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The future of passenger car lubricants

Passenger Car

Today there are over 1.2 billion passenger cars on the road. As the world focuses on climate change as a major concern, it is essential that these vehicles run as efficiently as possible. As a result of rapid changes in the world, the current passenger car lubricant (PCL) market must also adapt at the same rate. However, a focus on just new vehicles and fluids to suit them is not sufficient to meet the challenge of a cleaner and more efficient operation. It is also essential that more effective lubricants are also designed for existing and older vehicles. Read on as we explore the future of lubrication for passenger cars.

PCL market needs

PCL requirements are driven by societal needs, mainly to create environmentally responsible and more sustainable transport solutions. No single unified solution exists to answer all needs, so multiple lubricant formulation methods are used to deliver optimum fuel efficiency and to support emission reductions in passenger cars.

To serve both new and existing models of passenger cars, a combination of specific lubricants and solutions that offer backward compatibility are essential.

New trends for PCL

Lower viscosity passenger car lubricants that are derived from sustainable and safe formulations will need to operate effectively and efficiently over a broader operating temperature range than before. For instance, turbo gasoline direct injection engines put more stress on a lubricant than engines that use port fuel injection, and modern PCLs are also expected to prevent Low-speed pre-ignition events.

The PCL market is now moving towards lubricants that offer higher performance and higher value. There is a clear trend visible for lower viscosity lubricants that can improve efficiency and offer durability gains, which can present formulating challenges for today’s lubricant producers. For instance, the higher viscosity levels found in macromolecular additives are more technically challenging in lubricants with a lighter viscosity grade. Furthermore, base oil selection and the job of performance polymers becomes even more vital, together with the potential contribution that cutting-edge additive design can provide.

Finally, greater chemical restriction within the lubricant sector is the last trend. This effectively limits the scope of the new chemistries available and favours manufacturing processes that are far less resource-intensive in order to produce smarter and greener lubrication solutions for passenger cars. These changes affect both existing and all-new lubricant solutions and can involve options for time-consuming and cost hungry product reformulation activities.

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