One of my friends who has been a practicing mechanic for 55 years informs me of how much engines have changed over the years. He’s built a lot of race engines, has hours and hours of time on the dyno and has seen the damage done by infrequent oil changes in modern engines. Part of the problem is a mentality that an extended warranty means you don’t need to do oil changes or you can do them less frequent because if anything goes wrong you’re covered.
Newer designs take less torque to turn over, lower tension in the piston rings, roller cams, and more. Part of this effort is to make the engine more compatible with modern engine oils that are more compatible with emission systems. Antiwear agents containing certain metals can kill a catalytic converter.
But what about our old engines? Especially our older diesel engines with mechanical fuel pumps, and old-style cams? What about journal widths, the bearing surface area and more? I think the answer is clear, antiwear agents were part of the lube oil package when these engines were developed, and they are needed if you are going to get the expected life out of your engine that was designed knowing these antiwear agents were there to mitigate some of the wear. I see a number of additives designed especially for these engines, and I certainly use it in my lister six one. As for the fuel oil, people have been using ATF as a fuel additive for many years, and if you have an older diesel running this new low sulfur fuel, you might consider adding a little lubricity to the fuel? Of course, there will be others who will tell you your pump will be fine on the new fuel, but do check the cost of a new pump, and consider how cheap a little ATF could be as a preventative.
Yes, this is an old conversation, but I think there’s even less wear protection in lube oil today than the last time we discussed it.