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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lube Notes: Motor Oil Classifications

The ‘Old School’ axiom: “Oil is Oil” is simply wrong! Today’s engine oils, and all modern lubricants, are drastically improved in every aspect.
maxxTORQUE is dedicated to providing you with resource information to enhance your knowledge in all aspects for maintaining your truck. As a Certified Lubrication Specialist (CLS) with over 20 years of experience, I have continued to write a regular column, entitled, Lube Notes. The scope of Lube Notes has and will encompass lubrication, filtration, fuel additives, hydraulics, engine coolant / antifreeze, and various special subjects such as exhaust systems and DPF regeneration.

Diesel Fuel… The Ins and Outs

A few weeks back I wrote an article on the major differences between gas and diesel vehicles entitled “Diesel 101.” This week, in my ongoing effort to educate you on diesel vehicles I will cover the topic of the fuel such vehicles use… Diesel Fuel! Read on.

Diesel Engine 101

Well, folks, diesel engines are here to stay. Virtually every carmaker has plans for a diesel engine either in their pickups, SUVs or passenger cars. Its only a matter short time before we will see diesel pumps added to gas stations that previously did not offer diesel fuel. Now Audi has started a TV ad campaign which shows a young woman filing her Audi diesel powered car at the filling station. Well-meaning fellow motorists are shouting to her things like: “Hey! That’s diesel fuel!” or “Stop it right now before you do harm to your car!” to which she responds basically; “Relax everyone, I know what I’m doing.”
This article is meant as a refresher course to those of you who consider yourselves “Diesel Savvy” and and intro to those of you who are new to the diesel power scene. Read on.

Diesel Engine and GM Diesel History

If you are not new to the world of the Diesel engine, you are probably familiar with some of its history dating back to the turn of the Twentieth Century when Rudolf Diesel patented, tested and began to license his design for a self-igniting engine. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of that history and then look in more detail at the Diesel engine's application by GM since the early 1980s.
In 1897, Rudolf Diesel successfully fired the first engine that was able to ignite fuel without the introduction of a spark. By compressing the fuel/air mixture in the cylinder so that it heated to above the fuel’s ignition point threshold, the mixture self-ignited (auto-ignited) without the need for spark plugs. The design, introduced a few years prior to this testing, signaled the passing of the age of steam engines, though steam-powered ships were built as late as the 1980s. For example, the Fair Sky was the last major passenger ship built with steam engines in 1984 and the Queen Elizabeth 2 was converted from oil-fired steam engines to Diesel engines only in 1986.

2011 Duramax LML Review: Built to Tow

I haven’t been this excited about a new truck model since the Duramax engine debuted in 2001. Back then, the new GM diesel powerhouse represented an exciting leap forward in torque, horsepower and reliability. GM market share leapt forward as well, from an abysmal three percent to 30 percent. Looking for improvements in the new 2011 LML Duramax vehicles, we might expect to find them in the engine and transmission. The truth is that while there are some significant improvements to the powertrain, the Duramax engine has become a very refined engine with little refinement necessary. Why am I so excited then? The chasis!