Engine Oil Fuel Economy Testing - A Tale of Two Tests
Fuel economy is not an absolute attribute, but is highly dependent on the method used to evaluate it. In this work, two test methods are used to evaluate the differences in fuel economy brought about by changes in engine oil viscosity grade and additive chemistry. The two test methods include a chassis dynamometer vehicle test and an engine dynamometer test. The vehicle testing was conducted using the Federal Test Procedure (FTP) testing protocol while the engine dynamometer test uses the proposed American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Sequence VIE fuel economy improvement 1 (FEI1) testing methodology. In an effort to improve agreement between the two testing methods, the same model engine was used in both test methods, the General Motors (GM) 3.6 L V6 (used in the 2012 model year Chevrolet™ Malibu™ engine). Within the lubricant industry, this choice of engine is reinforced because it has been selected for use in the proposed Sequence VIE fuel economy test.