Engine oils and classic car engines

A warning to ALL classic car owners:

Changes to anti wear additives in modern engine oil formulations can have serious effects on older engine designs, such as rapid camshaft and cam follower wear. Over the last year or so, engine builders are reporting more and more cases of serious wear on camshaft and followers during the running in process and / or within a relatively short period of time after an engine rebuild. The cause can be attributed to surface hardness of materials or the quality of the lubricant. In the older designed engine, the quality of the lubricant is essential as the materials used were not to today’s high tech specifications. Traditionally oils contain many additives to carry out various jobs within the engine, one important one was a zinc / phosphorous compound known as Zincdialkyldithiophosphate or easier remembered as ZDDP. The problem with this additive and modern engine design is the ever-increasing emission controls the motor industry has to face. The phosphorous content of ZDDP and its associated ash content has a very detrimental effect on modern and sensitive exhaust emission systems and as such, there has been need to replace the Zinc / Phosphorous additive in the oil with other additives. The Motor industry and Petrochemical industries are working together to produce engine and oils that suit today’s demanding emission requirements. It goes with any further saying that modern engine oils are NOT suitable for our older engines. At the Classic Car Clinic we use a proprietary brand of oils that are specifically designed to cope with all the demands of a classic engine and still have the required levels of ZDDP to give the maximum possible protection against wear. Not only is the oil we use suitable for your classic car but also for use in classic competitions engines too….! If we (the Classic Car Clinic) didn’t carry out your last service, can you be sure that the oil used was suitable for your car…….?

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