A Problem with
DuraLube

T   
here is a slight problem with the product "DuraLube", the oil semi-replacement. Manufacturers don't recommend it but why not? If you can go on and on and on - without oil - without burning up your engine ... this must be great stuff ... right?"

Yes ... well ... sort of.

I recall a similar thing with "Rainx" ( the stuff you put on your window so that rain justs beads off and you practically don't need the wipers). Manufacturers didn't recommend it but ... why exactly?
It was because under some circumstances (a very light drizzle) the product made the water - which it righteously repelled - bead up into very small balls that just hung there on your window without running down and coalescing and subsequently clearing of your window. They just sat there and blocked you vision. Then you use the wipers and get a slight smear because Rainx is somewhat "greasy". So it was foolish to put it on side windows. It was an artificial fog.

A great product however for steady, normal rains and even helped in heavy downpours. Weighing these factors, I choose not to use it.

Now, in the case of DuraLube
I put some in my '93 Hyundai since it's often low on oil (because the oil light doesn't come on even when you're 2 quarts low - just when the damn thing starts up). After I put in DuraLube (maybe a few days later) I noticed that when I started up, I got a giant cloud of smoke ... but not if the engine had just been turned off ... and not if the engine "cranked over a bit" before starting.

The meaning of this is that oil in the cylinder was evaporating after being stopped for awhile ... then on start it partially burned that oil and sent it out the exhaust as a cloud of smoke. If the engine cranked over ... that oil was exhausted without burn and the next firing was clean gas. This is the only explanation which fits the observations.

Why blame the DuraLube?

Because the DuraLube replaces regular oil on metallic surfaces. To do so, presumably (and undoubtedly) it repels the oil to some degree necessary to replace it since oil also "wets" metal (obviously ... if it repelled metal it would be useless as a lubricant). This could be tested by mixing DuraLube and oil and seeing if they separate like water & oil ... I presume that they would.

Now ... the oil & DuraLube are churned up in the engine and coat the walls of the cylinder. When I'm running I'm burning some oil but not enough to notice (I burn about a quart every 600 miles or so). With the engine stopped, the oil starts to separate out from the DuraLube on the cylinder wall ... and beads up.

DuraLube beading up Note: As the oil beads up it presents a larger surface area to the hot interior of the cylinder facillitating greater evaporation ... and also, that the Van derWaals forces holding the oil droplet together must logically be weaker than the Van derWalls forces which cause the oil to "wet metal". This again makes it easier than normal to evaporate.

Well I've had this stuff in my car for over a year and ... it has run virtually without oil when I forgot to put in more ... but ... well, I "smoked" a couple next to me just yesterday and was very embarrassed. And people look at me "funny" when I start ...

in a Cloud of Smoke and a hardy
Hi hohhh ... Silvahhhhhh!

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