Breaking the Viscosity Paradigm: Formulating Approaches for Optimizing Efficiency and Axle Life - Part II
The popularity of light trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), coupled with growing consumer demand for vehicles with more size, weight and horsepower, has increased the impact of these vehicle classes on the manufacturer's CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) numbers. Consumers often use light trucks and SUVs in applications such as prolonged towing at highway speeds, resulting in heavy loading and/or high operating temperatures in the axle. These conditions require superior axle lubricant protection, often provided by choosing a higher viscosity fluid (e.g., SAE 75W-140). Traditionally, the choice of these higher viscosity fluids for enhanced durability performance often results in reduced city-highway efficiency. This paper will describe the use of controlled axle dynamometer laboratory testing methods to develop fluids that maximize both fuel efficiency and durability performance across the wide spectrum of the new proposed viscosity classifications.