Modern common rail diesel engines outperform yesteryear’s petrols. They use less fuel, have longer service intervals compared to older diesels, and go like the clappers.
But, they have their faults. One major fault results from the method that engineers are using in effort to keep the oil burners running cleaner (due to emission laws), which means that the spent, oily gases must be redirected back into the engine, often via inlet manifolds, turbos and intercoolers – yep, piping slop back into what should be kept free from oil and sludge.
Some say, “it’s like plumbing the sewer into your drinking water” or “like farting in your own air cylinder”; either way, neither are particularly palatable or hygienic!
Theoretically, there should be only be dry soot flowing through these pipes, but it’s the oily fumes that turn that soot into sludge, which in turn blocks up the engine’s internals that it comes in contact with.
It seems those pencil-pushers that dream up the emission rules have deemed that it’s okay to bugger an engine for the sake of keeping air pollutants down. Surely there is a better way to achieve the results without damaging the internals of our modern, powerful, efficient and extremely expensive engines!
Enter the aftermarket industry that designed what in essence is an extremely simple fix – the Catch Can, or more appropriately described as an oil separator. While there are other derivatives of what is, or should be a, simple process of filtering out the damaging dirty fumes that enter your engine’s inlets, the Flash Lube Catch Can Pro has been developed to offer more protection with the inclusion of pressure relief valves so as not to over-pressure the engine, which could lead to other failures.
The Flash Lube model also features free-flowing large-diameter inlet and outlet ports of 19mm (notably the same diameter OE pipes as on my engine), a replaceable filter, and a rotating head to aid in fitting. Plus, it’s all compact enough to fit into most overcrowded engine bays.
Given the filtering of the dirty oily gases, the Catch Can Pro will ensure your inlet manifold stays clean, prevents your intercooler and turbo from clogging up with oil and gunk and also keeps sensors clean to enable them to perform as designed.
For my installation on the TDV8 Troopy, fitting the Catch Can Pro was a simple process of intercepting the airline going from the tappet cover to the air intake hose (which goes from the air filter to the turbo), installing the Catch Can Pro in line and mounting it next to my battery with the supplied bracket – easy!
Once installed, the Flash Lube Catch Can Pro filters the fumes via the airflow passing through the inbuilt replaceable filter and leaves clean air to pass into the turbo, intercooler and inlet manifold then into the engine which satisfies all emission controls, making this aftermarket component 100% legal.
The kit comes complete with a drain hose and tap (which I’ve installed directly below the Catch Can Pro on the chassis rail) which allows easy drainage of the captured oil (from the Catch Can) into a container for proper disposal. This can be done at regular service intervals and only takes a minute or two to complete. Another advantage of capturing that waste oil is that (over time) if you find more oil in the can than normal, you’ll know something might be amiss with your engine.
I’ve had my Flash Lube Catch Can Pro fitted for just over 12 months and 30,000km and have captured about a litre of filthy oil – quite remarkable and scary how often it has to be emptied, given that all that gunk would have mixed with soot and fouled up either my engines internals, turbo or intercooler eventually.
Given the can has to be emptied so often, it would be beneficial if it held a larger volume of waste oil, but perhaps I’m just being lazy seeing as it’s so easy to empty via the included tap! At least being the size it is, it fits easy enough into the engine bay.
All up, fitting Flash Lube Catch Can Pro doesn’t ‘make’ the engine perform better, it just keeps it purring as new and that’s a huge plus in my books. RRP: $280.