By Matt Joyce
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
If it feels like you replace things more often these days than you used to, you might be onto something.
According to Consumer Affairs, examples from the appliances industry show that refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and more don’t quite last as long as they used to. Today’s basic household appliances need more frequent repair and in some cases replacement than the big, sturdy machines of old.
Consumer Affairs relates this development to the automotive industry:
Longevity versus energy saving that perhaps is where the price point comes in. That 1950 Chevy won’t get the same gas mileage as a 2015 Chevy. Yes, washers used to be made to last for years upon years but they were heavy and used energy like crazy. Which in turn costs you a ton of money.
Through the U.S. Department of Energy’s appliance standards, manufacturers are developing new, more efficient appliances that are saving consumer’s money on their energy bills. Replacing an old fridge with a new one could save you on average $100 a year in energy bills.
In the automotive space, we know well that efficiency has been a top priority for a number of years. New technologies continue to be implemented in order to drive higher fuel economy, slash Mobile sources - Pollutant exhaust gases created by the combustion of fuel. Water and CO2 are not included in this category, but CO, NOx, and hydrocarbons are and are thus subject to legislative control. All three are emitted by gasoline engines, while diesel engines also emit particulates that are regulated. Stationary sources - The release of sulfur oxides and particulates from power stations that can be influenced by fuel composition. Local authorities control the sulfur content of heavy fuel oils used in such applications. and generally contribute to a more sustainable global society.
At the owner/operator end of the spectrum, better gas mileage is a benefit; saving on fuel impacts the bottom line. But there’s another part of the efficiency equation that’s equally important to both broader sustainability efforts in the automotive industry, and to end users’ profitability: Durability.
It’s been shown that holding onto an older vehicle, even if it exhibits poorer gas mileage than a new vehicle, can save even more resources than making the switch. And the ability for a car, truck, or other piece of off-highway equipment to live a long and useful life is something that many industry stakeholders are taking more and more seriously.
To be sure, it’s not as simple as it sounds. New vehicles are more sophisticated than ever before. They’re more aerodynamic, made with lighter materials, and incorporate increasingly advanced engine hardware that enable those lofty fuel economy goals that have been set in recent years. What’s more, today’s vehicles are increasingly incorporating new technology throughout the drivetrain, be it catalytic converters or diesel particulate filters. Elsewhere, we’ve seen sensors become added to vehicles at an increased rate—for instance, camera and sensing technology on passenger vehicles’ exteriors is effectively standard today.
At every point of increased complexity or sophistication comes another challenge for long term durability. Maintaining durability protects an end user’s investment, and there are certain choices that users can make to ensure long term performance. As we’ve highlighted before, the right choice of lubricant is critical to keeping vehicles on the road for as long as possible, particularly as it relates to advanced engine technology and performance. But when it comes to total durability, every fluid matters.
Our view: Owners and operators looking to maximize the longevity of their equipment, or for service professionals looking to better help their end customers, high-performing fluids throughout the drivetrain are essential. Beginning these conversations with your providers and suppliers can help you identify the right fluids for the right application.
At Lubrizol, we know with certainty that the right engine oil can help keep a truck operational for longer. As we broaden how we conceive sustainability in vehicles and equipment to include both efficiency AND durability, we must include all fluids that contribute to greater overall performance.
An industry striving toward greater durability is beneficial for all stakeholders. Fleet owners and operators will be able to better depend on the long-term, reliable operation of their equipment. That’s good for business, and for broader long-term sustainability goals.
For more information on how additives contribute to the durability of vehicles, contact your Lubrizol representative.