Effects of NOx and Unburned Gasoline on Low Temperature Sludge Formation in Engine Oil
It is generally known that NOx reacts with unburned gasoline, olefins in particular, to form sludge precursors. In this study, the authors investigated the process by which NOx and unburned gasoline mix into the engine oil and analyzed the mechanism whereby stop and go driving accelerates sludge formation. It has been found that NOx detected in the engine oil as nitrite ions mixes into the oil in the crankcase. The NOx concentration in the engine oil increases rapidly when the crankcase gas temperature is nearly equal to the dew point of the water vapor in the crankcase. Unburned gasoline is mainly absorbed into the oil through the oil film on the cylinder walls and the oil in the ring grooves. During low-temperature engine operation in stop-go driving (i.e., when the vehicle is stopped), NOx and unburned gasoline are absorbed into the engine oil and, in high-temperature engine operation (i.e., when the vehicle is moving), NOx and unburned gasoline are released from the oil.