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SECTOR FOCUS: AUTOMOTIVE PCEO


Quality matters – if it sounds too good to be true, would you trust it in your engine?


Ian Field, ATC Secretary General


For a number of years engines have been changing at a rapid rate in response to emission and fuel economy demands and requiring ever more complex performance attributes from the lubricant; the days of simply using the correct viscosity grade are long gone.


Recent articles in the industry press have highlighted issues such as counterfeit lubricants and the need for out-of-warranty vehicles to maintain the correct lubricating regime (as detailed in the VLS article on page 50).


There is a third threat to add to the list: products in the market that have not been developed or validated according to industry and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) quality standards and consequently are not entitled to formally claim OEM or industry specifications. Typically these products make claims based on suitability for use and technical judgement.


16 LUBE MAGAZINE NO.155 FEBRUARY 2020


Engine oil development according to OEM and industry quality standards is a costly and time-consuming business, but ultimately ensures that the oil marketer and the end consumer get the necessary performance specified by the OEM for their application.


OEM specifications are complex and critical to ensure the vehicle’s specific lubricating requirements are met, from maintaining the correct oil pressure, to the more complex valvetrain specific performance requirements and protection against specific potential failure modes such as Low Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI).


An engine oil is a complex approved formulation comprising specific components e.g. additive packages, viscosity modifiers (VM) and base oils, at defined treat rates. The formulation and the performance credentials are captured in key documents that any credible additive technology supplier will share with their oil marketer customers.


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