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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Why are manufacturers switching to 0W-20 motor oil?

Are manufacturers ripping off consumers by switching to 0W-20 motor oil?

Over the past 5 years more and more new vehicles have been switching to 0W-20 motor oil as first fill. As we’ve all found out this black gold is almost as expensive as gold, leading to questions as to why they’re switching to 0W-20 motor oil?

Emissions regulations see OEM’s switching to 0W-20 motor oil.

Around the globe air pollution is being addressed by
governments, and with the increasing number of vehicles on the road it’s natural that vehicle emissions should come under the spotlight.

In Europe, Euro 6 will see emissions are regulated to 120 g/km, and will drop to 90 g/km in 2020. As these emissions are largely dependent on fuel consumption – the more fuel burned the more emissions are released into the atmosphere, OEM’s are looking at various means to reducing fuel consumption: These vary from downsizing and turbocharging, to downspeeding and of course switching to 0W-20 motor oil.

How does switching to 0W-20 motor oil save fuel?

On cold start up engines require fuel enrichment enrichment to fire up: This enrichment when coupled to frictional resistance in a cold engine tends to significantly increase specific fuel consumption and Co2 emissions. By switching to 0W-20 motor oil these losses are reduced.
The oil has a lower viscosity than traditional oils when cold (0 vs the typical 10 or 20). This promotes cold start lubrication at the same time as reducing power loss due to moving the thicker engine oil. Even when the engine warms up the thinner 0W-20 engine oil has benefits because it  requires less energy to overcome the losses created by the thicker oil.

Will switching to 0W-20 motor oil damage my engine?

Modern engines are designed to operate on this thinner oil so there won’t be any problems.

If you’re thinking of switching to 0W-20 motor oil on an older vehicle it’s advisable to first seek advice from a reputable oil company, such as Habot Synthetic Lubricants. Older vehicles were typically designed with more clearance on the moving parts and this may result in a loss of oil pressure when switching to 0W-20 motor oil.

Because of it’s thermal stability across a wide operating range it’s advisable to use a quality synthetic engine oil when switching to 0W-20 motor oil – or even when you do a lube service. Synthetic oils have superior stability when compared to regular motor oil and are therefore the oil of choice.


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