Hey! I see you! Please take two seconds to sign up! We'd love to have you as a member of our Kia Stinger club. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain... :)

2.0T Oil information for the Stinger 2.0L T-GDI Theta-II engine

Discussion in 'Engine, Drivetrain, and Exhaust Discussion' started by StingEm, May 12, 2018.

  1. StingEm

    StingEm United States Member

    39
    9
    8
    Note: I have a lot of interesting links with GDI oil information to post, but due to the new user spam rules it is not possible to post them (totally understandable!).

    I live in the Southern part of the USA where temps do not really get below 20F even during the worst part of the winter. Given the factory recommendations for oil viscosity, I have decided to use a 10W-30 oil in my Stinger’s 2.0L T-GDI Theta-II engine. Based on the sections outlined below, I’ve chosen Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W-30 oil that is certified API SN Plus:
    • <reserved_for_future_link>
    • <reserved_for_future_link>
    • 5% NOACK and formulated for LSPI protection
    If I lived in a colder climate I would use cheap 10W-30 in the warm months and then change to a 5W-30 oil in the colder months. I would probably spend more money on a 5W-30 oil that has a very low NOACK. I’d be tempted by something like:
    • Amsoil Signature Series 5W-30
      • <reserved_for_future_link>
      • <reserved_for_future_link>
      • 6.7% NOACK and formulated for LSPI protection
    There are much cheaper oils with slightly higher NOACK that likely would also work fine, such as Quaker State Ultimate Durability 5W-30:
    • <reserved_for_future_link>
    • ~9% NOACK (not listed on data sheet) and formulated for LSPI protection

    The 3.3L TTV6 engine is also direct injected, but it has additional port injectors that should help keep the intake valves much cleaner than the 2.0L engine (which only has direct injection). The information and choices I make may not be as applicable for that engine.

    ==== Goals:

    Reduce intake valve deposits

    • Intake valve deposits have been shown to be linked to the amount of viscosity modifiers in an oil. Wide span oils (such as 0W-30 or 5W-30) will have more viscosity modifiers than a narrow span oil (10W-30 or 5W-20). Oils of the same span will have different amounts of viscosity modifiers
    • Oils with lower volatility (called NOACK) will have less oil vaporized into the PCV system. This may help with intake valve deposits, but should definitely help decrease the amount of oil that ends up in the intake (ie, inside the intercooler) and also help reduce oil consumption. The reason I say that low volatility *may* help with deposits is that many people believe that the oil introduced to the backside of the intake valve from being forced around the valve stem is the primary source of oil that forms the intake valve deposits. It has been shown that higher amounts of viscosity modifiers increase intake valve deposits, and the amount of modifiers used is linked to the NOACK results as I’ll discuss below. So there may be a direct and/or indirect link between oil volatility and intake valve deposits.

    Reduce the likelihood of low-speed pre-ignition
    • Low-Speed Pre-Ignition has been linked to high levels of Calcium and Sodium. New oils made for turbocharged direct injection engines have been formulated with additive packs that lower Calcium and increase Magnesium to compensate.

    Be as cheap as possible
    • This one should be obvious, right? You have to change the oil quite frequently in a turbo car, so let’s try to find something reasonably priced that ticks all the boxes!

    ==== What we should be looking for in an oil:

    Viscosity Index Improvers (VII, or viscosity modifiers):
    Low or NONE
    • For narrow span oils like SAE 5W-20, this can be accomplished by using synthetic base oils, also referred to as gas to liquids (GTL), poly-alpha olefins (PAOs) base oils or other base stocks with sufficiently high viscosity index. 10W-30 oils may also have very little VII.
    • We don’t have a great way to know how much VII is used except by taking a look at NOACK volatility. Adding cheap VII’s to an oil rather than using more of the expensive base stock to get the wider span tends to increase NOACK.
    NOACK volatility: As low as possible. ( <5% for 10W-30 is good, <9% for 5W-30 is okay but 6% is possible with expensive oils )
    • Low volatility means less oil sucked up by the PCV system because less oil aerosolizes when sprayed onto the bottom of the hot piston surface.
    • Note that finding a cheap narrow-span oil (10W30) with a very low NOACK will be pretty easy, but finding a wider span oil (5W-30) will mean moving to much more expensive oils that use more of the expensive base stocks.
    Calcium: As low as possible (<2500ppm for Calcium)
    • Modern turbo GDI designed oils are moving to ~1000 ppm Calcium under the Dexos and API SN PLUS certifications.
    • GM does not certify 10W-30 oils for Dexos (they’re more interested in fuel economy), so that won’t be much help if you’re looking for a 10W-30 oil.
    • You’ll need to look at API SN PLUS or recent VOA (Virgin Oil Analysis).
    • Prevents Low-Speed Pre-Ignition common on GDI engines
    Sodium: Zero! (or basically zero… let’s say <10 ppm max)
    • Prevents Low-Speed Pre-Ignition common on GDI engines
    • Calcium is somewhat okay, but is a real problem if combined with Sodium.
    • Most good oils haven’t had much Sodium since forever.
    • VOA and UOAs (Used Oil Analysis) will show the levels of this.
    Magnesium: Could be low, moderate, or high
    • Magnesium is used to offset a lower Calcium level, and doesn’t seem to affect LSPI. Many Dexos1 Gen2 oils are designed this way.
    • It just depends on the oil manufacturer, but most are trending towards higher Magnesium and lower Calcium.

    ==== Best practices:

    Run Top-Tier Premium Gas (91 octane)

    • Higher octane will help prevent LSPI.
    • Top-Tier gas additive packages will help keep your high-pressure injectors and the pistons clean (but probably won’t help much with the valves - that’s where the oil comes into play).
    Do not extend oil changes. These are high-boost turbo applications!
    • Stick to a maximum of 5000-6000 miles as recommended by Kia.
    • Turbo engines destroy oil much faster than a normally aspirated engine.
    Wait for the oil to warm up before putting the engine under high load.
    • Do as little idling as possible when the engine is cold - drive it slowly instead until the oil is warm.
    • You will need to until wait a few minutes AFTER the coolant is up to temp before you start driving hard!
    Run the engine hard for the break-in. This will help seat the rings properly.
    • Proper seating of the rings will reduce oil consumption, reduce blow-by, and reduce carbon deposits on the pistons and valves.
    • Running the engine hard at break-in could also destroy it more quickly if it was built poorly (to poor tolerances), but you wouldn't want that engine in your car anyway, right?
    • The factory engineers hopefully chose what they consider to be a proper break-in oil, so run it for at least 3000 miles before changing to a high-performance synthetic. Based on what I have read on other Kia forums from Kia dealer techs that have done warranty long block replacements (Kia delivering specific conventional oil with the engines), I would be surprised if Kia actually filled these engines with a synthetic oil at the factory. That's a good thing if so.
    • Changing to a synthetic oil too soon could lead to poor ring seating, especially if you didn’t run the engine hard enough during break-in.

    ==== Good references:

    Carbon Deposit formation:

    • <reserved_for_future_link>
    • <reserved_for_future_link>
    • <reserved_for_future_link>

    API SN Plus / LSPI:
    • <reserved_for_future_link>
    • <reserved_for_future_link>
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. StingEm

    StingEm United States Member

    39
    9
    8
    UPDATE: Now includes links

    I live in the Southern part of the USA where temps do not really get below 20F even during the worst part of the winter. Given the factory recommendations for oil viscosity, I have decided to use a 10W-30 oil in my Stinger’s 2.0L T-GDI Theta-II engine. Based on the sections outlined below, I’ve chosen Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W-30 oil that is certified API SN Plus:
    If I lived in a colder climate I would use cheap 10W-30 in the warm months and then change to a 5W-30 oil in the colder months. I would probably spend more money on a 5W-30 oil that has a very low NOACK. I’d be tempted by something like:
    There are much cheaper oils with slightly higher NOACK that likely would also work fine, such as Quaker State Ultimate Durability 5W-30:
    NOTE: I had seen in some videos/reviews that the 3.3L TTV6 engine had port and direct injection which would help prevent carbon deposits, but after browsing the service manual that is clearly not true. I would expect that the 3.3L engine will have carbon build-up problems, but it's anyone's guess as to the rate that they will occur.

    ==== Goals:

    Reduce intake valve deposits

    • Intake valve deposits have been shown to be linked to the amount of viscosity modifiers in an oil. Wide span oils (such as 0W-30 or 5W-30) will have more viscosity modifiers than a narrow span oil (10W-30 or 5W-20). Oils of the same span will have different amounts of viscosity modifiers
    • Oils with lower volatility (called NOACK) will have less oil vaporized into the PCV system. This may help with intake valve deposits, but should definitely help decrease the amount of oil that ends up in the intake (ie, inside the intercooler) and also help reduce oil consumption. The reason I say that low volatility *may* help with deposits is that many people believe that the oil introduced to the backside of the intake valve from being forced around the valve stem is the primary source of oil that forms the intake valve deposits. It has been shown that higher amounts of viscosity modifiers increase intake valve deposits, and the amount of modifiers used is linked to the NOACK results as I’ll discuss below. So there may be a direct and/or indirect link between oil volatility and intake valve deposits.

    Reduce the likelihood of low-speed pre-ignition
    • Low-Speed Pre-Ignition has been linked to high levels of Calcium and Sodium. New oils made for turbocharged direct injection engines have been formulated with additive packs that lower Calcium and increase Magnesium to compensate.

    Be as cheap as possible
    • This one should be obvious, right? You have to change the oil quite frequently in a turbo car, so let’s try to find something reasonably priced that ticks all the boxes!

    ==== What we should be looking for in an oil:

    Viscosity Index Improvers (VII, or viscosity modifiers):
    Low or NONE
    • For narrow span oils like SAE 5W-20, this can be accomplished by using synthetic base oils, also referred to as gas to liquids (GTL), poly-alpha olefins (PAOs) base oils or other base stocks with sufficiently high viscosity index. 10W-30 oils may also have very little VII.
    • We don’t have a great way to know how much VII is used except by taking a look at NOACK volatility. Adding cheap VII’s to an oil rather than using more of the expensive base stock to get the wider span tends to increase NOACK.
    NOACK volatility: As low as possible. ( <5% for 10W-30 is good, <9% for 5W-30 is okay but 6% is possible with expensive oils )
    • Low volatility means less oil sucked up by the PCV system because less oil aerosolizes when sprayed onto the bottom of the hot piston surface.
    • Note that finding a cheap narrow-span oil (10W30) with a very low NOACK will be pretty easy, but finding a wider span oil (5W-30) will mean moving to much more expensive oils that use more of the expensive base stocks.
    Calcium: As low as possible (<2500ppm for Calcium)
    • Modern turbo GDI designed oils are moving to ~1000 ppm Calcium under the Dexos and API SN PLUS certifications.
    • GM does not certify 10W-30 oils for Dexos (they’re more interested in fuel economy), so that won’t be much help if you’re looking for a 10W-30 oil.
    • You’ll need to look at API SN PLUS or recent VOA (Virgin Oil Analysis).
    • Prevents Low-Speed Pre-Ignition common on GDI engines
    Sodium: Zero! (or basically zero… let’s say <10 ppm max)
    • Prevents Low-Speed Pre-Ignition common on GDI engines
    • Calcium is somewhat okay, but is a real problem if combined with Sodium.
    • Most good oils haven’t had much Sodium since forever.
    • VOA and UOAs (Used Oil Analysis) will show the levels of this.
    Magnesium: Could be low, moderate, or high
    • Magnesium is used to offset a lower Calcium level, and doesn’t seem to affect LSPI. Many Dexos1 Gen2 oils are designed this way.
    • It just depends on the oil manufacturer, but most are trending towards higher Magnesium and lower Calcium.

    ==== Best practices:

    Run Top-Tier Premium Gas (91 octane)

    • Higher octane will help prevent LSPI.
    • Top-Tier gas additive packages will help keep your high-pressure injectors and the pistons clean (but probably won’t help much with the valves - that’s where the oil comes into play).
    Do not extend oil changes. These are high-boost turbo applications!
    • Stick to a maximum of 5000-6000 miles as recommended by Kia.
    • Turbo engines destroy oil much faster than a normally aspirated engine.
    Wait for the oil to warm up before putting the engine under high load.
    • Do as little idling as possible when the engine is cold - drive it slowly instead until the oil is warm.
    • You will need to until wait a few minutes AFTER the coolant is up to temp before you start driving hard!
    Run the engine hard for the break-in. This will help seat the rings properly.
    • Proper seating of the rings will reduce oil consumption, reduce blow-by, and reduce carbon deposits on the pistons and valves.
    • Running the engine hard at break-in could also destroy it more quickly if it was built poorly (to poor tolerances), but you wouldn't want that engine in your car anyway, right?
    • The factory engineers hopefully chose what they consider to be a proper break-in oil, so run it for at least 3000 miles before changing to a high-performance synthetic. Based on what I have read on other Kia forums from Kia dealer techs that have done warranty long block replacements (Kia delivering specific conventional oil with the engines), I would be surprised if Kia actually filled these engines with a synthetic oil at the factory. That's a good thing if so.
    • Changing to a synthetic oil too soon could lead to poor ring seating, especially if you didn’t run the engine hard enough during break-in.

    ==== Good references:

    Carbon Deposit formation:


    API SN Plus / LSPI:
     
  3. StingEm

    StingEm United States Member

    39
    9
    8
    My thoughts on various preventative measures:

    ++++ Useful Measures ++++

    Oil choice (see post above)

    Oil change intervals
    • More frequent should be better based on research results of new vs. used oil on deposit formation
    • No more than 6000 miles on a full synthetic oil for these turbo engines. At this time I intend to do 5,000 mile oil changes on my 2.0.

    Fuel choice
    • Fuel is not sprayed directly onto the intake valves in a GDI engine, however there is some reversion into the intake after combustion.
    • PEA additives in Top Tier fuel may find their way onto the valves during reversion, potentially helping to slow the rate of deposit formation.

    Fuel additives
    • PEA additives in high concentrations may help slow the rate of intake valve deposits, as mentioned above.
    • I personally will be using Chevron Techron Complete Fuel System Cleaner every 3000 miles since it is relatively cheap ($5/bottle) and includes PEA
    • Fuel additives will help clean injectors, pistons, and cylinder heads which are also much dirtier on a GDI engine than a port injected engine

    PEA-based Induction cleaners sprayed into intake
    • Examples are CRC GDI IVD cleaner and BG GDI Intake Valve Cleaner
    • Induction cleaners have been shown to be effective, but I would caution their use after significant deposits have already formed. Any chunks broken off from existing deposits using cleaners could damage turbocharger blades or catalyst material. Deposit chunks may also damage cylinder surface and ring seal, but I highly doubt this as this damage is not common even when metal makes it's way into the cylinder.
    • Best use would be as a preventative measure before any issues are detected. CRC recommends every 10,000 miles and BG recommends every 15,000 miles
    • The engine must be at full operating temperature in order for PEA-based cleaners to be the most effective.
    • I would recommend immediately changing the oil after use as oil contamination is possible.
    • Our cars are relatively easy to perform on because there is no Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) to worry about. Safest approach is to spray just after the intercooler, pre-throttle body. Using the PCV port into the intake manifold is another option, but please be careful as the goal is to aerosolize the product and not have it sit in the manifold in liquid form. This can easily lead to hydrolocking and permanently damaging the engine if you are not careful!
    • Please research this heavily (Google and YouTube are your friend) before attempting this service yourself.

    Italian Tune-Up
    • High RPM operation seems to help minimize deposits, and may help clean off small amounts of existing deposits.
    • Highway driving in a lower gear in order to achieve 4000+ RPM operation at low engine load for 10 minutes every thousand miles may help.

    PCV Valve service
    • Ensure your PCV valve remains functional and clean by cleaning it out with brake or carb cleaner on a routine basis (every other oil change might be appropriate)
    • A functional PCV system helps reduce pressure on the crankcase and heads. This will increase engine performance and may help reduce the amount of oil build-up on the intake valves because of lower pressures experienced on oil seals.

    Manual cleaning of the intake valves
    • Requires removal of the intake manifold (expensive & time consuming)
    • Walnut blasting or chemicals can be used to clean the valves
    • This cleaning method is recommended if no preventative measures have been taken in the past and carbon deposits have already formed to a level that is effecting engine performance.
    • Guaranteed to work, however reduced engine performance (lower power, lower mileage, and poor idle) will be experienced well before most owners decide to perform this expensive service.
    • The required frequency of this service if no preventative measures are taken can be 30,000 to 100,000 miles depending on the engine and operating conditions.

    ++++ About the chemicals ++++
    Top-Tier fuel information:
    Regular vs. Premium fuel:


    ++++ Measures that are probably not useful for this problem ++++

    === Catch Cans

    Probably worthless for preventing carbon deposits on the intake valves. May help prevent oil coating the intercooler and possibly detonation (pre-ignition) due to intake charge contamination, but there is no evidence that it helps to prevent carbon deposits on the intake valves. Previous owner reports of installation on a wide variety of problem engines have shown no slowing of carbon deposit formation. Research on engines with the PCV system completely disconnected from the engine's air intake system have shown no benefit in reducing deposits either.

    === Methanol and water injection

    Previous owner reports of water/meth injection installation on a wide variety of problem engines have shown no slowing of carbon deposit formation.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.