If you are a Mustang owner, you would know why an oil separator is a must-have option for your vehicle for various reasons. An oil separator or a catch can effectively prevent the oil buildup of the intake manifold.
But do you know how to clean JLT oil separators? The answer is quite significant to maintain the life span of your car’s engine.
What Causes Oil In The Intake Manifold?
During the combustion process in the engine cylinder, it is always possible for some air to leak across the piston. When the air passes the piston while entering the crankcase, it is called blowby. This can create pressure to accumulate within the crankcase with a mixture of oil, fuel, contaminants, and air.
As components of the PCV or positive crankcase ventilation process, there are valves attached to it that let the air and pressure escape. This one is basically a method to recondition the unused gas exhausts. But the valves can collect the oil at the crankcase base, which redirects the polluted air back into the ingestion.
When these oil fumes travel through the PCV system to the intake, they coat the tube valves, interior, linings, and throttle frame. This results in oil and muck buildup that reduces the engine efficacy, exhibits a power loss, decreased octane level, and diluted gas.
The chances of this happening in a supercharged or turbocharged engine are much higher. However, this can happen in a naturally extracted engine as well.
What Is JLT Oil Separator?
As we have already mentioned, large amounts of oil vapors can cover the intake valves, blower rotors, intercooler fins, etc. during the venting process in your intake route. This is a pretty common incident in all engines, which usually worsens in the supercharged ones as their crankcase pressure is higher.
JLT has developed an oil separator of their own plan. Rather than spreading through the engine’s intake structure, it filters the oil in the gas and transmits it into the catch can.
How Does An Oil Separator Work?
A vent oil separator connects to the PCV mechanism and filters the contaminants out in the air. They have a filtration system that accumulates the oil and entraps the pollutants from getting inside the intake manifold.
The first hose attaches to the crankcase ports and sends the polluted air to the separator. A 2nd hose then transfers the purified air to the inlet manifold.
How To Clean JLT Oil Separator?
After a month of using it, inspect the oil separator and clean the inlet zone following these steps:
- Switch off the inflowing water to the unit. Open up the unit case.
- Take out any oil and discard it in a way that abides by the manufacturer and legal measures. Empty the liquid from the extractor.
- Assess the depth of the residual solids and record it down. It will act as a structure for arranging future preservation and cleaning. Get rid of the solids if necessary.
- After this, you need to clean the media plates. You can clean them when they are still in the unit or after removing them. If you don’t want to remove them, take a low-pressure hose and stick it between the plate spaces of the plate packs.
- All the muck will get flushed from the plates and drain down the hopper outlet.
- If you want to clean the plates outside the oil separator, wash them down using a low-pressure hose. Be careful, and don’t let the discharge fall on the ground. You have to remove the mud and oil growth.
- Once you are done with the earlier step, make sure to inspect the tank for any damage. If necessary, repair the inner coating as well.
- To restart the separator, just put back the plate packs like they were before. Install them securely so that they won’t float around during the operation. Depending on the application and the oil build-up, you have to make sure the maintenance procedure is done by a qualified expert on a regular basis.
What Are The Benefits Of An Oil Separator?
An intake zone coated with oil components means your car engine will lose its efficiency, not to mention the safety issues it will create. However, you can restrict the area from getting coated with oil by merely installing an oil separator.
With no oil separator, if your car uses a decent amount of time on high RPMS, contaminants can quickly pile up all over the throttle body. Thus, the throttle frame can slip a check engine sign because of a lack of reaction. The throttle can get jammed open or closed, creating trouble for you.
Some of the most significant advantages of installing an oil separator are:
- It keeps blowby outside of the intake mechanics.
- It prevents any carbon accumulation on the piston tops and intake valves.
- It reduces the chances of ignition failure and engine knock.
- It betters engine efficiency by restraining oil buildup.
JLT Oil Separator Problems
When your JLT oil separator starts to wear down, you will see some signs indicating you should replace the catch can. Here are some most common signs indicating JLT oil separator problems:
Smoke from the exhaust pipe
The oil separator is built to take out the extra gas from the oil before it goes into the venting chamber. If this part is expired or worn out, this process won’t be an efficient one. Inserting excess gas into the chamber will make it difficult for the fuel and air mixture to burn. As a result, the vehicle’s exhaust system will eject more smoke.
You will notice the extra smoke when the car is idle or running. If you see a white or pale blue colored fume coming out from your rear pipe, contact a professional instantly for a quick diagnosis and change the catch can. Delaying this may damage the cylinder walls, head components, and piston rings.
Check Engine Light is Brightened
When the gas and oil start to burn, the temperature inside the venting chamber rises. It can shoot a warning inside the vehicle’s ECU by sending the alert to the dashboard. This event lights up the check engine light of the car. A professional mechanic uses a diagnostic device plugged into your car’s computer to download the warning code.
Hence, if you see an illuminated check engine light on your dashboard, contact a certified mechanic immediately.
Extreme oil consumption
Another symptom that your JLT oil separator is damaged is when you see the engine is consuming more oil than necessary. This is a relatively common sign of regular corrosion or damaged motor elements with engines over 100,000 miles. However, according to many experts, the cause behind this excess oil consumption can also be the underperforming oil separator. If you see the check oil light is frequently low, and you have to add oil often, contact a professional to inspect your car for a worn-out oil separator.
Waste under your oil cap
A bad or declining JLT vent oil separator will fail to exclude condensation from oil as well. In most cases, the excess moisture settles under the oil fill cap and blends with debris and dirt trapped in the engine. Together they form sludges that appear under or around the oil cap. Contact a professional the instant you notice this issue.
How Frequently Should You Empty An Oil Catch Can?
An oil separator filters and collects the oil in a small tank for comfortable maintenance. After the installation, it is suggested that you should inspect the oil separator every 1000 miles. That way, you would know when you have to empty the catch can. For some specific driving styles, you have to check it more often than others.
You should check the catch can of a typical street-car every 3000 miles run. As for a Mustang, drain the oil separator after each run. Generally, a large reservoir will hold more than a smaller one. Still, check the manufacturer’s manual for complete maintenance planning.
Do You Need An Oil Separator?
An oil catch can is not a requirement for your vehicle. However, it can assure the long life of the car engine. If you are not driving too much, you might skip this unit altogether. But for aggressive driving or running a high-powered motor, you should consider using a catch can.
Even if your car has a factory catch can, you can always upgrade it to an aftermarket vent oil separator for better performance.
Benefits of Oil Separator [Expert Video]
Oil separators can be a great advantage for your car’s efficient functioning. We hope now that you know how to clean JLT oil separators, you can easily follow the process to wash up your oil separator.
However, reckless handling can create several JLT oil separator problems for you. Hence, you have to be careful about maintaining the unit as well.