Owen Heatwole

Owen Heatwole

OWEN HEATWOLE serves as Technical Support manager of Solid Start/True Brand. He's spent his life maintaining a variety of engines and the last 25 years supporting preventive maintenance engine decarbonization, including projects for the AMRA's Technical Committee and training worldwide. He can be contacted at: heatwole@solidstart.biz

ARTICLES

Embracing Efficiency: Diesel Power Update

Diesel power has been proven for more than a century, dominating markets with challenging fuel prices and emissions requirements. The US Department of Energy reported, “In 2011, diesel car sales made up 51.8 percent of the European market.” Maserati’s Harald Wester added that in 2013, “Diesel engine[s] represent 75 percent of the large-car segment in Europe.” One US manufacturer’s blunder scarred the US automotive diesel market.
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Unintended Consequences Drive GDI Engines to Your Shops Part 9: Key Trends and Wrap-Up

Following trend information benefits service providers and vehicle owners, so this article reports reliable sources featuring US car manufacturers. First, we look beyond the automated vehicle mobility trend. With numerous uncertainties, it’s a complex subject in need of more research — including design engineer resignations over litigation concerns. Another controversial trend is hybrid and electric vehicles, often hurried to market in efforts to meet the federally mandated CAFE requirement of a 54.5 mpg fleet-wide average by 2025. This requirement not only applies to cars but also pickups, SUVs and vans. Some controversies include the subjects of carbon footprint and
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Unintended Consequences Drive GDI Engines to Your Shops Part 8

Do we value efforts behind applied sciences producing motor oils that permit modern engine operation? We respond “yes” while recognizing that when limits to motor oil stressors and contamination are reached the best return on investment becomes “Out with the old, in with the new.” We also join those recognizing that engines place varying demands on motor oils. Including smaller, more powerful GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) and TGDI (Turbocharged GDI) engines with increased stress and contamination to motor oils, (for details, see series articles No. 5 and 6). Good news; this opens the door to a growing oil change
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Unintended Consequences Drive GDI Engines to Your Shops – Part 7

We heard your request and dove into turbulent waters to provide a listing of gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine appearances. For years, we’ve asserted that an educated buyer is our best customer. This is critical for industry growth because otherwise customers go elsewhere. Informed customers sometimes tell friends they know more than an intended service provider. With solid information backed by effective service, you build your reputation while capitalizing on service opportunities. Your Request Many of you have asked, “When did the millions of GDI engines start to appear?” OEMs rushed GDI engines to market in an attempt to
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Unintended Consequences Drive GDI Engines to Your Shops: Knock, for Customers & Service Writers

Here’s an exchange between a customer and a service writer: Customer, “My fairly new vehicle seems to have lost power and fuel mileage. Can you help?” Service writer, “Our check indicates that your knock sensor(s) caused changes to save your engine from damage.” Customer, “But I haven’t heard knocking! What’s going on here?” Both are likely correct. Read on. For the Service Writer — Knock Evidence Knock can destroy turbocharged gasoline direct injection (TGDI) engines — a dominant design including all Ford EcoBoost engines. Research showed that, “[With TGDI] downsizing and increasing power output, the failure mechanisms started to
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Unintended Consequences Drive GDI Engines to Your Shops - Part 5

Let’s “turn up the heat” with an overview of GDI’s closely-connected:1. Fuel injectors2. Combustion chambersIn gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines, gasoline injector tips are directly exposed to combustion chamber heat, pressure and contaminants. As a result, according to VehicleMD, GDI fuel injector deposits are similar to combustion chamber carbon deposits. Meaning they’re harder, more tenacious, more difficult to remove and more benefitting from preventive maintenance.In the past, techs were familiar with port fuel injection (PFI) where fuel injectors, located in lower-temperature intake runners, sprayed gasoline at 40–60 pounds per square inch during the relatively lengthy period of intake valve
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Unintended Consequences Drive GDI Engines to Your Shops - Part 4 - Intake Valve Deposits

A well-documented gasoline direct injection (GDI) problem is intake valve deposits, caused by the absence of intake valve washing.Why is this important for NOLN readers? Owners learn of GDI issues — including reports of a leading manufacturer replacing cylinder heads due to excessive intake valve deposits at only 20,000 miles, the same OEM introducing a completely redesigned GDI engine for 2017 and expect their service providers to know what’s going on.This series provides valuable training because, as reported by ASNU, “In 90 percent of the motor industry, keeping up-to-date with changes in technology is beyond most workshop owners’ budget.
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Unintended Consequences Drive GDI Engines to Your Shops - Part 3

Foundation recap; Part 1 (see May issue for details, sources, etc.) addressed how:Due to emissions and CAFE fuel economy mandates, manufacturing turned to gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine technology that now arrives in shops suffering from unintended consequences as they age.·       GDI engines differ from previous engines — including port fuel injection (PFI) — in ways that change their “…repair process and maintenance program.”·       GDI engines arrive “…with mysterious complaints. … Problems can affect engine performance in as little as 3,000 miles. Neglected treatment may require a costly upper-end teardown...” Note: costly.·       GDI engine owners can research and assume
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Unintended Consequences Drive GDI Engines to Your Shops - Part 2

Recap and addendums to Part 1 (for details including sources, see Part 1 in the May 2016 issue of National Oil and Lube News):• Gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines differ from previous engines in many ways that change their repair process and maintenance program. This becomes critical because, due to emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandates, engine manufacturing turned to GDI engine technology. These engines now appear in shops suffering from unintended consequences as they age.• Need-to-know: Many modern vehicles powered by GDI engines are showing up in service departments with mysterious complaints. Diagnosing and remedying these
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