What makes a quality motor oil?

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What makes a quality motor oil?

Dr. Boris Zhmud, Head of Research and Development, BIZOL Lubricants, www.bizol.us

 

With the abundance of different brands of motor oil on the market, customers may find it difficult to decide which oil is the best for their car, making a right choice is not a trivial thing.

What really makes a quality motor oil? Even though it is true that the quality oil is never cheap, the price itself does not guarantee quality if the latter is understood as “fitness for purpose”. For instance, if you drive BMW M5, it wouldn’t be a good idea to experiment with any sort of low-viscosity fuel-saving oils, which on the other hand, would be totally adequate for a Peugeot 208 or Toyota Corolla.

So the best oil is the one which fits your engine type. There is no single oil can be the best for every possible use. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to car manufacturer recommendations regarding the crankcase lubricant.

There are products claiming compliance with your OEM recommendations, but how you can tell the difference?  There are mainstream products and top-tier specialty products. Mainstream products are, well, just mainstream – they are reasonably priced and guarantee minimum acceptable performance levels for a broad range of engines and driving conditions. They are a compromise between cost and performance, good enough for a variety of intended use scenarios, yet nowhere particularly good.

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This is why the top tier products are different. They have concentrated on getting the best package giving exceptional protection, cleaning and very low evaporation loss. Every OEM gives a specification with a lower and upper end.  Let the mainstream do the minimum.

Top-tier lubricants use the highest quality synthetic base oils and licensed additive packages which were extensively tested by additive companies for compliance with specific performance requirements. Development of such products requires a great deal of formulation experience and knowledge of engine requirements and exhaust after treatment system.

The oil can also be customized to target specific requirements, driving cycle, fuel type, and ambient temperature.  Also the “feel factor” – the perception of the lubricant performance by the driver.  For instance, many drivers have a preference to motor oils ensuring quiet engine operation. To achieve that, special base oils and a balanced set of additives are required in order to max up lubricant film strength, over the levels which would be considered adequate for a mainstream product.

So be the expert for your customers and up sell to give your customer better protection and service.

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