Engine without oil?

What is Gus Griffon’s capsule?

Google is your friend.

Liberty Bell 7, part of the Mercury space flight program program.

And yes a spelling error that should read Grissom, but you know that anyway and just wanted to be a royal PITA.

I don’t know, could have been a movie reference.

Perhaps a better differentiation would be reciprocating vs. rotating. Only the Wankel blurs this line.

No, I did not know what you were talking about.

Nope. I have an electric vehicle (Tesla Model S). The motor makes 400+ hp and there is no oil. It has sealed bearings that don’t require service. According to some info I found the motor is industrial quality and supposed to be good for a minimum of 1/2 million miles.

It does used glycol based coolant to cool the battery and charger. Besides that I believe the only fluids are brake and windshield washer fluids.

So, it looks like ICEs will always need oil.

Wankel engines are no longer manufactured.


The Honda S600 (and S800) used roller-bearings for the crankshaft that allowed it to have a stratospheric (for 1965 production car standards) 9500rpm redline. Now, those bearings were still lubricated with oil, but most cars now used sealed wheel bearings that last the life of the vehicle with only the grease they’re packed with from the factory. I don’t see why someone couldn’t develop an engine with sealed needle bearings for the crankshaft and wristpins. Heat would be an issue but that’s not a showstopper.

What IS a showstopper is the piston rings, which need oil not just for lubrication but also to make a proper seal for combustion. You could always run oil in the gas like a two-stroke, but that’s not getting past the EPA.

Then my apologies.

Hmm doesn’t that show that oil for lubrication isn’t that important? I guess electric motors produce less waste heat than ICE.

The number of moving parts and rubbing interfaces in a 4-cylinder traditional ICE car engine are about 20x the number in a Tesla-scale electric motor. And yes, the waste heat difference is also about 10 to 1.

Oil for lubrication is essential for an ICE built out of traditional materials and intended for traditional lifespans.

The OP seems to be asking about the practicality of making an ICE-powered car with no engine oil lubrication. Whoever introduced discussions of pure electric cars, turbines, etc. into the discussion is not being, IMO, helpful And yes, AaronX, I understand you’re not the one who did that. No accusation intended.

Yes, and I am surprised we are still using such relatively primitive technology here in ‘The Future’.

I disagree. The point was that using oil is not inherent to an automotive power plant, meaning the power levels themselves are not what makes oil necessary. Rather it’s something particular to the ICE.

My guess would be that it’s just too difficult getting piston rings to seal and not wear without oil.

The heat seems to be the major issue.

I don’t see any such constraints in the OP.

That would be me. And I thought it was helpful, as your perceived constraints would limit responses to, “No. There’s no such thing.”

We’re still using knives, we still bake bread, we still brew beer, we still raise livestock, we still farm crops, we still work metal…

Some stuff is just so good that even though we’ve been doing it for thousands of years there’s no replacement, at least for the foreseeable future. We learn more about it and tweak the way we implement it along the way, but some things are just so good they’re never going away

Well, where are the atom-powered cars we were promised? LOL

If the jury will allow this question… My point is, it’s possible to make cars that don’t require oil now. Maybe in the future we’ll have cars with lifetime oil? Then cars with no oil? We didn’t have unleaded petrol or sealed, maintenance free lead batteries in the past either. Who knows what we’ll have in the future?