How to improve fuel consumptionPosted by John Baker, 12th May 2017

Vehicle manufacturers have made improving fuel consumption a top priority for some time. Car drivers are just as concerned with better efficiency and the question of “How to save fuel?”

One of the most obvious and easiest to implement answers is to use synthetic engine oils. So how do synthetics improve fuel economy and help us save fuel compared to conventional lubricants?

Reducing viscosity improves fuel consumption

At one time, most passenger cars used 10W-40 engine oil. Then it was 5W-30. Today, many modern vehicles call for 5W-20 and 0W-20 motor oils.

And an even lower viscosity, 0W-16, is on the horizon for certain newer vehicles.

The lower the oil’s viscosity – defined as its resistance to flow – the more readily it will flow. Imagine a jar of honey and a glass of water. Stirring water with a spoon requires less energy than stirring honey. The same principle applies to your engine and motor oil. Lower-viscosity engine oils are easier to pump through the engine and offer reduced resistance to moving engine parts, improving fuel consumption. Engine oils can therefore act as handy fuel savers.

Why do synthetic oils offer an advantage in reducing engine oil viscosity?

Formulating a 0W-XX engine oil using only conventional base oils is extremely difficult, if not impossible. While formulators can achieve the 0W rating, the oil will vaporise more readily at higher temperatures and fail other required industry tests. Simply put, formulating lubricants is a give/take, and conventional base oils don’t provide anywhere near the performance of synthetics, requiring formulators to give up too much required performance in one area to gain it in another. In this case, conventional oils give up high-temperature performance to achieve the 0W rating.

Better cold-flow ability

Synthetics’ improved flow during cold starts also improves fuel economy. Since they don’t contain waxes, which are inherent to conventional oils, they don’t thicken as much when your vehicle sits overnight. In the morning, when you start your vehicle and drive away, the engine oil and gear oil don’t require as much effort to circulate. This results in less wasted energy and improved fuel consumption.

It’s important to note that “cold” doesn’t only apply to us British. “Normal” operating temperature for a vehicle can be up to 115ºC, and anything below that is considered cold to your engine. So even on holiday down south at the height of summer, synthetics’ improved cold-flow can still help improve fuel consumption.

AMSOIL synthetic oil – a fuel saver

At AMSOIL, we’ve conducted multiple fuel-economy field trials. One of them revealed a 6.54% increase in fuel economy using AMSOIL synthetic oils compared to conventional oils in class 8 diesel trucks, which equals major savings for trucking fleets. We’ve also fielded multiple testimonials over the years from satisfied AMSOIL users who have experienced improved fuel consumption (my own parents among them). So that’s one way how to save fuel.

To improve your car’s fuel consumption, check out AMSOIL synthetic oils.

Don’t forget to share your fuel saver tips with our community of car and motorcycle enthusiasts on Facebook!

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