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What's All the Buzz About Oil Catch Cans?

This mod is a highly discussed topic among the Facebook "experts." But take it from us; we were always skeptical about installing these and have heard some horror stories. However, most of the issues with these devices are caused by inexperienced mechanics, backyarders, and people not taking proper care to maintain their vehicles.

What are they?

An oil catch can is a device used in vehicles to prevent oil vapors from the engine's crankcase from being reintroduced into the engine. It's installed in the engine's ventilation system and catches oil particles in the blow-by gases, which are then stored and prevented from entering the intake manifold. This helps reduce engine sludge, maintain efficiency, enhance performance, and extend engine life. The collected oil in the catch can needs to be emptied periodically.

Turbo diesel at 113,000kms, intake manifold without catch can:

Issues you may encounter without one:

  1. Increased Carbon Buildup: Oil vapors can lead to carbon deposits in the intake manifold and on intake valves, reducing airflow and engine efficiency.

  2. Reduced Performance: Deposits restrict airflow, diminishing engine performance and responsiveness.

  3. Lower Fuel Efficiency: Contaminants in the combustion chamber can decrease combustion efficiency, reducing fuel economy.

  4. Potential Engine Damage: Excessive buildup can increase wear on engine components, potentially shortening their lifespan.

  5. Increased Emissions: Carbon deposits can lead to higher emissions due to less efficient combustion.

Overall, a catch can helps maintain engine performance and efficiency by capturing oil vapors before they cause these issues.

2.8L Hilux at 120,000kms, intake valve, no catch can:


Potential drawbacks:

1.     Maintenance Requirements: Catch cans need to be emptied regularly. If neglected, they can overflow, causing oil to re-enter the intake system and negating their benefits.

2.     Improper Installation: Incorrect installation can lead to issues such as leaks or disconnections in the engine's ventilation system. This can cause unfiltered crankcase vapors to enter the intake, reducing engine efficiency and potentially causing damage.

3.     Legal and Warranty Concerns: Modifying your vehicle’s emission or ventilation system with a catch can could potentially void warranties or conflict with local emissions regulations.

4.     Risk to Engine Performance: If not maintained or configured properly, a catch can might inadvertently restrict airflow in the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system, which could affect engine performance negatively.

A point to note: it is very difficult to dyno tune a clogged-up vehicle, and it's almost not worth it for us or your vehicle. It's a far better option for high-mileage vehicles to have an intake manifold cleaning completed before any dyno tuning to achieve the best results.

All up, a catch can is a solid move for keeping your engine running sweet as, but just make sure you look after it and set it up right, or it could end up being more hassle than it’s worth!

Disclaimer: The information provided here about the use and benefits of oil catch cans is intended for general guidance only. While we strive to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Installation of oil catch cans may affect your vehicle's warranty and could pose legal issues regarding emissions regulations. Always consult with a professional mechanic to ensure proper installation and compatibility with your specific vehicle model. We are not responsible for any modifications made to your vehicle.

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