Nitration is the chemical degradation of crankcase oil caused by the reaction of nitrogen oxides produced during the combustion process.
Low crankcase oil temperatures accelerate the rate of nitration.
In gas engines, nitration is the predominant factor that determines lubricant life.
Nitrogen oxide by-products enter the oil during normal operation because of blow-by past the compression rings.

Causes Effects
Lean burn engine operation Accelerated oil thickening
Low operating temperatures Acidic by-products are formed
Abnormal blow-by Increased by-products are formed
improper spark timing Increased cylinder and valve train wear
Faulty Crankcase ventilation Combustion area deposits
Engine overload Increased acidity in oil
  Accelerated sludge formation
Increase crankcase oil operating temperatures if below 80°C
Check crankcase venting hose and valves
Ensure proper air / fuel ratio
Perform compression check or cylinder leak

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