Superior, Wis., every Wednesday.
For all the grin-inducing benefits of owning a European car – finely tuned performance, sophisticated styling, prestige – they can be a pain to own. According to this list, four of the top five most expensive vehicles to maintain hail from across the pond.
Take a look at just a few of the dozens of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) specifications on the market: ATF+4 Mercon V Mercon LV Dexron VI ATF DW-1 ATF T-IV SP-IV Toyota ATF-WS Honda DW (ZF Diamond SP-IV You’ve likely heard the term analysis paralysis.
Swamp mix. That’s what you call a concoction of two-stroke oil and gas that’s been slopped together with no measuring tools and no regard for engine protection. Your chainsaw or string trimmer could be running on a 50:1 mix. Could be 72:1. Could be 147:1. There’s no telling.
Here are a few common reasons why your transmission may shift erratically, jerk or hesitate. • Low fluid level • Depleted fluid frictional properties • Poor cold-temperature fluidity
There are a few different reasons your engine might make a knocking, ticking or pinging noise. Let’s break each down and talk about what might be happening.
Motor oil deteriorates and becomes unfit for service due to accumulation of contaminants in the oil and chemical changes (additive depletion and oxidation) in the oil itself.
The simple answer: In small doses and used properly, it can be effective in hard-starting gasoline engines. But it can be bad for two-stroke or diesel engines. The real question to ask is, “Why does my engine need starting fluid in the first place?”