Car companies switching to advanced motor oil for better efficiency

2010 Buick LaCrosse uses a new generation of motor oil. Failure to use the correct oil would void the warranty.

As getting maximal fuel-efficiency is extremely important to automakers these days, automakers are even looking at engine oil composition for a boost. Every 2011 GM car will roll off the assembly line with a new generation of motor oil, and Ford and Chrysler are also implementing similar measures. The new oil was designed primarily to protect newer engines from wear as the newer engines produce much greater heat as they work to pull maximum horsepower out of engines with smaller displacement.

“GF-5 and Dexos1 oils have a more robust formulation that should give you better contributions to fuel economy, cleanliness and fuel emissions,” said Mark Ferner, manager of the lubricants technology group at Shell.

The Dexos1 oil being used by GM differs from the GF-5 grade used by other manufacturers by virtue of testing. Dexos1 uses tests mandated in Europe and America, while GF-5 primarily tests according to the American Petroleum Institute.

The new generation of oil is also expected to last a much longer period of time than today”s oil, as GM proscribes no set mileage to change the oil, but just says that when the oil-monitor system says to change the oil is when the driver should do so. Ford says that GF-5 should last 10,000 miles in the company”s newer engines.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)