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...great write-up Dave (archive)

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Posted by (e) Steve on January 04, 2001 at 09:44:33:

In Reply to: That may not be moisture residue - posted by david on January 04, 2001 at 08:49:49:

Steve's probably right on both counts. But you've been trying unsuccessfully for 50k miles to turn fossils completely into carbon dioxide and water vapor. Some of the byproducts of trying to oxidize all that stuff will end up in your sump and on the walls of every surface contacted by the oils etc. It's not only normal, it's unavoidable. Every time I take apart an engine, I marvel at the stuff I find in the crevices - even race engines that I built myself and maintained perfectly. Cut open an oil filter you've just replaced and look at the particulate and other stuff onside it - but don't do it right after you've eaten.......

A fine greyish film inside your filler cap / neck is a tribute to the efficacy of computer controlled combustion processes and all the advances in auto engineering. Years ago, there was a TON of this stuff in your oil - and your bearings / valve guides / cylinder walls etc. That's why we changed oil and filters every 1000 miles in high performance cars with loose tolerances. If you have access to old Road and Tracks, find the article by Jack Smith (whose column was called "Of Smith and Cars") called something like "Gorping the Sump", from about 1958 to 60 as I recall. He describes in VIVID detail what it was like to rummage through your oil pan in the '50s and '60s (he also used his wife's favorite kitchen utensils - not a good idea).

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