Two- and four-stroke recreational vehicles, hand-held power equipment, small engines, construction and farm equipment are commonly operated seasonally or infrequently, then stored for long periods of time. During these periods of inactivity, and as a result of fluctuations in ambient temperatures, water vapor can form condensate within the engine. When this condensate comes into direct contact with steel and iron components, it forms surface corrosion on cylinder liners, piston rings, anti-friction bearings and steel/iron contact surfaces on rotational seals. Long periods of storage can also dry out cylinders, often resulting in permanent damage when the equipment is taken out of storage and dry started.
The severity of component distress resulting from extended storage varies, but it is usually not enough to result in immediate component failure. Often, equipment appears to function properly when put back into service, failing shortly thereafter as component distress increases with use. Because the failure doesn't happen immediately, the equipment owner often does not suspect storage-related problems.
The industry is beginning to recognize the relationship between storage-related corrosion and premature engine failures and performance problems. Most two- and four-stroke motor oils are formulated to have an affinity to engine component surfaces, acting as a barrier that keeps condensate from contacting engine components and forming corrosion. However, the effectiveness of motor oil in this area diminishes with time. Two common methods are used to extend protection of stored components. One method involves placing motor oil directly on internal engine components, usually by pouring one or two ounces of oil into the engine cylinders through the spark plug holes and manually rotating the engine to distribute the oil. The more effective, easier and cleaner method involves use of an aerosol fogging oil. Because it can be applied through the engine intake or carburetor as it is running, a fogging oil reaches and protects more components than a straight motor oil. In addition, the aerosol nature of fogging oil offers a more complete distribution of the oil than the straight motor oil method, something especially beneficial in applications with horizontal cylinder orientation, such as outboard motors.
A survey of manufacturers in the affected market reveals all have maintenance guidelines for long term storage of equipment. Forty-three percent indicated special maintenance is required if length of anticipated equipment inactivity exceeds 30 days, while 43 percent indicated a time period of 60 days and 14 percent indicated a time period of 90 days. All recommended the application of additional oil to the engine for long-term storage, and more than half suggested the use of a special fogging oil.
New AMSOIL Engine Fogging Oil offers superior film retention, providing long-term protection against corrosion and dry starts, extending engine life and reducing operating expenses. Its aerosol spray formulation offers easy and clean applications, while reaching more components and offering better distribution than straight motor oil.
AMSOIL Engine Fogging Oil applications include, but are not limited to, motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATV's, outboard motors, stern drive and inboard marine engines, personal watercraft, lawn equipment, chainsaws, snow blowers, portable generators, hand held power equipment, motor scooters, powered farm equipment, powered construction equipment, cars and trucks.
It is difficult to drain all of the fuel from equipment before storage, and doing so would expose the system to other problems, including the formation of rust and corrosion on the bare metal in the tank and fuel system and the drying and cracking of gaskets and seals. Some fuels are pre-treated with oxidation inhibitors that allow them to be stored for short periods without forming excessive deposits, while other fuels have no inhibitors at all.
AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer (AST) reduces the oxidation process that occurs when fuel is stored for extended periods. It prevents the formation of varnish and sludge which can clog injectors, stick floats and cause poor engine performance. AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer is ideal for stored season equipment such as snowmobiles, lawnmowers and boats. The treat rate is one ounce with every 2.5 gallons of fuel. One bottle treats 40 gallons.
AMSOIL ACTION NEWS / MAY 2006
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