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#4513864 - 09/12/17 04:16 AM Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils?
AdrienneOwens Offline


Registered: 09/11/17
Posts: 1
Loc: TX
Many Thanks grin

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#4513865 - 09/12/17 04:19 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: AdrienneOwens]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10019
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
Well, in the U.S. it is mainly for fuel economy reasons. As there are other countries that have the same vehicles/engines and they require different oils all together. Maybe those countries can't get our thinner oils.
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#4513868 - 09/12/17 04:34 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: AdrienneOwens]
weasley Offline


Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 749
Loc: UK
It's for efficiency, largely to drive CO2 emissions down. Given that these new engines are getting pretty power-dense, the challenge is to create oils that protect these more highly-strung engines, over longer oil drains, often with smaller oil charges, reduced additive content (for DPF and TWC protection) and lower viscosity.
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#4513875 - 09/12/17 05:18 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: AdrienneOwens]
dlundblad Offline


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 10019
Loc: Indiana
Fuel economy.

Basically, it's xw20 here and xw40 in other countries..
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#4513880 - 09/12/17 05:32 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: AdrienneOwens]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4340
Loc: Taiwan
In the US?

Driven by fatter people. Diet Coke demographics.

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#4513886 - 09/12/17 05:43 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: AdrienneOwens]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
It's for fuel economy at the expense of engine life.

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#4513895 - 09/12/17 05:53 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: Merkava_4]
Bambam Offline


Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 900
Loc: Monroe,CT
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
It's for fuel economy at the expense of engine life.


Engine life? Really?? Any data to back that up, I didn't think there was a longevity issue with engines, especially imports.
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#4513899 - 09/12/17 06:01 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: AdrienneOwens]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12326
Loc: The Motor City
I actually read where Volvo did a wear study to compare the effects of the new thin oils versus 5W-30. I can't remember the exact number, but wear increased around 5%.

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#4513904 - 09/12/17 06:17 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: Ducked]
LoneRanger Offline


Registered: 07/02/07
Posts: 4058
Loc: Midwest USA
Originally Posted By: Ducked
In the US?

Driven by fatter people. Diet Coke demographics.


Sounds facetious but is actually somewhat true. Just look at the Toyota Sienna's "evolution." It has gone from a relatively trim looking van at intro years ago, evolved from the Previa, to what we have today which looks a lot like a giant pregnant hamster. I mean, really, how much wider are they going to make it to continue accomodating the increasing physical width of their target demographic?

Pretty soon we'll have to widen traffic lanes to fit the ever increasing girth.
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#4513929 - 09/12/17 06:49 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: Kestas]
zeng Offline


Registered: 09/01/15
Posts: 2188
Loc: Malaysia
Originally Posted By: Kestas
I actually read where Volvo did a wear study to compare the effects of the new thin oils versus 5W-30. I can't remember the exact number, but wear increased around 5%.

+1
It's in congruence with the laws of physics in thinner MOFT from thinner oils -> lubrication regimes shifting from right to left (in stribeck curve) -> potential increase in adhesion and abrasion wear ......
which are somehow mitigated by modern AW/EP additive package ...involving billions of R&D costs.
Besides corrosion wear constitutes more significant proportion in engine wear, not so much in gear train wear though.
We now have new normal in acceptable wear from Honda according to quotes from Shannow.
The study of lubrication/tribology fundamentals used to be based on minimum or zero wear.


Edited by zeng (09/12/17 06:52 AM)

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#4513940 - 09/12/17 07:04 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: Kestas]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 39858
Loc: 'Stralia
Originally Posted By: Kestas
I actually read where Volvo did a wear study to compare the effects of the new thin oils versus 5W-30. I can't remember the exact number, but wear increased around 5%.


And when they (Volvo) specced a 0W20, they made the HTHS minimum 2.75 rather than 2.6

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#4513966 - 09/12/17 07:30 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: AdrienneOwens]
mightymousetech Online   happy


Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1444
Loc: Ontario, Canada
It is completely about the CAFE regs. Car companies in the US must specify the oil that was used to get their CAFE fuel economy ratings as the spec, and only oil. This is why the same cars in the rest of the world provide a long list of acceptable viscosity, but only the thinnest is spec'd for the US and Canada.


Edited by mightymousetech (09/12/17 07:32 AM)
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#4513968 - 09/12/17 07:32 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: AdrienneOwens]
Cujet Online   content


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7148
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
I occasionally use Blackstone labs, but most often use Aviation labs (avlabs) for my wear metals check. These guys have the data, and occasionally publish something interesting.

As always, wear rates by brand of oil does not seem to vary much. Wear rates by type of oil is similarly inconclusive. However, one thing does tend to stand out, viscosity. With some engines, a higher than recommended viscosity can result in significantly lower wear rates.

My V8 and Ecoboost Ford trucks all experience significantly lower wear metals on a higher viscosity. In particular, Mobil 1 EP 10W-30 and especially M1, 5W-40 TDT reduce the wear rate per mile vs 5W-20 or 5W-30. Same goes for my Turbo S2000. Wear rates decrease significantly with M1, 15W-50. But at almost 450HP (crankshaft) 407RWHP, and no oil cooler, a robust oil is required.

And again, many engines with timing and/or balancer chains do far better with higher viscosity. Ask the GM warranty department about all the premature balancer chain failures.
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#4513989 - 09/12/17 08:01 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: Ducked]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 10953
Loc: Idaho
Originally Posted By: Ducked
In the US?

Driven by fatter people. Diet Coke demographics.
grin grin grin
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#4513993 - 09/12/17 08:06 AM Re: Why are newer cars using thinner motor oils? [Re: AdrienneOwens]
Kuato Offline


Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 7094
Loc: Colorado
Sigh. This AGAIN?

popcorn
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