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Why exactly is towing severe? #4626641
01/07/18 08:44 AM
01/07/18 08:44 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 406
IL
lukejo Offline OP
lukejo  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 406
IL
I'm not doubting that towing is severe, just wondering why...
Assuming good air filtration, what does towing all summer as I do, do to oil to be considered severe?
If the cooling system is working properly, I wouldn't think heat would be that big of a factor?
Is it the extra RPMs that would mimic longer miles of non-towing OCIs?
Is there extra pressure (like PSI) being exerted on the oil?
Is shearing to a lower grade the only concern?


'05 Corolla 285k
'09 Silverado 2500HD 6.0, 95k
'12 Camry LE 4cyl, 155k

Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: lukejo] #4626647
01/07/18 08:50 AM
01/07/18 08:50 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,051
North Carolina
spasm3 Offline
spasm3  Offline
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,051
North Carolina
I think the biggest stress is low rpm load. Lugging. You are pulling weight, more throttle angle at lower rpm until the engine gets up to speed. The load at say 2700 rpm might not be bad, but you have to pull that load from 1000rpm upwards.


13 elantra 70k 5w30 QSUD
03 chevy avalanche79k synpwr 10w30
01 saturnsc1 185k synpwr rebuilt
17 mazda cx-5 5600 miles m1 0w30
Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: spasm3] #4626650
01/07/18 08:54 AM
01/07/18 08:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 406
IL
lukejo Offline OP
lukejo  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 406
IL
Good point. What does lugging do to oil?

Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: lukejo] #4626651
01/07/18 08:55 AM
01/07/18 08:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 174
Michigan
64bawagon Offline
64bawagon  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 174
Michigan
With a proper setup I dont think it is. I have pulled trailers 10's of thousands of miles and never felt like I was hurting the truck. It does however increase the fuel consumption considerably and that can affect the maintenance needs of the engine but after a 12k oil change on my diesel with about 40% of that pulling the 10k trailer, the analysis still came back with a wide margin of use left on the oil. Bring enough vehicle to the party.

With A modern computer controlled engine with tow/haul I dont think "lugging" is an issue.

Last edited by 64bawagon; 01/07/18 09:02 AM.

05 Duramax Chevy(SOLD), 64 Chevy wagon, 10 Jeep Wrangler, 17 Equinox (rental), 18 Silverado 1/2 ton
Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: lukejo] #4626657
01/07/18 09:04 AM
01/07/18 09:04 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 367
Washington, USA
Onug Offline
Onug  Offline
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 367
Washington, USA
Towing requires more fuel, which generates more heat. Hotter cylinder temps, more pressure, higher spinning turbos, etc. Just because the cooling system can manage the additional heat doesn’t change the fact the cylinder and core parts of the engine are working under hotter and more harsh conditions. Cooling happens after the fuel is converted to energy. You’re also generally operating at higher RPMs, which is more work for the engine.


2016 F-150 3.5L Ecoboost
Current Oil: Castrol Magnatec 5W-30 and Fram Ultra filter
Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: lukejo] #4626660
01/07/18 09:07 AM
01/07/18 09:07 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,427
Jupiter, Florida
Cujet Offline
Cujet  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,427
Jupiter, Florida
In years past, I drove various gas powered vehicles towing race car trailers around the country and into Canada/Mexico. Sometimes with just one race car on an open trailer (F150 and trailer) , sometimes an enclosed trailer with 6 cars inside (E350 van + enclosed trailer) plus a large number of GM crane trucks, ladder trucks and so on towing large trailers with signs. One thing became clear, towing the heavier trailers was exceptionally hard on exhaust manifolds or headers, plus transmissions and engines had very limited lifespans.

So when people make the statement that towing is not stressful on vehicles, I think they are thinking of light duty recreational towing. And not the full throttle, heavy duty, high weight towing with pedestrian engines.


People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: Onug] #4626661
01/07/18 09:09 AM
01/07/18 09:09 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,668
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Kira Offline
Kira  Offline
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,668
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Wouldn't the compression (parts squeezing together) forces also be increased? The polymers break apart sooner and that equals wear, no?

An old sage's advice about towing, anyone? He'd say, "Don't let the tail wag the dog."

Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: Kira] #4626673
01/07/18 09:23 AM
01/07/18 09:23 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,578
wv
krismoriah72 Offline
krismoriah72  Offline
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,578
wv
Your engine must exert more force to overcome load and drag. Air and Fuel are consumed at a higher rate..

Same thing applies to non towing vehicles- that want to go fast. They must overcome drag to go faster so the more air and fuel is needed to overcome it.

Finally Walk up a flight of stairs with a 50lb backpack- Air and Fuel are consumed at a higher rate.

Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: lukejo] #4626675
01/07/18 09:24 AM
01/07/18 09:24 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 36,301
Great Lakes
Quattro Pete Offline
Quattro Pete  Offline
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 36,301
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: lukejo
Why exactly is towing severe?

Why is going uphill more severe? The engine has to work harder to accomplish it.


'02 530i (Edge 0W-40)
'15 Q5 3.0T (Edge 5W-40)
'18 Charger SRT (FF)
Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: lukejo] #4626684
01/07/18 09:44 AM
01/07/18 09:44 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,439
NY
demarpaint Offline
demarpaint  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,439
NY
Pretty simple actually. You're burning more fuel, working the engine harder, and generating more heat. That all ads up to severe service. The engine works a lot less traveling the same distance w/o towing a trailer behind the vehicle.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: lukejo] #4626722
01/07/18 10:35 AM
01/07/18 10:35 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,273
In the Garage...
ls1mike Offline
ls1mike  Offline
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,273
In the Garage...
You make some serious heat most trucks to include diesels will have exhaust manifold issues at some point. The newer ones are pretty good. All that heat under hood isn't great either.

My old 454 used to eat exhaust manifold bolts, and it cracked a few manifolds as well.

My current 02 6.0 has had a couple bolts break, but to be fair they will do it not towing, too small of a bolt head. It has been fixed in later trucks.

I camp with a couple guys who have the same truck as I and they are in excess of 150,000 miles on their units with very little work and most of those trucks lives are spent towing. Proper maintenance is key. I just rolled 50,000 on mine.


Mike
00 Trans Am WS6 5.7 LS1
02 Silverado 2500HD 6.0
14 Caprice PPV 6.0
15 Malibu LTZ Turbo
12 Passport TT
Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: lukejo] #4626749
01/07/18 11:09 AM
01/07/18 11:09 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 11,851
Idaho
CT8 Online content
CT8  Online Content
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 11,851
Idaho
More heat, more load, more wear, more fuel being used.


2015 Ford F150 2.7
2018 Ford F350 6.2
Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: lukejo] #4626803
01/07/18 12:15 PM
01/07/18 12:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 2,334
SE British Columbia, Canada
Snagglefoot Offline
Snagglefoot  Offline
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 2,334
SE British Columbia, Canada
I have a 2008 3/4 ton suburban with. 6-L90 transmission, separate radiator style factory transmission cooler, built in engine oil cooler, tow setting for the transmission, manual gear selector for the transmission, transmission temp gauge, and 3.73 rear end. All factory.

I tow a 6500 lb 28 ft travel trailer at 60 mph on flat highway and have taken it up grades up to 8 degrees over the continental divide.

There is a lot of wind resistance from the trailer, plus going up a hill requires a lot of energy. I have 383ft lbs of torque. My miles per gallon is cut in half. When towing up a steep hill, I slow down to 40 miles per hour. A diesel would be better but I tow less than ten times per year and don’t feel a diesel is warranted.

Firstly, the top two gears are overdrive gears. I don’t bother using them when towing as the transmission will “hunt”, constantly shifting. Shifting under load is really hard on a transmission. I tow in 4 th gear on the highway which is OK as described in the owners manual. The engine is reving at 3500 rpm at 60 mph. Of course this is tougher on the engine.

The torque is transmitted through the rear end gears, so there is a lot of loading on them.

Over all, you can fight the wear and tear with synthetic engine oil, synthetic rear gear oil, and regular engine oil changes. I change the gear oil every 50,000 miles and I now have 150,000 miles on the Burb. Hope to get to 200,000 miles.

SF

Last edited by Snagglefoot; 01/07/18 12:28 PM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: lukejo] #4626806
01/07/18 12:16 PM
01/07/18 12:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,239
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,239
Waco, TX
Towing an aluminum 10,000lb RV is nothing compared to pulling a 25,000 lb bulldozer or 30,000lbs of lumber.

An engine run at near MAX Wide Open Throttle (not necessarily max RPM, tho) will ALWAYS wear out faster.

Shows up in UOA's too - as metals.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Why exactly is towing severe? [Re: lukejo] #4626832
01/07/18 12:36 PM
01/07/18 12:36 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,858
Kalifornia Kollective
BrocLuno Offline
BrocLuno  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,858
Kalifornia Kollective
The issue is heat. Not cooling system heat, but component heat. Pistons, rings, rods and big end bearing are all under higher pressure and all that sling oil coming off the crank is washing that heat away as best it can. Still getting hot.

That's why severe duty engines have things like oil cooled pistons with squirters just to manage the component heat. The oil always has to carry that heat to the cooling system before it can be shed ...


Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
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