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#4442022 - 06/26/17 02:40 PM Oil catch can opinions
jkasch Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 171
Loc: Michigan
I've read endless debate on the merits or lack thereof on catch cans. Most of the arguments run from "total waste of money" to "can't hurt" to "beneficial".

Could a small amount of oil vapor in an intake ever be a good thing and intentional by design? (Especially in a boosted engine.)

Thanks for your thoughts.


Edited by wwillson (06/26/17 09:27 PM)
Edit Reason: subject clarification

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#4442029 - 06/26/17 02:44 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: jkasch]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6178
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: jkasch

Could a small amount of oil vapor in an intake ever be a good thing?


Maybe, if naturally aspirated


Originally Posted By: jkasch
(Especially in a boosted engine.)


NEVER!!!!
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#4442030 - 06/26/17 02:45 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: jkasch]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6178
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: jkasch

Could a small amount of oil vapor in an intake ever be a good thing(Especially in a boosted engine.)


You especially want to keep oil vapor out of the intake under boost.

Part-throttle cruise is/would be fine.
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(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4442039 - 06/26/17 02:52 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: jkasch]
WhizkidTN Offline


Registered: 12/05/16
Posts: 491
Loc: E. Tennessee
IMHO: I don't think any amount of oil vapor via the PCV system into the intake tract is a good thing. Many PCV systems have intricate "condensation" networks in them to help keep as much actual mist out of the intake tract (the last leg of the PCV system basically). In our GDI engines these days, since there is not injected fuel washing the intake valves like there in an the normal port injected engines, any oil mist gets gunked up on the intake valves as well as the intake tract (or part of it at least, depending on engine design). I have OCC on my turbo motor to help reduce this. YMMV.
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#4442062 - 06/26/17 03:20 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: jkasch]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10596
Loc: Buffalo, NY
It's not the best thing in any application, but those pesky crankcase vapors have to go somewhere that's not into the air or onto the ground.
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#4442063 - 06/26/17 03:23 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: jkasch]
L_Sludger Offline


Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 3947
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: jkasch
I've read endless debate on the merits or lack thereof on catch cans. Most of the arguments run from "total waste of money" to "can't hurt" to "beneficial".

Could a small amount of oil vapor in an intake ever be a good thing and intentional by design? (Especially in a boosted engine.)

Thanks for your thoughts.

Catch cans are nice to have. Oil vapor is always horrific to engine and sensor operation, because it leaves deposits and ends up causing knock to occur. Manufacturers don't use catch cans for environmental law reasons.
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#4442072 - 06/26/17 03:34 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: jkasch]
Seventh Offline


Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 234
Loc: NorCal
I don't like catch cans that have to be emptied periodically.

On my WRX I have a Crawford air/oil separator, version 2 to be exact.

It's a closed loop system that has lots of internal baffling, the liquid oil drains back to the pan, the remaining air is routed back to the inlet. The version 2 also has coolant routed through it to burn off any moisture that may accumulate inside.

Car burns absolutely zero oil since I installed it several years ago, and there is never a trace of oil in the intake (I've had the intercooler off a couple times since then)

They just came out with version 3, which they say is "ca smog legal," but I didn't get any grief about my version 2 a few months ago when I had to get emissions test done

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#4442075 - 06/26/17 03:39 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: jkasch]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18911
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
I figure if they were worth a P hole in the snow the manufacturer would put them on as OE.
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#4442080 - 06/26/17 03:46 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: Trav]
L_Sludger Offline


Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 3947
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Trav
I figure if they were worth a P hole in the snow the manufacturer would put them on as OE.
When everything is under warranty, engines don't usually have big oil vapor issues.
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#4442091 - 06/26/17 04:09 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: Trav]
d00df00d Online   content


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 11218
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Trav
I figure if they were worth a P hole in the snow the manufacturer would put them on as OE.

Well oil separators are fairly common, no? My old E36 M3 had one. The NA V8 RS4 had a triple one, IIRC...
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#4442101 - 06/26/17 04:27 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: jkasch]
AZjeff Offline


Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 2658
Loc: PV Az
I DIY'd a catch can for this GDI Ecotec3 in the '16 Chevy to see what it might catch. In 2000 miles it caught about 2 tablespoons of whatever oil the dealer put in. Bought the truck with 2000 miles, catch can at 3000, changed oil to PPP 5w-30 @ 5000 and emptied the can. Not unhappy that I kept that spooge out of the intake and off the valve stems.
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#4442117 - 06/26/17 04:49 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: d00df00d]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18911
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: d00df00d
Originally Posted By: Trav
I figure if they were worth a P hole in the snow the manufacturer would put them on as OE.

Well oil separators are fairly common, no? My old E36 M3 had one. The NA V8 RS4 had a triple one, IIRC...


Sure they do but they usually don't use a garden variety PCV valve on those type systems either.
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#4442164 - 06/26/17 05:58 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: jkasch]
Dyusik Offline


Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 1984
Loc: US-WA
All the settled oil vapor I have seen on intake manifold was like shoe glue. My jeep for example had a 1/4" thick layer of th stuff that took hours to get rid of with all kinds of solvents and brushes. Fresh oil may be ok from port injectors such as Lucas ucl stuff, but burned up oil, no.
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#4442169 - 06/26/17 06:06 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: jkasch]
itguy08 Offline


Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 3227
Loc: Somewhere
I don't know if it's a good thing or bad thing but is normal on all engines.

Two telling things about cans....

1. About 3 years ago there was a spirited debate on one of the F150 Forums with a famous can vendor. Claimed the Ecoboost's PCV system was "defective" and needed his can as it was the only one that would "fix the issues" and prevent gunk on the valves. Claimed he had one on his F150 from day one. When asked for pictures of HIS valves he never could get one. He also claimed more HP as the engine aged. When asked for dyno runs there were none.

2. The worst GDI engine guys (VW/Audi) played with cans and guess what? They still got no deposits.

I don't worry about the gunk in there. Even with all that stuff your engine will lead a long and productive life. They may be beneficial in certain applications (Racing, high boost, etc) but for stock or mild tunes it's a waste of money.

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#4442233 - 06/26/17 07:14 PM Re: Oil catch can opinions [Re: jkasch]
jkasch Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 171
Loc: Michigan
Appreciate all the comments. A couple of members on another forum were trying to make the case that a bit of oil vapor could be a good thing. I'm not buying it.

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