Increasingly stringent European market requirements for improved heavy duty diesel engine performance, such as fuel economy and durability, continue to highlight the need for higher performance engine lubricants. To meet this need, new additive technology is being used in combination with higher quality base‐stocks and has resulted in a growing trend towards the use of oils of lower viscosities than those used in the past. Such a trend has led to some concern over the ability of low viscous oils to maintain adequate engine wear protection, not only during extended service operations but also under the more severe conditions of low temperature engine start‐up. This paper describes the results of a recent study to evaluate the effect of base oil composition and viscosity grade on the low temperature performance of a modern Euro II diesel engine with respect to wear, using the technique of Thin Layer Activation. Engine test results showed that the use of full synthetic SAE 5W40 grade oils based on Polyalphaolefin provided enhanced low temperature cylinder liner wear protection.
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