Thursday, 5 November 2015

Turn the steering.....Tick Tick Tick.... Why?

I confess I was quite worried it could be a failing steering rack and pinion.
That can be quite expensive.

The sound comes on when turning on the spot, usually during parking or manoeuvring only.

Later I found out it was the bearings inside the mounting bracket.

Plastic bearings.

The plastic bearings collar sits nicely into the bracket mount.

Anyways, to diagnose correctly, try to feel for vibration when turning the steering full lock side to side to isolate the vibration/sound. For my case, it is the right side.

Tip: Its best to have someone to assist when trying to isolate the noise.

As seen, in the top most photo, part of the collar is worn off, probably due to rubbing. This bearing actually rotates with the spring and shock absorbers together. Hence when it is faulty, it rubs against the mounting body, giving the clicky noise.

I wonder.... why is the bearing made of plastic?

The replacement job requires two components:
1. Tool - Coil spring compressors.
2.  Wheel alignment after replacing faulty parts.
I decided to let the car mechanic do this job since i don't have the tools to do so.

 This job took 1.5 hrs for both sides to be replaced and renewed.
Coil spring compressors

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Schnell Ultimate II - What oil is this?

Summary of Schnell Ultimate II oil

This is an old specification oil.
Yes, it is a really affordable.

Here is a summary of my findings

1. This is a rather old specification oil. The current standard is SN while this is usable at SM. Do note that CF-4 for diesel is already obsolete and replaced by CJ-4

2. The European ACEA A3/B3-04 is dated at year 2004

3. Vehicle manufacturers' approval, especially VW 501.01 is only for Volkswagen manufacturing year before 2000.  

4. There is a lack of reputation and tracing as there are
  • No official Schnell website
  • No registration under the American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • The oil was only reviewed in Singapore and not worldwide.
  • Lack of MSDS and specification details 
Compared to Shell Helix Ultra (SHU), the rating of SN is more recent although both carries the obsolete CF rating for diesel.

Both oils are meant only for Gasoline and not modern diesels.

You can read the full findings below


Locally some of us may see this retail in Singapore supermarket

In fact, the price is really attractive for a 4L bottle ever since the drop in oil prices. It was retailing for some $29, and now at $19.90.

Moreover, this is a declared "Proudly Made in Germany"

Can't go wrong with German product.

I was really interested in this since there was so much discussion here in Singapore forums.

As you would know, i am a user of synthetic Shell Helix Ultra 5-w40 for a few years now.

This product seems to be available only in Singapore and no where else.
I found it strange there is no data available, be it official website, product MSDS (material Safety Data Sheet) or some other form of official registration.

On the forums, there was comparison of similar performance for Schnell oil to ShellHU. That got me interested.

Currently the Shell HU 5w-40 is retailing at $38.80 while the Schnell Ultimate II retails for $19.90

Hence, i decided to find out more about this Schnell Ultimate II.
Schnell is "quick" in the german language.

Red Light
It is strange that after extensive searches, there was
  1. No official Schnell website
  2. No registration under the American Petroleum Institute (API)
  3. The oil was only reviewed in Singapore and not worldwide.
  4. Lack of MSDS and specification details

I decided to look at the oil specifications in the label.

There are 3 parts

1. API SM / CF-4
2. ACEA A3/B3-04
3. Vehicle manufacturer approvals and year of approval

Part 1. API-SM / CF-4
SM Introduced on 30 November 2004 Category SM oils are designed to provide improved oxidation resistance, improved deposit protection, better wear protection, and better low-temperature performance over the life of the oil. Some SM oils may also meet the latest ILSAC specification and/or qualify as Energy Conserving. They may be used where API Service Category SJ and SL earlier categories are recommended.

CF-4 Obsolete Service typical of high speed, four-stroke cycle diesel engines. API CF-4 oils exceed the requirements for the API CE category, providing improved control of oil consumption and piston deposits. These oils should be used in place of API CE oils. They are particularly suited for on-highway, heavy-duty truck applications. When combined with the appropriate S category, they can also be used in gasoline and diesel powered personal vehicles i.e., passenger cars, light trucks and vans when recommended by the vehicle or engine manufacturer.

Part 2. European Automobile Manufacturers' Association ACEA A3/B3-04

ACEA A3-04 & B3-04 is established in 2004

Usually written as A3/B3-04, so writing as A3-04 & B3-04 is quite redundant.

More about A3/B3...

A3/B3 Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use in high performance gasoline and car + light van diesel engines and/or for extended drain intervals where specified by the engine manufacturer, and/or for year-round use of low viscosity oils , and/or for sever operating conditions as defined by the engine manufacturer.

ACEA is a standard under the European Oil Sequences for Service-fill Oils for Gasoline engines, for Light Duty Diesel engines, for Gasoline & Diesel engines with after treatment devices and for Heavy Duty Diesel engines. These
sequences define the minimum quality level of a product for presentation to ACEA members.

Each set of sequences is designated for consumer use by a 2 part code comprising a letter to define the CLASS (e.g. A), and a number to define the CATEGORY (e.g. A1). 

In addition, for industry use, each sequence has a two-digit number to identify the YEAR of implementation of that severity level (e.g. A1 / B1-04 ).

Please note that from this 2004 release, the A and B categories have now been respectively combined. As an example, where previously we would have had separate A1-02 and B1-02 categories, we now have a combined A1/B1-04

The CLASS indicates oil intended for a general type of engine - currently A / B = gasoline and light duty diesel engines

Part 3.  Vehicle manufacturer approvals and year of approval

There stated only three approvals for the use of this oil.

Mercedes-Benz (MB 229.3)
-MB 229.3
For petrol and diesel engines. Minimum quality required ACEA A3 / B3 / B4 and MB 229.1. It can only certify 0/ 5 W-x oils.

Volkswagen VW (501.01)
-VW 501.01
Conventional motor oils suitable for some VW engines built before MY 2000. This is an “old” oil specification and is applicable to engines built before model year 2000 (up to August 1999). Oils with an approval made post March 1997 were given an alternative, later VW specification.

Volkswagen VW (505.00)
-VW 505.00
Passenger car diesel engine oil specification, minimum performance level CCMC PD-2. Lists viscosities SAE 5W-50, 10W-50/60, 15W-40/50, 20W-40/50 requiring 13% max. evaporation loss and SAE 5W-30/40, 10W-30/40 requiring 15% max. evaporation loss.

How about Shell Helix Ultra 5w-40?

This retails for $38.95 currently

This is the specification sheet updated as at Mar 24, 2015

It does fulfil a lot more specifications as seen below.
However, the year for ACEA A3/B3, A3/B4 is not given

However, it being SN qualified is silghtly superior to SM rating.

However both carries CF which is obsolete. The current is CJ-4.

Only use SHU for gasoline and their diesel specific products for diesel engines.

ACEA A3/B3, A3/B4
- No year given

BMW Longlife-01 (BMW LL-01)
Special BMW approval for fully synthetic long-life oil. Product meets ACEA A3/B3 and API: SJ/CD EC-II. Usually required for BMWs built after MY 2002. Can also be used where a BMW Longlife-98 oil is recommended.

MB 229.5
MB sheet for energy conserving oils for certain car and van engines. Approved oils must meet ACEA A3, B3 and B4 specification and some additional demands by Daimler Chrysler AG. Oil must be on the approval list. 
MB 226.5   Multigrade engine oils (Specification 226.5)
  • which are distinctly marked with the label indicating the approval of Mercedes-Benz, e.g. “MB-Approval 229.51”. Labels referring e.g. to “MB 229.51” don't have an approval of Mercedes-Benz.
  • Which are listed in the current MB BeVo. Only listed products are tested and approved by Mercedes-Benz.

VW 502.00
Oil for gasoline engines. Successor of VW 501.01 and VW 500.00 specification. Recommended for those which are subject to arduous conditions. It must not be used for any engines with variable service intervals or any which are referred to under other specifications.
VW 505.00
Passenger car diesel engine oil specification, minimum performance level CCMC PD-2. Lists viscosities SAE 5W-50, 10W-50/60, 15W-40/50, 20W-40/50 requiring 13% max. evaporation loss and SAE 5W-30/40, 10W-30/40 requiring 15% max. evaporation loss.
Porsche A40
(Click to see service bulletin.)
It mainly says A40 is a viscosity 40 weighted oil. That's all.

Renault RN0700
Renault engine oil specification; introduced in 2007 upon introduction of the Laguna III. General requirements: ACEA A3/B4 or ACEA A5/B5.
Renault RN0710
Renault engine oil specification; introduced in 2007 upon introduction of the Laguna III. General requirements: ACEA A3/B4 + additional Renault demands.

PSA B71 2296
Peugeot/Citro├źn engine oil specification introduced in 2009. General specifications: ACEA A3/B4 + additional PSA tests.

Fiat 9.55535.Z2 & Fiat 9.55535-GH2 (Meets the requirements of)
Chrysler MS 10725, where MS is Material Standards
Chrysler MS 12991
-Data unavailable