Overdrive Extra

Max Heine

Separating water vapor from oil

| August 03, 2011

If you have technical trucking questions, let us know. Our equipment editor, John Baxter, will do his best to answer. Here’s a recent exchange:

Q. Why have people not looked into this device known as the Vapor Oil Separator? Sure the PCV valve does its job. But this goes beyond that and removes water vapors during the combustion process. Here’s the web site and a video.

— Mike Kyes

A. Mike, I’m a little skeptical as there are a number of filters out there that claim to remove water and unburnt fuel with heaters, and a respected national lab told me the heat is not intense enough to do anything. Water and unburnt fuel can be separated from used oil — in a high temperature refining process that flashes the oil to over 500 degrees F. for a short time.

On the other hand, centrifugal soot filters do work. So, it’s just barely possible that, with a very high velocity spinning action plus emough heat (perhaps from the exhaust system), at least some of the liquid impurities could be removed.

I’d like to see a thorough report from a reputable oil analysis lab. One report on this website said metal levels in the oil leveled off with use — that sounds like nonsense. I don’t want to condemn something that may actually work, but I’d be suspicious and insist on seeing some terrific documentation before believing it really works. Most things like this don’t.

— John Baxter

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