Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Brad asks: I wanted to get your thoughts on those aftermarket filtration systems that use toilet paper as a medium. Have you had any experience with these?
My reply: TP systems claim they save money because – IIRC – you never change the oil but rather just the roll of TP and add oil as necessary, to make up for normal consumption, etc.
The concern I would have about that – accepting for the sake of discussion the claims about the oil being effectively filtered – is the diminution over time of the additives in the oil. New/late model car engines are very “oil sensitive” and I would never use other-than-recommended type/viscosity/rating (which includes the additive package) and would adhere to the recommended change intervals to avoid problems with the engine and with the warranty.
New/late-model vehicles also often have variable cam/valve timing systems that are hydraulically (oil) powered and anything that affects pressure/volume could potentially cause expensive problems with these systems – and those problems would not be covered by the manufacturer because of owner modification of the oiling system.
It would be interesting to try out one of these systems, then have a lab evaluate the condition of the oil over time and then disassemble the engine after say 50,000 miles and check wear patterns, etc.
It may be true that TP filtration is superior to the factory cartridge/canister systems and regular full changes. But if you run this experiment, do so with the understanding that if the results aren’t good, you’ll be the one paying the bill!
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