By Dave Duncan
Global Director of Technology

Attaining differentiation in the marketplace isn’t always easy.

We’ve been talking about API SN Plus and low speed pre-ignition (LSPI) performance on Lubrizol Additives 360 a lot recently. It’s an important new development in our industry, solving a critical technical issue for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and ensuring reliability for everyday drivers. Turbocharged gasoline direct (TGDI) engines are a major means by which OEMs are delivering on efficiency and fuel economy targets, and advanced lubricants can help ensure that success.

At Lubrizol, we’ve been most recently concerned with the question of not just LSPI performance, but LSPI durability. The Sequence IX test, which sets the acceptable limit of a 5 LSPI event average in API SN Plus, is the result of significant work on behalf of the broader lubricants industry. But one concern is that this test only evaluates LSPI performance in fresh lubricant.

Our teams have performed recent research comparing a number of proposed LSPI solutions, and results have shown that some formulating strategies work well only within fresh oil, while others prevent LSPI in both fresh and aged oil.

Oil marketers wishing to demonstrate market leadership by delivering the highest possible performance for a genuine and threatening field issue can do so by investigating the diverging means by which LSPI is eliminated. OEMs require this new performance, and drivers need it to protect their investments. Engine protection, after all, is a foundational goal of the lubricants industry. It’s our responsibility to continually deliver on that goal in the face of evolving engine technology.

Our view: Oil marketers looking to lead should be fully investigating robust LSPI protection. The progress of the automotive industry as a whole depends on new engine technology meeting its full potential, and the lubricant is an essential part of making that happen.

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