Engine Black Death

'Engine Black Death' first appeared in the early 80's when a sticky black substance was found to be the cause of many engine seizures in Europe. It was extremely frustrating for vehicle owners because dealers and mechanics had no idea what was going on.


(As seen in the photo to the left)

Black Death wasn't covered under insurance - owners had to pay to fix engines themselves. Many engines were affected but Ford and Vauxhall (GM) suffered the most. Faster roads, higher under-hood temperatures, tighter engineering tolerances and overworked engine oils turned out to be contributors to the problem. The oils just couldn't handle the demands, and changed their chemical makeup under pressure into a sort of tar-like glue. This blocked the oil channels in the engines, starving them of lubrication and causing them to seize.

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