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AMSOIL TECH BLOG

11/01/2012

AMSOIL Makes It Easy By Clearly Defining SAPS Levels In Its European Car Formula Line

The March 2011 Tech Talk Column described how automotive industry trends and governmental regulations to reduce exhaust emissions are forcing sulfated ash, phosphorus and Sulfur (SAPS) levels In engine oil downward. SAPS are common oil additives that provide desirable performance properties, including detergency and protection against wear and oxidation. But they can also reduce the performance or longevity of exhaust treatment devices such as diesel particulate filters (DPFS) and the three-way catalysts used in the catalytic converters of newer gasoline-powered vehicles. High levels of sulfated ash can clog DPFS and reduce fuel economy and engine performance, while phosphorus and sulfur can deactivate catalyst sites, decreasing the effectiveness of catalytic converters and allowing unwanted emissions into the atmosphere.

Reducing emissions in today's smaller, high-horsepower gasoline and diesel-powered engines, while still protecting their vital operating components, is a continuing challenge for OEMS and lubricant manufacturers. This is particularly true because there is no one-size-fits-all motor oil when it comes to SAPS levels. The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) establishes lubricant standards for Europe, similar to the American Petroleum Institute (API) here in the States. Previously it was possible for the same motor oils to be used in applications calling for different SAPS levels because there was no lower limit. Until recently, a low-SAPS oil could be used in a mid-SAPS application, and a mid-SAPS oil could be used in a full-SAPS application. Current ACEA specifications create three clearly defined categories for SAPS levels and eliminate backward compatibility. This required a third AMSOIL European motor oil formulation to cover all three SAPS levels outlined by ACEA and vehicle manufacturers.

The best SAPS level for a vehicle depends on several factors. Gasoline and diesel engines with emissions systems that are sensitive to the SAPS content of oil require lower SAPS formulations to properly function for a long period of time. These oils are engineered to the exacting engine oil specifications Of ACEA and European OEMS to ensure they are compatible with current emissions systems while still providing engine protection. This is very difficult to accomplish because although lower SAPS levels provide the best emissions systems protection, it costs much more to achieve equal engine protection with low SAPS content. Lower SAPS oils rely on different properties to provide proper engine protection, while still promoting long emissions system life. As a result, as SAPS levels go down, finished-product pricing goes up.

Not all engines are best served by low- or mid-SAPS oils. Older vehicle designs rely on oils with fUll SAPS content to protect components properly and usually do not have advanced emissions systems that are sensitive to the extra additives. Additionally, fuel quality has a major Influence on the recommended SAPS level. Fuel quality varies regionally and is often related to the ethanol or sulfur content in gasoline or diesel. Many new vehicles also require full-SAPS engine oils because they are better suited to address those issues.

Because of these changes in specifications, AMSOIL revamped its European Car Formula lineup. The two existing products, European Car Formula 5W-30 Low-SAPS Synthetic Motor Oil (AEL) and European Car Formula 5W-40 Mid-SAPS Synthetic Motor Oil (AFL), now have updated labels with clearly defIned SAPS levels and some specification realignment per the new European specs; however, the formulations remain unchanged. The new European Car Formula 5W-40 Full-SAPS Synthetic Motor Oil (EFM) is also a 5W-40 because that viscosity category continues to be the most recommended by European OEMS.

SAPS levels are not an indicator of quality. All three European Car Formula Synthetic Motor Oil formulations are premium and deliver premium-grade performance in their respective applications. so, how do you know which one to use? As always, select the oil that lists the specification recommended by the vehicle manufacturer and be confident that the vehicle's engine and emissions system are protected. Published, AMSOIL Magazine 11/12.

SYNZILLA.com 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 and to purchase AMSOIL Products.

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