Tested while under a private label
Experiments conducted at
the U.S. Department of Energy's Bartlesville Oklahoma Energy Technology Center
to design and evaluate a procedure for evaluating the fuel efficiency
characteristics of crankcase lubricants using the driving cycles of the 1975
Federal Test Procedure and the Highway Fuel Economy test.
lubricants and five oil supplements, as well as a baseline lubricant, were used
in eight 1980 model-year vehicles of identical make. The vehicles were operated
at 75 oF (24 ºC) in closely controlled chassis dynamometer tests designed to
detect small changes in fuel efficiency.
Results from the test
showed measurable increases in fuel economy of 0 to 6 percent with the test
lubricants when compared to a common SAE 30 grade oil.
The rising cost of
gasoline and the increased demand for fuel efficient automobiles have led to new
trends and developments in the automotive industry which, since 1974 have
resulted in a 55 % increase in fuel economy or a savings of 500 million barrels
The use of
energy-conserving lubricants is especially appealing because it can be easily
applied to the existing car population and therefore, can have an immediate
impact on the nations transportation energy demands.
If a fuel economy increase of 5 % for the
entire existing fleet could be achieved, approximately 100 million barrels of
fuel would be saved annually.
Several oils, containing
either soluble friction modifiers or solid materials present as colloidal
suspensions, and oil supplements containing primarily polytetrafluoroethylene
(PTFE), have recently become commercially available. The manufactures claim
reduced engine friction and increased fuel economy when these products are used
in passenger cars and trucks. The
for fuel economy benefits range from a moderate (2 to 5 %) to extremely high
to 25 %). A reasonable upper limit
for fuel economy gain by minimizing boundary friction is about 7 %.
By minimizing boundary and hydrodynamic friction, an estimated 10 percent
increase in fuel economy is possible.
Synthetic oils have been
commercially available, but the major claims emphasize extended drain intervals,
better performance, and improved fuel economy when compared to mineral oils
under extreme temperature conditions. However, a low viscosity synthetic
lubricant has shown potential for improved fuel economy under various driving
cycles and conditions.
1980 model year American made front wheel drive vehicles were used in this
1. An SAE 30 grade
mineral API service SE/CC (base lubricant)
2. An SAE 5W20 synthetic, API service SE/CC
3. An SAE 10W40 mineral with graphite in colloidal suspension, API service SE/CC
4. An SAE 10W40 mineral with a soluble friction modifier, API service SE
5. Three oil supplements using a lubricant as a carrier
6. Two oil supplements containing primarily primarily polytetrafluoroethylene
and a synthetic as a carrier.
The procedures used to
perform this test meet the
Guidelines set forth for this type of testing.
from letter sent to manufacturer upon conclusion of
Department of Energy
Bartlesville Energy Technology Center
P.O. Box 1398
As per your telephone
request of July 30, 1980, the following is a brief summary of the results of our
work with Formula 101 (Xcelplus) using a 1980 Pontiac Phoenix (2.5 L, 4 cylinder, auto
trans, and a/c) in the Federal Test Procedure.
These results are based
on duplicate testing with 0.5 % repeatability in fuel economy measurement. As
per your recommendation, the vehicle was conditioned for 3,000 miles on Formula
101 prior to testing
Ted M. Naman
Division of Utilization