Alfa Romeo Stelvio Forum banner
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

Registered
Joined
5,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Had an idea to maybe help with the problem of failing oil pumps (won't hurt for sure)...

My concept based on reports of people who have had them replaced among other things, is that the permanent filter on the pump is plugging up and restricting the pump, eventually burning it out.

To clean the permanent filter off (which is on the pump intake in the pan - I didn't verify this but designs that don't do this are rare if they even exist in a car engine) I essentially soaked it in a 50/50 Seafoam and regular oil mixture.


What I did was:

(Since it's been about 4000 miles since my last oil change)

Perform an oil change as usual, drained all oil out, replaced the filter with a new one and inserted the drain plug. Then I poured 2 quarts total of Seafoam and engine oil into the oil pan and let it sit for an hour. I DID NOT START THE ENGINE. After an hour, I drained the mixture out and looked at it. (I checked the filter and it was dry, the mixture did not hit the filter
unsurprisingly)

Here is a test sample of the mix to verify the Seafoam and oil mix well, they do. (Thanks @Alfie , solid idea)
Food Drinkware Liquid Tableware Cocktail


And another sample of the same mix after being in the oil pan for an hour.
Drinkware Liquid Solution Barware Tableware


Again.. I did not run the engine. That is just from draining down from the fill opening to the pan then sitting in the pan for an hour, then running another quart through to flush out all the seafoam mixture (so the second mix is 2/3rds oil). I am still a little shocked... It's actually slightly darker then the used oil that had 4k miles on it.

My opinion, if you have been changing your oil every 10k or close to it, like I have been (till this oil change) doing something similar to this is probably a good idea. That is a lot of black crap.

Drove the car for a quick 10 miles.... Seems to run better, smoother. Won't
argue that couldn't just be me... Definitely could be. Still.. that's a lot of black stuff that was left in the oil pan AFTER the old oil came out, is it crap that was in the permanent filter? Will removing it make the pump last longer?

Maybe.. No matter what, better out of the engine then in it. If you change your own oil, have a few miles on your car and are worried about the pump... Worth doing IMO.

Currently my car has 44k on it. Like I said.. that is a lot of black stuff to still be in the oil pan after draining the oil
 

Registered
Joined
5,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
For reference:

This is the oil that came out of the engine with only 4k miles on it. To me it looked great... I would not have guessed there was so much gunk still in the pan after changing. Also, for those who don't remember... Last oil change I ran an extra quart through the engine to flush any gunk and got about a half cup of gritty black silt out of the engine which is why I am changing the oil sooner now and ran the Seafoam through this time. To have the seafoam mixture come out so dirty, when the engine had already been flushed and the current oil was only 4k miles old, and looks exactly as expected...... I am still in shock.

Food Wheel Car Vehicle Tire


Again this is the first time I have changed the oil this early...previously I did the recommended 10k intervals.

I have no proof this is what is making the oil pumps fail... However, no way having that much black gunk left in an engine AFTER draining the oil out is good for it. No way.

This isn't an Alfa issue.

Whatever cars you own, don't wait 10,000 miles to change the oil.

Also, just drove 125 miles to a diagnosis for work today....engine is running smoother then I remember it runner maybe ever. Swear going up a major grade it had more power then the last time I drove it up that grade.. not that it was gutless before, but the cruise was having to downshift to maintain speed more often before, I think.
 

Registered
Joined
130 Posts
I've been waiting for the next time you posted about 10k mile oil changes, and the unseen harm they can do to engines.

Here's a teardown of a 2015 Toyota Camry 4 cylinder engine that had 10k mile oil changes done at dealers for 180k miles.
The owner had an 80 mile all highway commute, so the easiest possible running conditions.

Take a look at the damage to the cylinder bores at the 11 minute mark, and the carbon build up in the oil control rings at the 12:55 mark.

And this isn't even a GDI or a Turbo engine.
Just a Toyota engine, that people think should last forever.
 

Registered
Joined
722 Posts
I've been waiting for the next time you posted about 10k mile oil changes, and the unseen harm they can do to engines.

Here's a teardown of a 2015 Toyota Camry 4 cylinder engine that had 10k mile oil changes done at dealers for 180k miles.
The owner had an 80 mile all highway commute, so the easiest possible running conditions.

Take a look at the damage to the cylinder bores at the 11 minute mark, and the carbon build up in the oil control rings at the 12:55 mark.

And this isn't even a GDI or a Turbo engine.
Just a Toyota engine, that people think should last forever.
3 quarts every 1,000 miles, that is a well broken-in Alfa engine. For those of you that have not had the legendary Nord twin cam 4cylinder (1.3 to 2.0L) or Busso v6 (2.0 to 3.2L), they have 7qt + filter. 馃檪. Most would usually burn a quart of 20w50 every 1,000 miles but I have had them between 500 and 2500. Needless to say modern manufacturing tolerances are much much higher.
 

Registered
Joined
5,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If we had a 7 quart filter I'de be OK with a 10k oil change probably!!! Although a 10 quart oil change would be obnoxious.

Solid video, thanks for posting. Goes back to the point of this not being an Alfa problem, and that the 10k oil change interval is simply too long. That engine should be a million mile engine... Many people consider it that already.

The comment about how this stuff being stuck in the engine meaning an oil analysis isn't testing it.... Is nicely appropriate too.

If you think about it, the life span of that Toyota engine with 10k oil changes is in line with what is happening to ours.

A 2.5 liter, 175hp inline 4 engine lasts about 180k on 10k oil changes.. with an easy driver..

So yeah.... A 2.0 with near 300hp (so less then 25% smaller yet, about 1.4x more powerful - that's HP, the torque numbers are significantly higher, with Alfa making spitting distance of 2x the torque of the Toyota)....lasts about half as long with more agressive drivers, driving more like it was stolen....or close to it.

Change the oil at 5k instead of 10k.. bet both engines see 200k and more without major engine work though.
 

Registered
鈥18 Stelvio Ti Sport fully loaded It鈥檚 a DRIVER!
Joined
240 Posts
I鈥檓 just hoping I switched to earlier oil changes early enough. 60k was my last 10k interval. Last oil change was 7k next will be 3k and then 5k after that. Not sure I will do the seafoam but great reading
 
  • Like
Reactions: ALFAOFFROAD

Registered
Joined
5,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you do, don't start the engine, and run a second quart of oil through to rinse out the seafoam mixture. That way there is no chance there will be enough seafoam residue to effect the engine.

I am not a fan of using seafoam in a hydraulic valvetrain like ours. Just want it to clean the gunk from the oil pan.
 

Registered
2018 Stelvio Ti Montecarlo Blue
Joined
393 Posts
The alfa dealership near me likes to use BG EPR at oil changes and charges a good amount for it.
I have a family member that is a BG rep and so I get it directly from him.
When it is time for an oil change, I follow directions on the can. Pour EPR in, run at 1200 rpm for 10 minutes then drain the oil.
I'd previously seen the same thing as ALFAOFFROAD with an oil change where it had been over filled, so I drained it out shortly after the new oil had been put in.
The new oil was quite a bit darker than I expected.
Since then I have added the step of after draining the oil, I put a couple quarts of fresh oil in, let it sit for a bit, then drain that out before refilling.
Overkill? Maybe..
But I just passed 56k miles and plan on keeping this car for a looong time.
To me, it's worth the extra care.
 

Registered
Joined
84 Posts
Statistics are what statisticians tell us they are...
I'm sorry, this is going to start a war again (I'm not going to participate under any circumstances) but I've got to throw the B.S. flag. There is more to engine longevity than just miles between oil changes.

Let me begin with this...
Years ago, we had the contract to overhaul Coast Guard diesel engines. I asked how they "changed the oil" on a ship and was told the oil was strained and filtered for solid contaminants and then chemically analyzed. Chemicals and additives were then added as required to bring the lubricant back up the the required specification. Without getting into details, I asked about the oil in my car, a 1985 Alfa Romeo GTV-6, whose engine I had recently recently rebuilt. (Snapped the timing belt) For fun we put a tap in place of the drain plug and I provided samples of the motor oil for chemical analysis. I was also asked for a sample of new oil to establish the baseline of the lubricant. I was stunned to find that the oil didn't show ANY chemical or lubricating degradation beyond baseline parameters until I had driven more than 14,000 miles. Most of this was down to the high quality of synthetic oil I used, but still, 14K miles!

Some Toyotas are known for oil passage issues causing problems and their factory lubricants are not the best in the world in any case. With 10,000 mile high grade synthetic oil change intervals my first Toyota rolled through 349,000 miles before I donated it - still running fine - and bought another car, another Toyota. I put 249,000 miles on it before I sold it to a co-worker for his daughter. Still running high grade synthetic oil, it had almost 500,000 miles on it when she wrecked it.
My wife's new 2008 Ford Escape 4 cylinder (0 or 5W-20) currently has 232,000 miles on it and there is not a bit of sludge or grunge in the cam covers. Again, high grade synthetic every 10,000 miles since news. (Yes, we brought the car home, broke in the engine and I changed the oil).
I can't say that I like the idea of the Seafoam in the oil pan. If I were that concerned for oil pump life I'd prefer to shorten the oil change interval and I'd cut open the oil filter for inspection and have the oil tested. On the other hand, I'm using high grade, OEM SPECIFIED oil and a high quality filter on all of my cars. The wife's Stelvio runs the factory oil filter because it is still under factory warranty but everything else runs a Baldwin or similar high grade filter. The 4C gets the oil changed every 5K miles, the Stelvio every 7.5K miles. The daily drivers run 10K and the antiques yearly. I've NEVER had any oil related issues of any kind on any of the family cars, Ford, BMW, Mercedes, Ferrari, Fiat and Alfa Romeo.
I'll add one last little bit about oil. My SL500 has the hydraulic ABC suspension. It is known for hydraulic issues and expense. Every 25,000 miles I completely flush and refill the system with new OEM spec fluid and a new filter. (I made a hose rig from hardware store fittings and clear plastic hose for about $10.00) At 142,000 miles I still have most of the original parts in the suspension. I did replace all of the accumulators at 100,000 miles because the manual recommends it but nothing but the rubber parts of the hoses/lines (which are getting to be 20+ years old) has ever failed or needed to be replaced. Amazing what the clean, fresh, filtered, proper fluids will do...
Make of it what you will and comment as you see fit (I WILL NOT participate in any form of debate about oil, I will answer reasonable questions) but high quality lubricants and filters make more difference than anything else. If you are concerned, shorten the OEM's recommended oil change intervals but quality products will make most of the difference if you simply follow the OEMs recommendations.
 

Registered
Joined
5,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
To paraphrase another member, all that will surely make someone whose oil pump grenades feel better. Seems like most if not all the oil pump problems found on both the Giulia and Stelvio forums have followed the recommended schedules and oil specs. But that isnt from a statistician though, so feel free to disregard.

"What doesn't come out of the engine doesn't get tested." Is a true statement. Regardless you are as free to feel how you do as I am to feel how I do.

To be on topic and attempt to not argue...

Not trying to be a Seafoam commercial, I used it because it's cheap and easy to get not because it's the best, don't think it is. Any brand of detergent designed to work in oil is fine if this is something you want to do. The brand mentioned by @Alfatrooper is probably better then Seafoam. No matter what you use I highly suggest running an additional quart of oil through (literally pour it in through the filler with no drain plug in, so it runs directly out the drain) to get all the detergent out and not starting the engine.

Another option is just to run an extra quart through the engine as a flush.

Or whatever else you want.

For those interested... Put 200 miles on today and the engine seems smoother and it makes less noise at idle now. Not a huge difference but noticable to me. Take that as you will.
 

Registered
Joined
130 Posts
Solid video, thanks for posting. Goes back to the point of this not being an Alfa problem, and that the 10k oil change interval is simply too long. That engine should be a million mile engine... Many people consider it that already.

Change the oil at 5k instead of 10k.. bet both engines see 200k and more without major engine work though.
Here's a Ford EcoBoost 1.5 4 cylinder engine at just under 60k miles.
Tune in at the 4:09 mark to see the condition of the piston rings, and how grimy the piston looks overall, and again at the 6:23 mark to see the damage to the cylinder bore.


This engine is more like the Alfa engine, in that it is turbocharged, and direct injected, and it also was receiving 10k mile oil changes, and just does not hold up in those oil control rings, which eventually takes out the cylinder bores.
 

Registered
Joined
1,255 Posts
I use too use BG products in applications where they may help.

Do be cautious you are no longer under warranty or are receiving written aporoval from Alfa Romeo though as usually gasoline and oil additives are forbidden and while they are unlikely to be the cause of a failure (although they can be such as releasing sludge that clogs an oil screen) they can be blamed.

Font Material property Parallel Screenshot Number
 

Registered
Joined
5,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The releasing of sludge is a genuine concern.

That is specifically why the engine should not be started, and the detergent mixture should be drained AND flushed with fresh oil before the engine is refilled and oil change finished regardless of what brand detergent is used.

I know, I keep repeating the same thing... It's that important. Critical part of the service. Get the gunk out of the pan, DO NOT let it get into the engine... DO NOT START your engine until everything is drained, DO NOT circulate the cleaning additive into the engine.
 

Registered
Joined
130 Posts
I think Alfa is more aiming at the people who want to add things like MMO, Slick 50, Lucas Oil Stabilizer, STP Oil Treatment, Hot Shot Secret Friction Reducer, etc, in replacement of a quart of oil for an entire oil change interval.

A carbon deposit eating solution that isn't circulated through the motor, probably not so much.
 

Registered
2018 Stelvio Ti Montecarlo Blue
Joined
393 Posts
I use too use BG products in applications where they may help.

Do be cautious you are no longer under warranty or are receiving written aporoval from Alfa Romeo though as usually gasoline and oil additives are forbidden and while they are unlikely to be the cause of a failure (although they can be such as releasing sludge that clogs an oil screen) they can be blamed.

View attachment 27206
I understand that completely.
I wonder how warranty issues would be handled if something went wrong as a local dealer includes BG EPR (engine performance restoration) as flush and BG MOA (motor oil additive) with oil fill as part of their standard oil change service on at least the Alfas and Maseratis they sell and service.
With a friend's Levante, they didn't ask if he wanted it, just included it with the quoted price.
 

Registered
Joined
5,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
A couple important points....

....that Ecoboost is alot more similar to our engine then many others.

And, the concept behind this treatment is, it is a one time or maybe two time treatment to clear out the crud that builds (has built) up due to all the variables that occur to cause oil pump failure when the oil is changed at 10k miles on a small displacement turbo charged engine. If a person finds themselves at 40+ thousand miles and is also find themselves worrying about the life expectancy of their oil pump, this may help with your anxiety.. If that isn't you... Don't stress then,. It doesn't apply to you.

If it does....maybe try this.. then change your oil at 5k-7.5k.... ;)
 

Registered
Joined
1,255 Posts
I understand that completely.
I wonder how warranty issues would be handled if something went wrong as a local dealer includes BG EPR (engine performance restoration) as flush and BG MOA (motor oil additive) with oil fill as part of their standard oil change service on at least the Alfas and Maseratis they sell and service.
With a friend's Levante, they didn't ask if he wanted it, just included it with the quoted price.

Its a reasonable question. Audi and Porsche both specifically approve BG products for use by dealerships. Maybe Maserati, maybe Alfa too. I have no idea. But to your point yeah ive seen dealerships do things that put them in a bad position.

But like @ALFAOFFROAD said hes putting this in his car and never starting the car. Its never touching much.

Hes hoping it "gets crud out of the pan" by putting it in the car then draining it.

I would guess enough product will be removed by draining it that there wont be any left to pick up on an oil analysis run by alfa anyways so no need to worry. He even says throw another quart in to push through any remaining product. Sounds like good advice to get as much of this cleaner out of there as you can.

As for this having anything to do with oil pump solenoid failures and scissor gear failures, it really shouldn't have any correlation at all. It also won't help with sticking piston rings or dirty multiair bricks ...but i don't see it as harmful either and if it happens to make people feel better why not.
 

Registered
Joined
5,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Scissor gear is inside the oil pump.... They fail because they get over worked... It isn't random or by design.

They get overworked because the pump has to fight through a clogged filter.

Clean the filter... No overwork... No failure.

Clean the pan... Then the rings don't get dirty and don't stick... MultiAir brick doesn't get clogged because it isn't circulating dirty oil through it. Solenoid filter doesn't get dirty by the same token.

Pretty simple.

Cars aren't humans... Their problems aren't genetic.

BTW... If I had been changing the oil at 5k since new.... I wouldn't do this service.
 

Registered
Joined
1,255 Posts
Scissor gear is inside the oil pump.... They fail because they get over worked... It isn't random or by design.

They get overworked because the pump has to fight through a clogged filter.

Clean the filter... No overwork... No failure.

Clean the pan... Then the rings don't get dirty and don't stick... MultiAir brick doesn't get clogged because it isn't circulating dirty oil through it. Solenoid filter doesn't get dirty by the same token.

Pretty simple.

Cars aren't humans... Their problems aren't genetic.

BTW... If I had been changing the oil at 5k since new.... I wouldn't do this service.
Id like it to work too and maybe it helps at least. But for pump failures we've seen solenoid and scissor gear failures on cars with 1000 miles on them. They failed on pentastar when people did 3k mile changes. Still doesn't hurt.

Maybe it helps. I
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top