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Automakers Switch to New Innovative Engine Oil

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On: Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 9:24AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Automakers Switch to New Innovative Engine Oil

A new engine oil is gaining popularity (it's available from many automakers, such as Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group, and General Motors) because of its ability to help engines run more efficiently and lessen the effects of wear. Those are important factors as automakers start to launch multitudes of fuel efficient small cars that have more horsepower than ever before.

Detroit’s big three automakers are filling new automobiles with a brand of new oil know by its industry grading, such as GF-5 or SN. For GM vehicles the grade is “Dexos 1.” The oil is able to help heat-producing turbochargers and superchargers run more efficiently while providing the benefit of increasing mileage between oil changes.

The new oil became available on October 1st and replaced the standard GF-4 oil which had been adopted by GM, Ford, Chrysler, as well as Nissan and Toyota.

“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 main difference between Dexos1, which is a GM-licensed brand, and GF-5 oils is testing,” Ferner said. In other words, GM utilizes some tests required by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) to ensure vehicles being exported to Europe will pass mandated standards. To be certified as GF-5, the oil needs to pass a variety of chemistry and engine tests set by the American Petroleum Institute.

The inspiration for a new line of engine oil is government regulations mandating higher fuel economy.
GM engineers began working on the development of Dexos 1 as far back as 2006 in an attempt to make an engine oil that would meet the standards for all GM powertrains across the globe, including light duty diesel engines which use the Detros2.

“Dexos puts us in a position to try and optimize the drain intervals,” said Eric Johnson, a GM fuel and lubrication engineer who worked on the development of Dexos.

The exact mileage life varies with driving conditions and, although GM has not released any information regarding range of miles, Ford Motor company says that with GF-5 a motorist can expect to get up to 10,000 miles between oil changes. Ford employs an oil-life monitoring system to inform owners when it's time for an oil change.

“We have made improvements to our engines and want to use the best oil we can,” spokesman Richard Truett said.


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