STLE (Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers), one of the largest professional societies in the field of machine lubrication, serves 15,000 industry professionals worldwide. This past Spring, STLE launched a chapter right here in Minnesota. Led by Lube-Tech Industrial and Distribution Product Development Michelle Brakke and Formulation Chemist Michael Quigley, the chapter fosters idea sharing and lubrication education by providing educational seminars and hosting social and networking events (among other things).
Valuable Aid in Meeting EPA Fuel Economy Standards
Viscosity modifiers are polymers that play a critical role in modern multi-grade engine oils. Part of EPA fuel economy testing is a cold start and drive test, and carmakers such as Honda have been able to increase their overall new car mileage ratings by blending super-thin, multi-grade oils such as 0W-20 and 0W-16. Thinner oil creates less drag inside the engine, freeing up power in cold start situations as well as in overall driving and ultimately increasing fuel mileage. High quality base stocks and engine oil viscosity modifiers combine to make this possible.
New Technology Requires New Level of Service
In the past, most powertrains were forgiving when it came to lubricants, oil viscosities, and engine deposits. Many lube shops consolidated and took the approach that one oil viscosity was suitable for all applications. Taking the approach on one of the newer engine designs, such as those equipped with Active Fuel Management (AFM), can result in some major and costly engine repairs.
The Trickle-Down Effect
Lubricants are the lifeblood of any machine, and in any given machine a lubricant performs multiple functions. The primary role of a lubricant is to make things run smoother – to lubricate. But a lubricant also serves as a coolant, a cleaner, it protects against wear and corrosion, assists in power transmission and helps preserve component seals. Often the quality of a lubricant determines how well each of these roles gets performed. And lubricant quality is often the ultimate factor in helping a machine reach maximum efficiency and productivity.
For Your Share of the Repair Business
With an aging fleet that is currently approaching 12 years, this translates into a lot of needed repairs to keep these vehicles operations. The independents are not the only service providers that have an interest in this market. New car dealers are taking steps to secure their fair share of this business. With the service department representing approximately 40% of the dealership’s gross profits, they are serious about obtaining and retaining their share of this repair business.
Create Engine Performance Challenges
It was a busy morning with multiple vehicles arriving on roll-backs with no-start symptoms. The vehicles ran perfectly the previous day, only to encounter a no-start condition the following morning. The systems were that of loss of compression. Each vehicle shared two things in common:
1) They were low mileage vehicles with tight tolerances.
2) The vehicle owners had purchased fuel from the same fuel distributor.
And New Service Opportunities
Gasoline Direct Injection comes with a new set of challenges and service opportunities that the technician must be familiar with.
Many of today’s vehicles are fitted with a relatively new fuel system technology for the automobile, referred to as Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI). While this technology has been around for 100 years, it has just become widely used by the automotive industry in gas applications. The GDI system offers a great improvement in power, torque, and fuel economy.
Are You Making the Right Service Recommendation?
For those accustomed to 2,500 mile lubrication schedules, extended service intervals are a concern. Tripling that mileage service interval (sometimes more) just doesn't seem right for the health of the engine. Due to high warranty repairs, some vehicle manufacturers are calling for more frequent service intervals.
Neglecting a Filter Replacement Can Be Costly
While much emphasis is placed on servicing filters during routine vehicle maintenance, little attention is given to the fuel filter until an engine performance issue occurs. Neglecting the fuel filter can result in damage to some expensive components such as an electric fuel pump or some costly fuel injectors. Following are reasons why some vehicles encounter multiple fuel pump failures.