Michael Mathe
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AMSOIL Products Can Help Avoid Expensive Repairs in This Evolving Market

Most of you have heard about the changes in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for cars and light trucks. The calculation for CAFE is somewhat complex, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the projected actual combined CAFE requirements for 2013 model-year vehicles will be 25.7 mpg. This is in contrast to the highly publicized improvement phases proposed over the next 12 years. The NHTSA projects the first phase, which covers 2017-2021, will result in a CAFE standard of 40.3-41.0 mpg. The second phase, which was recently announced, covers standards for 2022-2025 vehicle years with a projected CAFE of 48.7-49.7 mpg.

These changes are basically doubling fuel efficiency requirements over the next 12 years and forcing vehicle manufacturers to make fundamental changes in vehicle design to meet the standards. Everything is on the table, including incentives for "game-changing" technologies, like hybridization for full-size pickup trucks. Fully electric and hybrid vehicles will become a bigger part of manufacturers' offerings. These fundamental changes in powertrain technology will have a bigger footprint in future years. The really big changes in engine design already in play include gasoline direct injection, turbocharging, variable valve timing, partial engine shutdown, full engine shutdown and increased use of diesel-fueled engines in passenger cars.

Transmission design is changing quickly also. Four-speed automatic transmissions are now dinosaurs; the new norm in North America is six- to eight-speed stepped automatic transmissions. European manufacturers have always favored manual transmissions, but are now moving toward dual-clutch transmission (DCT) technology for the combined fuel-economy/performance benefits over manual transmissions. Even perennial Formula 1 winner Michael Schumacher can't shift a manual transmission as fast as new DCT technologies. Asian automakers will continue to incorporate more continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) in their new vehicles. Nissan and Subaru are already heavily committed to this technology.

These new technologies do not always work exactly as expected the first time out of the factory, and they have many problems. Most of the technologies either place more stress on the lubricant, require much higher quality oil or both. As more expensive problems develop, prevention becomes more valuable, and premium-quality AMSOIL Synthetic Lubricants excel at preventing lubrication-related problems before they start.

Turbocharging and variable valve timing are two technologies that are going to be used widely and put particular stress on engines. People who have experience with turbochargers in diesel applications know the importance of good maintenance and the value of superior motor oils in these applications. Turbochargers use exhaust gases to compress combustion air to improve combustion efficiency. They spin up to 150,000 rpm and use hot exhaust gases as input power, and they are lubricated with motor oil. We profiled variable valve timing in May and highlighted the need for high-quality motor oil to prevent potential issues associated with this technology. In the future, many vehicles will use a combination of turbocharging and variable valve timing, putting exponentially more stress on the lubricant and further increasing the importance of using a high-quality motor oil. Published, AMSOIL Magazine 8/13. LLC is a large nationwide Dealer of AMSOIL Synthetic Lubricants and is now expanding into your area and surrounding states. If you have a business or are an individual with several vehicles, AMSOIL has several options available that may allow you to purchase AMSOIL products at wholesale prices. We can show you how to save money and extend equipment life with AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils, Lubricants, Filters and Fuel Additives. Please visit the AMSOIL Online Store for more information about AMSOIL Products.

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