Your Engine Will Make More Power With Less Oil In It


The horsepower wars are alive and well, with automakers seemingly vying for higher and higher power numbers with each new generation of car, but want a quick way to up your car’s power numbers? Now, this might sound like sacrilege, and it certainly might be depending on your vehicle’s primary purpose, but running your engine low on oil allows it to produce more power. Before you run out to your car to drain a few quarts of oil, know that running your engine low on oil is horrible for its longevity, but if you’re in a situation where you need a few extra horses to cross the finish line first, a quick little purge might be your ticket to a win.

Lake Speed Jr. of “The Motor Oil Geek” YouTube channel worked with Ben Strader from EFI University to put this theory to the test all scientific like. The two used a Chevrolet LS-based V8 motor and measured it on an engine dynamometer with different amounts of oil, from five quarts to seven quarts to nine quarts to measure how things changed. The results are both enlightening and somewhat alarming, showing that less oil allows engines to produce more power, but in a more volatile way. More oil keeps things more stable, but produces significantly less horsepower. Watch the video below.

How MUCH OIL is TOO MUCH? Dyno Results!

The team started their testing with just five quarts of oil in the engine, or just enough to keep the engine from starving for oil, and ran the sucker out to redline to see what power it produced. With just five quarts of oil in it, the engine produced 649 horsepower, and the oil pressure took an alarming dive, but leveled out. Next up they added two quarts to take it up to a total of seven, and the engine produced 630 horsepower, but the oil pressure remained more stable throughout the pull. Adding two more quarts caused power output to drop by a ridiculous 60 horses. At nine quarts of oil, the oil pressure remained rock solid throughout the whole redline pull, but the engine only produced 589 horsepower.

We aren’t recommending that any of our readers run out to their ride and start draining their oil to make some extra power, since running an engine low on oil is bad for its longevity. The reason for this phenomenon is that when this engine is full of oil, it’s all sitting in the oil pan and creating more resistance for the crankshaft to fight against. With less oil, the crankshaft rotates with less resistance, thus allowing the engine to produce more power despite being more volatile. The oil may cause more resistance, but it also keeps everything properly lubricated to maximize an engine’s lifespan, so please don’t go drain a few quarts from your daily driver just because you read this article. Keep your car full with the manufacturer recommended amount and weight of oil to keep it running right for many more miles to come.



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