Where does the fuel go?
Fuel is a leading operating expense for individual owner/operators and fleets. Approximately half of the energy produced from fuel is lost as heat; a further 15% is lost as friction, leaving only about 35% of the energy for hauling.
Although friction cannot be completely eliminated, there are ways to reduce friction and increase fuel economy.
Within an engine, there are two types of friction: viscous friction and contact friction. Viscous friction is related to the thickness of the oil and includes the energy losses related to pumping and moving engine parts through the oil.
Contact friction is a result of metal-to-metal contact which can be due to inadequate lubrication.
A high degree of friction can lead to both engine wear and a reduction in fuel economy. The aim of this guide is to supply you with information to help you choose a balanced formulation that will provide engine protection with better fuel economy.
How much saving can be made ?
With regards to how your lubricant can impact fuel economy, the single most important parameter is viscosity control. Having the optimum viscosity at each operating condition will minimize overall engine friction and reduce fuel consumption.
For low temperature and stop-and-go operation there is the potential for up to 5% fuel savings. A multigrade lubricant with a low “W” grade could provide improved savings. For example, using a 5W-30 compared to a 15W-40 would provide a better chance at capturing the potential fuel savings. For normal operation, once the engine is warmed up, there is the potential for up to 2% fuel savings. A multigrade lubricant with a lower, high temperature viscosity grade could provide improved savings.
Steve Crawley, commercial vehicle lubricants manager at Exxon-Mobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialties, says: “While operators have traditionally focused on improving the fuel economy of their vehicles through driver training and fuel selection, there is an opportunity to further reduce fuel consumption by using fully synthetic heavy-duty diesel engine oil .“For example, Mobil Delvac1 LE 5W-30 has been formulated to help improve the fuel economy of CVs while maintaining engine protection,” he explains. “In addition to engine oils, operators can realise even greater cost savings by incorporating synthetic lubricants across the vehicle’s entire drivetrain, including synthetic transmission and rear axle oils, which can offer improved fuel economy and protection versus mineral-based products.”
If an oil can maintain its original viscosity, there is potential for fuel savings of up to 5% over the course of an oil drain interval. Viscosity retention may have the largest influence on total fuel savings because it plays a role across all operating conditions.
Although fuel economy is a major concern, it is also important to choose a lubricant that can provide excellent engine protection. Mobil Delvac 1 LE 5W-30 has been formulated to achieve optimised performance as demonstrated by it's 5W-30 viscosity grade designation and extended drain approvals.
To find out how WP Commercial can help you reduce fuel costs, please contact us on 0800 980 6172 or email us today.
The WP Group, headquartered near Southampton in Hampshire, is a leading independent distributor of fuels and lubricants, with a £160m annual turnover and employing 70 people.
Based at Wessex House, Cadland Road, Hardley, Hythe, WP offers a complete portfolio of products and bespoke service solutions across each of its eight trading divisions Industrial, Aviation, Agricultural, Heating, Automotive, Commercial, Motorsport and Marine.
WP, located by Fawley Oil Refinery, has a 50-year heritage and is the supplier and support specialist of choice to thousands of businesses.
Telephone: 023 8089 7841
Freefone: 0800 980 6172
Fax: 023 8089 8876
Email: WP Commercial