Common engine problems and AMETECH ENGINE RESTORE OIL

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From our experience of talking to our customers, there are two factors which motivate them to buy AMETECH ENGINE RESTORE OIL:  Desire and/or FearDesire for better fuel economy, more torque, more speed, better performance, better reliability, a smoother drive, less noise, less worry and a more pleasurable driving experience all round. Fear of engine failure, resulting in a vehicle or piece of machinery being taken off the road, out of commission, putting the owner to unnecessary inconvenience and a lot of expense while the engine is tested, stripped down and eventually repaired, rebored or replaced, or even finally, leading to the vehicle/machinery being scrapped and a suitable replacement being sought out.

Our customers come to us with a multitude of problems in the hope that AMETECH ENGINE RESTORE OIL will be able to fix them; some it will, some it won't, and we will always be honest about the prospects of a satisfactory repair using RESTORE and point the customer in another direction if RESTORE is not the answer for their specific problem.  Our best advice, if you suspect there is a possibility that something may be broken, is to consult your local mechanic; he will be able to advise you on the possible causes of your symptoms and whether is his opinion RESTORE is worth a try.  A good mechanic is worth his weight in gold and the advice we are giving here is no substitute for his hands-on approach; we are merely trying to give you some idea as to whether RESTORE is the right solution to your engine's problem.

Here are a few examples of the problems which drive car owners to seek our help and our opinions on the causes of those problems and the prognosis for a satisfactory repair using RESTORE.

Blue Smoke on cold start up or overrun is usually due to one of two things:
1)  turbo seals damaged and leaking due to low oil, or a stuck EGR valve causing overheating;
2)  valve guide seals  worn or shrunk allowing oil to drain into the cylinders overnight or allowing oil to be pulled through the guides into the combustion chamber under vacuum (overrun is going downhill without any throttle).
RESTORE will improve most fledgling turbo seal problems.  However, it is difficult for RESTORE to splash its way up onto the valve guides so we have to provide some manual help; remove the rocker cover and use a 'turkey baster' or plastic syringe or oil can to squirt RESTORE right on to the valve stems.  This will repair the metal in the guides (normally marine bronze or cast iron).  Then squirt some Engine Stop Leak (Unipart) onto the valve stems as well.  This will fatten up the tiny rubber valve guide seals (they are actually Neoprene or Nylon).  Pour the rest of the Engine Stop Leak in the oil as normal.  Replace the rocker cover and drive normally.  Problem solved, hopefully, within 50 miles.

Blue Smoke on hard acceleration is due to piston blow-by.  RESTORE will fix this in 500 miles providing the piston rings are not broken.  Check the compression in each cylinder to find out if all cylinders are bad or just one cylinder.  If all cylinders are bad, providing there are no broken rings, RESTORE should fix it in under 500 miles.  If you have one bad cylinder, re-check the compression on that one cylinder, add 200ml of RESTORE oil through the spark plug hole and re-check the compression (called a leak-down compression test).  If the compression is better with the RESTORE oil then RESTORE will fix the problem in that cylinder.  If, however, the compression is the same low reading even with the RESTORE oil then the problem is not worn cylinders or rings, instead it is a burnt valve or valve seat and the cylinder head will have to come off to replace the valve and recut the valve seat.

Black Smoke on start up may be cured by resetting the ECU by disconnecting the battery (make a note of your radio code or immobiliser code before you do this) or cleaning the EGR valve and inlet air filter.

Black Smoke when warm is due to overfuelling - follow the same procedure as above.  Dirty fuel injectors can also cause black smoke so using a fuel injector cleaning agent may help.

White smoke on start up is due to water vapour (condensation) inside the exhaust and catalytic converter.  Make sure you have a new fuel filter installed (to remove water from the fuel).

Continuous White smoke when hot coupled with a sweet sickly smell (Glycol or coolant) is usually due to a cracked cylinder head or leaking cylinder head gasket and must be fixed before cylinder wall and bottom end damage occurs (water in the oil destroys bottom end shell bearings and seizes pistons in cylinders.  Try a radiator sealant such as Kalimex K-Seal or Ce-lit in the radiator for 100 miles.  If you've still got white smoke the only option is probably to remove the cylinder head and repair or replace it as necessary.  (Please mop up any Glycol leaks as Glycol is poisonous to animals and wildlife.)

How else can RESTORE help cure high emissions? The best way to cure high emissions quickly using RESTORE is to put 125ml of RESTORE down each empty spark plug hole and then turn the engine over a few times before replacing the spark plugs.  PLUS do an oil change, engine oil flush, add RESTORE (250ml per 1000cc of engine size) to ordinary oil and drive normally for 500 miles.  If there are no problems with crankshaft, big end or small end noise, then you can run the engine hard e.g. a fast 100mile motorway trip, or high revving, which will fix the engine very quickly.  We have also found that by restoring the compression and keeping the smoke emissions down, RESTORE helps keep EGR valves in pristine condition.  EGR valves (exhaust gas recycling valves) remain in excellent condition and do not stick as much.  If EGR valves get stuck open, the engine runs cold and eratically and if EGR valves get stuck shut, the engine overheats and turbo seals fail.  Mysterious emissions problems can be traced to a stuck EGR valve.  An EGR repair can cost as much as £500, so using RESTORE provides real cost effective protection whilst reducing emissions and optimising MPG.

Failed MOT on emissions test.  Assuming an oil and filter change has already been done and you have no broken components in the engine, RESTORE has a good chance of quickly reducing emissions to a passable level ready for a re-test.  Don't just consider this as being a quick fix - the effect is permanent.  I have used RESTORE in my 1993 Volvo 440 for the past 3 years and the MOT emission test print-outs show that my car's emissions have reduced in each subsequent year since RESTORE was put in the engine.  We suggest you follow the same procedure as shown above, i.e. 125ml of RESTORE down each empty spark plug or glow plug hole, turn the engine over a few times, replace the spark plugs, add the rest of the RESTORE (in total you will need 250ml per 1000cc of engine size) to the ordinary oil in the sump and then run the engine for up to 500 miles or 10 hours.  You leave the engine running in your drive or yard continuously for several hours if this is unlikely to annoy the neighbours (and of course providing your vehicle is secure!)

Noisy Hydraulic Tappets can be cured by simply pouring RESTORE into the normal engine oil.  If you have worn valve guides and cam bushings and cam lobes we recommend removing the rocker cover (also called the valve cover) and pouring a few drops of RESTORE directly onto each moving component (you need to get the RESTORE onto the valve stems i.e. through the springs) and cam wear surfaces.  An old plastic syringe works well (don't use it for anything else afterwards of course).  This normally takes care of valve guide problems.  RESTORE will not be able to rebuild a cam lobe that has been ground away by low oil levels though.  You may need to add shims if the cam lobes have been ground away by a low oil situation, or change the camshaft.

Worn small end bearings.  Small end bearings are fed by oil splashed up from the sump or by direct oil feed from the crank oil supply.  By splash, the oil rebounds off the underside of the piston (cooling the piston in the process) and then drops into countersunk holes in the top of the connecting rods.  This lubes the bronze small end bushings by gravity (assuming the countersunk is not 'sludged').  Expect a repair in 500 miles or 10 hours of operation.  The other type of conrod is lubed by force-feed, where there is an oil-way drilled up through the connecting rod so the small end is force fed by oil coming through the crankshaft from the oil pump.  Expect repairs with RESTORE in under 20 miles or 30 minutes of running the engine.  We would recommend a flush just in case the conrod oil-ways are clogged up with black sludge, then add the RESTORE with new ordinary supermarket oil and a new filter and drive normally.

Fledgling big end bearing knock.  This is a tough one as we need to catch the damage as quickly as possible before the main and conrod shell bearings rotate on the crank.  We have had very good results if the damage is caught quickly i.e. the instant the knock is first heard.  Most conrod shell bearing damage results from zero oil supply (a red oil light) or from a cracked cylinder head where the coolant water washes the oil off the metal surfaces; shell bearings silver and lead are the first to go, and the cylinder walls then heat up due to friction and eventually the engine can seize solid.  So if a bottom end knock, which sounds like a constant thud, thud, thud, is heard (caused by either lack of oil or coolant water in the oil) stop immediately and do not drive the vehicle again until the problem is fixed.  Then use RESTORE to try and repair the damage by running the engine very gently at first until some improvement is heard.  If the parts are too far gone the noise will inevitably get worse and the parts will need to be replaced.

One cylinder ticks when cold.  Check for a cracked exhaust manifold that closes up when hot, before looking at piston slap and big end knock etc.

Sounds like big end knock when hot. Check the carbon charcoal canister. See if the relief valve has seized (this is an anti-pollution device that catches excess fuel and feeds it back into the engine later).  A seized valve can sound just like big end knock.  True big end knock is apparent when cold all the way through to hot and doesn't go away!  Try a small can of RESTORE and 'baby' the engine.  If the noise reduces then try more RESTORE to gain additional improvements.  No guarantees, but we are trying to help with a very expensive problem.

Drips and oil leaks.  RESTORE can repair bushings that reduces the flexing on leaking oil seals, but RESTORE won't repair drips and oil leaks on its own.  Try a good engine stop leak product along with the RESTORE.  Chances are that if your oil has been leaking there will have been times when it has run quite low resulting in extra load and wear on the engine surfaces.  Any 'stop leak' product that you use should not contain friction-reducers which will just work against RESTORE being successful.  If you have recently used friction-reducing oils in your engine e.g. Slick 50, Prolong, Activ8, Motorup, STP and Wynn's friction-reducers, Ptfe, Chlorine, Teflon, Moly and the new range of plant esters such as Magnatec and Silkolene R racing oils which contain positively charged particles which stick to metal, make sure you do an engine flush and add fresh oil and filter before introducing RESTORE into the engine. These kind of oils or additives work against RESTORE being successful.  However, once RESTORE has worked its magic you can go back to using your normal additive if you wish.

Mysterious oil loss - no drips and no blue smoke? Suspect that low oil has caused turbo seal damage and that the turbo is eating its own oil supply. If RESTORE doesn't work its magic in 500 miles then the turbo will have to come apart or be replaced (£800 ouch).

Piston slap.  RESTORE does a good job on cushioning piston slap providing the cylinder walls haven't worn too far and the bores have not gone too oval. 

Rattle that starts at 3000rpm - suspect low oil having caused hydraulic tappet damage and subsequent  rattle noise (see 'Noisy Hydraulic tappets' above) try some RESTORE and make sure to keep the oil level at the top of the dipstick. If the oil level drops the rattle will return at 3000rpm or 60 mph..

Water leaking into the oil.  If your water level is going down and your oil level is going up try using a product like Kalimex K-Seal or Ce-lit, available from Unipart or any auto-parts store.  Just shake the can and pour it into the radiator coolant.  I suggest you change the oil on a continuing regular weekly  basis until the water leak is fixed by the sealant, as water in the oil will strip the silver off your con rod and main bearings.  We suggest you use 250ml of RESTORE oil with each of these oil changes to protect the main and con rod bearings until the water leak has been fixed.  If the leak persists then the head gasket needs to be replaced and the head is probably warped and will need skimming.  Good luck!

Quick fix for worn cylinder bores.  This is like a dry/wet compression test (also called a leak-down or leak-by test) usually carried out using regular engine oil.  By using RESTORE oil in place of the regular engine oil you can repair the bores at the same time.  Try dividing a litre can of RESTORE down the empty spark plug holes (or glow plug holes on a diesel) and turn the engine over a few times before replacing the plugs and firing it up.  It will smoke for a while then the compression should improve across all the cylinders.  It is worth a try - doesn't work all the time - depends on how bad the bores are.  If one cylinder compression doesn't lift on the dry/wet leak-down test then you can assume the problem is a burnt valve or valve seat.  In this case the cylinder head must come off.

Two stroke quick repair.  This is the same way we cure worn two stroke cylinder bores quickly.  Pour approximately 100ml down each empty spark plug hole and allow to drain down and settle the CSL particles down around the piston rings.  This is just the same as doing a dry/wet compression test - any mechanic knows how to do this.  Then use the starter to turn the engine over a few times before replacing the spark plugs and starting the engine.  It will smoke for a while then hopefully it will cure the compression leakages and improve emissions and power.

Slight juddering engine.  Try 500ml of RESTORE.  It will smooth out the compression for you across all the cylinders.  In a petrol engine there could also be arcing (high voltage tracing) inside the distributor cap.  Have a mechanic remove the cap and look for telltale white lines on the inside black plastic , or wait till dark and lift up the bonnet and look for blue sparks from any of the high tension HT cables, or you can also try taking a water spray bottle (like you might use to wet down a plant's leaves with) and with the engine running, lightly mist all over the HT high voltage leads.  If you get an engine hesitation and/or a blue flash, there is the problem.  There are HT spray sealers available on the market that work quite well.  If there is nothing to be seen, try a fuel injector cleaner liquid into the fuel tank.  Finally, make sure all electrical connections are clean and tight e.g. battery etc.  You might also need to have the ECU (engine control unit) evaluated by a specialist.

How can I improve my MPG? 
  • The obvious answer is to remove all the heavy stuff from the boot!  Overloading your car with stuff that you don't need to cart around will have an effect on your fuel consumption.
  • Be gentle with the accelerator and the brake!
  • Find a local tyre and exhaust centre and have them do a free check that the tyres are correctly inflated and aligned properly (examine tread pattern for unusual wear pattern - bad alignment is like dragging the tyres sideways for 20 miles and wastes a lot of fuel).  While the car is on the hoist, have them spin the wheels and listen for scraping, dragging brake pads that can indicate a seized caliper (one dragging pad can cost 2-4mpg). 
  • Use a good fuel treatment (STP, Wynns, Unipart, Forte) to clean the injectors' fuel line etc to get rid of moisture. 
  • Check the EGR valve is clean and not stuck closed or open. An EGR valve stuck open makes the engine run cold and erratically. An EGR valve stuck closed causes overheating and destroys turbo seals and causes emissions problems. 
  • Install a new fuel filter (often overlooked but a major problem in high mpg in modern cars and causes many injector problems). 
  • Check the spark plugs (or injector spray pattern) are ok. 
  • Find your radio/immobiliser code and then have your mechanic disconnect/reconnect the battery to reset the engine computer, which should cure any over-fuelling problem.  Over-fuelling washes and scores the cylinder bores which increases friction and causes high fuel consumption.
  • Assuming all the above have been checked and are fine, and assuming also that you have no broken parts in your engine e.g. piston rings, cracked pistons etc., if your MPG is still high it is probably down to a worn engine, and we would recommend 2 small 250ml cans (500ml total) of RESTORE  in a 2000cc engine and this should be enough to return your car to being a tiger in under 500 miles.
Thanks for reading our Guide. We would like to know if you found it helpful.  Please click on the Yes button if you did.  If you have specific questions about engine problems or RESTORE that this guide (and our FAQ's page in our eBay Store) don't seem to answer, please use the Ask Seller a Question facility on our listings and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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