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Is blowby the silent killer of an internal combustion engine?

Over the last several weeks the discussion that has come up most often is the cost and effectiveness of different blow-by solutions. Things seem to head this way when the discussion begins with “just how different blowby itself can be from one case to another”. The frequency of this discussion has led us here.

Blowby is the silent killer of an internal combustion engine.

That’s not entirely accurate – engine wear is the real culprit. But it can often present itself as blow-by, and when mechanics tell you what is wrong normally they will tell you blow-by, not “engine wear”. That said, have you ever considered the completeness of the havoc blow-by can wage on your engine? When an engine is new, the minimal amount of blow-by that exists is normal. In fact engine manufacturers account for this with return valves that take the blow-by gasses and return them to the combustion cycle via the PCV system.

Even these return gases have some effect on efficiency due to the exhaust or incompletely burned fuel that can cause fouling on spark plugs, valves and seats and even on the rings and piston surfaces. Much of this is accounted for and modern fuels are formulated with detergents and additives to combat these effects in engines that are running efficiently with minimal blow-by. As engines go through the break-in cycle, rings and valves seat, or seal, and oil is sufficient to not only lubricate the metal on workings surfaces but also provide a seal against excessive blow-by. (Note: this assumes the owner understands and uses best break-in practices for the particular engine which is far to rare these days.)

Sooner rather than later the wear process begins and rings bang cylinder walls. Metal filings get pinched in between and gouges form. Particulates that your air filtration let slip by corrode smooth surfaces. Bingo, blow-by goes up. The the oil from the crankcase passes into the combustion chamber, the gases from combustion pass into the crankcase and… Oil fouls, plugs foul, valves foul, and the normal detergents don’t clean the gunk and the wear leads to more wear and the cycle continues and escalates. And all along you never hear it or see it until the purring road tripper you owned becomes a choking commuter you curse daily. OK maybe we went from “Pride and Joy” to “Junkyard” a little faster than it happens, but you know what we are talking about.

Not all blowby products are created equally.

It’s time to talk about the nature of different blowby solutions and tell you why CerTech Gels is hands down the best product on the market to overcome blowby and it’s annoying symptoms like loss of power, oil consumption, tailpipe smoke, and fouled plugs and sensors. There are several opinions on what you need to do when blow-by becomes a big headache. Unfortunately, the old adage of you get what you pay for is as true here as anywhere.

Option #1: Engine Rebuild

The most frequent (and of course the most expensive) is an engine swap or an engine rebuild. We have no argument with this solution as far as the effectiveness of the fix if the rebuild is done well or you get a crate motor from a reputable builder. We do however take exception to the cost of this avenue when there is a far cheaper option for taking that old workhorse an extra 100,000 miles.

Option #2: Run Heavier Oil

The next option we hear is, just run a heavier oil. Heavy oils can work short-term. but fail the longevity test. They may also gum up the works as they tend to thin out in the high heat environment they are exposed to. As with any lubrication product oil breaks down and the result is glaze and gunk which not only fouls clean combustion but thickens and attracts other contaminates which can further damage already worn parts and surfaces. Add that to the fact they need to be replaced every oil change, if not more often, makes heavy oils an expensive and poor choice over time. Only slightly more effective over the short run and in the opinion of many mechanics more damaging the helpful are the soft metal and oil solutions. The thought is the soft metals will fill in gouges, pits and scratches with the soft metal particulates and lessen the degree the oil and gases pass by them. Great concept if you are looking for a short-term fix that must be renewed every 3 to 5 thousand miles. Due to the size of the particulates many of them are filtered out before they ever find the area they are intended to fix.

Option #3: Advanced Nano-Technology

Then there is the CerTech Gels way. Take nano-particles of ceramic, using the engines own properties of high heat, bond the ceramic to the metal surfaces in thin layers, and create a new smooth surface on all the interacting parts and restore compression, seal, and blow-by tolerances to near new specs, and make it last 50 to 100 thousand miles without the need to replenish with heavy oils or foreign metal particulates. If your mechanic has told you to go with option #1 and do a costly rebuild, we invite you to read success stories from our happy customers who saved thousands by going with Option #3.

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