July/August 2019

C ar manufacturers are constantly demanding for more new oils, and more specific oils, to service an ever-more sensitive car parc. Gone are the days of having one oil to serve them all. In many instances, one oil might not cover every variant of a specific car, let alone the whole output of a manufacturer. The name of the game these days is the right oil for the right car. As a result, the variety of oil types is growing. One of the key trends is the move towards lower viscosity, which has many advantages for today’s engines. Viscosity Oliver Kuhn, Deputy Head of the LIQUI MOLY oil laboratory, explains the advantages of particularly low viscosity oils, and warns of dangers for car drivers and garages if they use the wrong oil in the wrong car: “The reason that motor oils are getting continuously less viscous is down to the car manufacturers. Their cars consume less and less fuel and emit fewer and fewer emissions. In order to achieve this, they have to turn many different adjusting screws. One of these adjusting screws is the motor oil. Oil does lubricate the motor; however, it also restricts it at the same time. A thick, viscous oil restricts the motor more than a thin oil. Thanks to a low viscosity oil the fuel consumption can be reduced by 2-3%.” Because low viscosity oils are becoming more common does not mean they should be used in every instance however. Older engines will still need the same oils they did before. Oliver comments: “Garages should only use low viscosity motor oil if the motor is set up for it. A low viscosity oil in a conventional motor leads to massive wear and catastrophic motor failure not long after that. It already was important to check you were using the right motor oil before, but now it's getting really dangerous if you don’t. That's why you should always check first in the manual or in the LIQUI MOLY Oil Guide: www.liqui-moly.com “This will tell you whether the oil is approved for the car in front of you. LIQUI MOLY carries a wide range of oils, so you are able to get the right oil for basically every car.” Precisely aligned Commenting on why lubricants have become more and more specific, Oliver says: “Oil is a liquid spare part nowadays, which is precisely aligned to a specific motor type. Just as there are no standard brakes for all cars, there is no oil for all cars. Furthermore, oil has to do more jobs today than in the past. It has to lubricate the engine but it also has to keep it clean, to protect it from corrosion, not to harm the exhaust gas treatment and do all this at extended oil change intervals.” So, will there be even lower viscosity oils in the future? Oliver confirms this: “Yes, the trend is headed in that direction. The industry is already working on 0W-16 and 0W- 12 grade viscosities. These viscosities are moving ever more towards water.” Critical role Engine technology is being pushed harder and harder so that vehicle emissions can be brought down further. The internal combustion engine might be the old kid on the block, but it is being taught new tricks. However, the upshot of this is that new lubrications are needed. As diesel and petrol engines change, the lubricants used need to keep up. Adrian Hill, Automotive Product Manager at Morris Lubricants observes: “Engine oils, more than ever, are playing a critical role in 36 AFTERMARKET JULY/AUGUST 2019 OILS AND LUBRICANTS Above: Adrian Hill from Morris Lubricants www.aftermarketonline.net THE RIGHT OIL FOR THE RIGHT CAR We ask the men in white lab coats about the importance of keeping up with the latest developments in vehicle lubrication