The demands on the automotive engine are changing. The past decade has seen our traffic congestion increase dramatically and is only likely to increase further still. This presents a new set of challenges for drivers in looking after their engines.
Because of increasing congestion, today's drivers are experiencing a steep increase in 'stop-start driving'. Your average driver can now stop and start their engines as many as 18,000 times a year. This is annoying, but worse, it slowly damages the engine - permanently.
A change in pattern
Frequent stopping and starting involves increased decelerating, idling, and accelerating. This change in how automotive engines perform applies new stresses to different areas. This in turn causes metal abrasion with metal fragments worn from the surfaces of critical engine parts. This increases microscopic engine wear. Over time, this damage decreases efficiency and performance, ultimately irreparably damaging the engine.
What does this mean for oil?
At the heart of the battle to keep up with the changing challenges engines face is oil, the vehicle's lifeblood. As the demands of the automotive engine change so does the lubricants' job role. To continue to be effective, it needs to evolve so it can continue to protect the areas most needed. This needs to be done in the confines of working within new limitations posed by the strive for more environmentally sound engines and increased heat cycle demands.
Does it matter?
You may think, what does it matter, isn't automotive all the same? No, the properties today's oil strives for are almost unrecognizable from the needs oil had to meet as little as 10 years ago. With the constant stop-start cycles, today's generation of automotive oil is focused on new technology. Primarily it needs to keep protecting components during the 'stop' cycle rather than draining off. With the higher demands, newer oils are also required to provide higher levels of protection through various technologies to defend against wear, improve engine life or increase service intervals. All this against a backdrop of environmental focus and regulations demanding 'cleaner' automotive oils.
Getting the right lubricant
This is why getting the right oil lubricants for your vehicle is essential. Investing in the right lubricant will help keep it on the road, reduce engine issues, and prolong its life and performance.
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