Watch An Oil-Free Engine Slowly Commit Suicide On Thermal Camera


Even this surprisingly resilient engine can't be starved of its life blood for too long.

Somewhere along in the process of learning how to be an adult, usually before finding out how to pay taxes or getting a driver’s license, one finds out that changing oil is an essential part of owning a car. Many items can go long periods of time without attention including tire pressure or a lit check engine light, but a lack of oil is a death sentence. Unfortunately for this single cylinder engine, as much as we love cars, it’s just as fun to blow them up.

Engineering Explained is no motor-killing Beyond The Press channel, but Jason Fenske, the channel host, happens to have a fancy thermal imaging camera that he’s been putting to good use. After nuking a pair of tires on his Honda S2000 and taxing the brakes to see how hot rotors get, Fenske shifts his focus to engine oil.

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Curious as to how an engine temperature differs when running under normal parameters and then again when all the oil has been drained, he procures a 212cc air cooled single-cylinder engine and turns the thermal camera onto it. During the first run, he leaves the oil inside to set a baseline thermal image for normal operation. Just 24 hours later (giving enough time to let the engine cool), he removes the oil and commences the suicide mission. Shockingly, the engine not only runs smoothly but temperatures remain fairly consistent with the oil-filled example. It’s only when Fenske takes the engine apart that the differences become clear.

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