Changes Are On The Horizon For Motor Oil Standards

In just three short years, 0W-16 grade motor oil will be called for in new cars and some trucks. Both 0W-16 and 5W-16 viscosity grades aim to squeeze a few more drops of fuel economy from the new engines being designed for the 2016 model year.

Why all of this change and effort?  The reason is simple. It’s due to CAFE – better

known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy. The EPA and Washington bureaucrats set the fuel economy targets car and truck OEMs must meet to avoid massive fines.

By 2016, all car and truck OEMs must increase fuel economy considerably.

As a result, new engine designs are taking form, and new oils are being designed for these new engines. Enter 0W-16 and 5W-16.

While these new oil grades may deliver fuel economy gains, don’t plan on using them in your 2012 Chevy in an effort to increase the distance between trips to the gas pump. These new oils will not be “backwards compatible,” which means they can’t be used in vehicles built before the 2016 model year.

The same thing goes for diesel engines in 2016. New API oil specifications for diesel engines will create a new 5W-30 diesel oil specification. Again, the goal here is to squeeze out an extra few drops of fuel economy, and these new diesel oils will only work in new diesel engines designed for the new 5W-30 diesel oil.

In order to make these new oils distinguishable from oils meant for cars and trucks built prior to 2016, new labeling requirements will be introduced. At this time nobody knows what those requirements will be or what the labels will look like.

On top of these new viscosity grades and API oil standards, many OEMs are also adding their own new specifications. GM’s dexos1 is just one example of this practice.

All of this change creates confusion and segmentation. Gone are the days of just choosing your favorite brand of 10W-30 and using it in your wife’s Chevy minivan and your Ford truck. Engines are changing, fuels are changing and oils are changing.

Fortunately specialty oil companies, like Driven Racing Oil, provide application-specific products to meet the needs of older vehicles, performance applications (including those involved in Marine and Powersports) and race cars.

“Our company was born as a result of these changes,” commented Lake Speed, Jr. of Driven Racing Oil. “When Joe Gibbs Racing began having engine problems due to the lack of Zinc (ZDDP) in regular oils, the team hired the top chemists in the world to formulate a solution, and that is how our company began. As oil continued to change and more people began to have engine problems related to oil, Driven formulated solutions to those problems. That’s how we got into the oil market. We are a solutions provider. We do more than provide a band-aid for lubrication problems, we provide products that make engines, transmissions and rear gears run better and last longer.”

For help selecting the right oil for your application, contact us or call 1-866-611-1820 to speak with the Driven tech department.

You have a lot invested in your engine, so make sure you are using the best lubricant for your application. Motor oils are not just motor oils anymore; let the experts help you choose the oil that gives you the best performance and longevity for your engine.