Is there such a thing as “Heaty” Engines?

If you’re a durian lover, it’s quite possible that you’ve came across the term ‘heaty’ . Wiktionary classifies it as “Asian English, of food or medicine”. For the benefit of the uninformed, the ‘heat’ in question is elusive – refrigerated durians can still be considered ‘heaty’ to your body after consumption. 

We will let western and eastern medical experts debate the side effects of durians. However the heat generated from an engine is all too real. Just like your body, an engine with excessive heat is never good

An engine with excessive heat can be a prickly issue

Heat is the main enemy of modern engines, but sometimes it doesn’t even show up on your temperature gauge. How do we fight excessive engine heat to achieve a winning performance? Let’s look at the basics of the internal combustion engine. 

Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow.

To understand it better, we highly suggest using these highly suggestive terms for the process of fuel-air mixture being drawn (sucked) into the combustion chamber, compressed (squeezed) for a mini combustion (bang) before being expelled (blown out)

Imagine these moving up and down 1,000 times a minute

A complete sequence of this process involves the piston in the combustion chamber to move up and down twice, resulting in 2 revolutions of the crankshaft. In a typical 4-cylinder engine, there are 3 more combustion chambers with the same process repeating. However, all 4 cylinders do not ‘bang’ at the same time, instead it normally combusts with a sequence of 1, 3, 4, 2 – also known as the firing order.  

At 1 combustion for every 2 revolutions, a 4 cylinder engine idling at 1,000rpm would have 2,000 controlled combustions per minute. Add that with the resulting heat generated by the rapidly moving pistons, you will find that the engine is indeed a rather ‘heaty’ part of your car. 

And it heats up real fast! 

Bear in mind that 1,000rpm is the idling speed. Prod the throttle a little and it increases a few times more. The limit of a typical 4 cylinder engine hovers around 6,000rpm. If it’s a finely balanced one found in the Honda Civic FD2R, it goes right up to 8,400rpm. In order for you to enjoy that intoxicating VTEC howl, the oil needs to be fluid enough to be pumped to critical engine parts for that #InnerCool effect

The FD2R is the last of the Civic Type R range to use a naturally-aspirated engine

That said, the trusty sedan that you drive to work every day does not exactly live an easy life. Modern cars with start-stop function means that extra loads are placed throughout the engine. It’s important to have a film of oil that clings on the engine parts to reduce wear and tear. Heavy rush hour traffic may also cause engine deposits known as sludge. It’s an unwanted substance that slows down moving parts and generates friction. If you want optimum performance, The Ultimate Series, PETRONAS Syntium 7000 with °Cooltech™ Technology is proven in the Sludge Control Sequence Test. It’s available in 2 viscosity: 0W-16 & 0W-20.

A 4 cylinder engine is one of the most common engine configurations today because it’s very versatile. Widely-used in compact family sedans for fuel economy, 4 cylinder engines are also capable of propelling hot-hatches to double century speeds with the right tuning. 

BERMAZ Motor uses PETRONAS Syntium for Mazda vehicles

Regardless of vehicle type and traffic conditions, the engine oil used should be able to withstand steep inclines, aggressive acceleration and road congestion. To reduce wear, PETRONAS Syntium with °CoolTech™ dissipates heat from critical engine zones with its strong oil chains. Excessive heat in the engine also causes oil thickening – the pistons will not like it. To combat this, the viscosity increase of The Ultimate Series, PETRONAS Syntium 7000 is made to be up to 85% lower than the SN PLUS Limit.

Forced to force it 

To achieve more power, one can theoretically increase the number of engine capacity and cylinder count, but the enforcement of tougher regulations has pushed carmakers into increasing efficiency via forced induction, i.e. turbocharging or supercharging. 

The 2-liter engine in the Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription Plus is both supercharged and turbocharged to deliver 320hp to the front wheels. An 80-hp electric motor powers the rear.

Gone were the days where turbochargers are reserved for fire breathing rally machines like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo or Subaru Impreza WRX. Luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz have embraced turbocharging because turbo lag (bugbear of turbocharged cars) can now be eliminated with electronic assistance.

Case in point, the Mercedes-AMG E53 relies on a 48-volt electric compressor to feed air to the twin-scroll turbocharger for efficient power delivery at low revs. In other words, it’s now possible to get the turbocharger to work at lower engine speeds before it’s ‘activated’ by exhaust gas from the 3-litre inline-six engine. 

Modern turbocharged engines have minimal turbo lag

Modern engines are prone to Low-Speed-Pre-Ignition (LSPI), where the ‘banging’ happens during the ‘squeezing’ part of the combustion cycle. Needless to say, this sounds like a painful process because of the excess pressure generated. To prevent this from happening, a new API SN PLUS classification has been created. PETRONAS Syntium products been upgraded to meet it with additional benefits of improved efficiency and lower emissions. If you wish to protect your engine from LSPI, use PETRONAS Syntium 7000 (0W-16, 0W-20, Hybrid 0W-20), PETRONAS Syntium 3000 5W-30 and PETRONAS Syntium 800 5W-30.


Regardless of the vehicle type, if you want your engine to deliver the horses as it’s supposed to, it should literally keep its cool. #PETRONASSyntiumMY is formulated with °CoolTech™ to fight excessive engine heat. Now you and your car are #DrivenByInnerCool to deliver a winning performance. 

Follow #PETRONASSyntiumMY and #SyntiumSchool for more knowledge on engine care. Like this Facebook to be updated tips and tricks, while you are at it, do take the quiz.

To start your engine on the journey of #InnerCool, the PETRONAS Syntium range is available at all PETRONAS Mesra outlets and all reputable independent workshops. Should you prefer to purchase online, log on to its Official Shopee Store.

From left: PETRONAS Syntium 7000 0W-16, PETRONAS Syntium 7000 0W20, PETRONAS Syntium Hybrid 0W20, PETRONAS Syntium 3000 5W-30, PETRONAS Syntium 800 5W-30


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