Do you have any info on how GM tested Mobil 1 in the Corvette?

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From an old thread but I thought it was good to repost:

From a GM engineer:

"yep, just ran it around the track a time or two and called it good.....LOL LOL LOL ..... I think you have the aftermarket mixed up with the OEM's. That is how they do it.... What you read was completely wrong. Any engine program like the LS1 for the Corvette, the LS6 currently and the upcoming LS7 are testing on dyno and in cars for YEARS before release to the consumer with the specified lubricants and coolants and such. In the case of the Mobil 1 in the Corvette I would hazard a guess that the number of dyno engines run with Mobil 1 is in the hundreds....like somewhere between 200 and 300 all total. These are engines that run for 200, 300 , 400 or more hours at full throttle, max RPM, max power and are then torn down and analyzed in a variety of ways for wear and other lubrication performance. This is on top of the countless specific bench and dyno tests run on the specific lubrication system, cold start lube system performance, cold overpressurizaration (start at -20 and go immediately to 5000 RPM), cold start field testing and driveability, engine cooling testing, etc. Fleets or test cars are running with the production intent designs and lubes on accelerated durability, endurance, emissions, track testing, etc... The products are testing far in excess of what any customer can do. In the case of the Northstar engines that spec Mobil 1, the Mobil 1 was part of the test program for those engines from the very beginning so every test and dyno engine that ran used Mobil 1. Similarily, the Supercharged Northstar for the upcoming STS-V/XLR-V has used Mobil 1 throughout the test program so it is a well proven entity. Plus, yes, it was run "around the track" a time or two....LOL."
 
Interesting that all this oil stress testing on the Northstars didn't expose the weak head bolt fatal issues on that engine.
Makes you wonder....
Probably because they were focusing on how well the oil protected the engine, engine cleanliness, and wear revealed during tear down. I doubt they cared much about head bolts unless the engines being tested blew up while being tested due to a head bolt issue. Or they addressed the issue on the test engines.
 
Interesting that all this oil stress testing on the Northstars didn't expose the weak head bolt fatal issues on that engine.
Makes you wonder....
I think the problem with that was that the tests are done in a short period of time, and under full throttle conditions.
In the Northstar, two things combined to cause headbolt failure. The coolant was ignored, since these were the first examples of Dexcool 5 year changes. People ignored the 5 year thing.
The engines were not driven like they were tested, but rather in a way a normal Caddy would be driven. Mostly gently. This lead to a bit of carbon build up on the piston crown. The piston was also a unique design with "swirl combustion". That meant that parts of the piston had compression ratios over 25:1. When carbon got in there, it greatly increased compression in that area.
It was also the reason the WOT was invented.
 
Probably because they were focusing on how well the oil protected the engine, engine cleanliness, and wear revealed during tear down. I doubt they cared much about head bolts unless the engines being tested blew up while being tested due to a head bolt issue. Or they addressed the issue on the test engines.
Agreed, which leads me to the next thought that many cycles over years in the hands of consumers cannot be duplicated on a test bench or test fleet. Real world use, sub-zero starts, stop and go traffic, less than ideal maintenance cannot be duplicated in a laboratory.

Same idea with all the press Ford sent out on their Ecoboost 3.5L engines. Blah blah blah on the tough test cycles.
What are they on the 3rd major revision of one kind or another in less than 10 years?
 
Agreed, which leads me to the next thought that many cycles over years in the hands of consumers cannot be duplicated on a test bench or test fleet. Real world use, sub-zero starts, stop and go traffic, less than ideal maintenance cannot be duplicated in a laboratory.

Same idea with all the press Ford sent out on their Ecoboost 3.5L engines. Blah blah blah on the tough test cycles.
What are they on the 3rd major revision of one kind or another in less than 10 years?
I agree. There is only so much testing a company can do, which is why I wouldn't buy the first year of a new car, or a new engine or transmission design. I wait a few years. I don't want to be a cash paying beta tester. If I'm going to be a beta tester I want to get paid for it. ;)
 
Hmmmm. If they only tested with specific grades of Mobil 1, how can they say that other highly respected brands are inferior?

The only reason I can see that an "ESP" would be specified would be to protect the catalytic converters. Most Corvette owners do not daily drive their cars in sub zero weather. Many, like mine, are stored from November to April. And then, when driven, are not run up to red line. I think, overall, for that kind of more gentle driving, a 5w-30, as originally specified for the LT1, might be better.
 
Hmmmm. If they only tested with specific grades of Mobil 1, how can they say that other highly respected brands are inferior?

The only reason I can see that an "ESP" would be specified would be to protect the catalytic converters. Most Corvette owners do not daily drive their cars in sub zero weather. Many, like mine, are stored from November to April. And then, when driven, are not run up to red line. I think, overall, for that kind of more gentle driving, a 5w-30, as originally specified for the LT1, might be better.
That's not what he said or implied.

"There are so many oils that are good that work very well that it is impossible to test all of them under the same conditions and ferret out all the differences. Not sure of the "marketing verification"...marketing to me means advertising. Even if the Mobil 1 is not the ultimate oil it has been validated under the worst case product testing for that specific product...that is not just "marketing". Besides, as I have said, someone has to test it...we test the Mobil 1 and recommend it as good. If you want to use something else....YOU are doing the testing. If this irritates you that GM does not test all the other alternatives understand that we also do not test all the other tires, spark plug wires, spark plugs, etc.....we provide a validated product and provide the specs to maintain it as validated. If you think that you can do better, have at it...just accept the responsibility if you don't. "
 
Agreed, which leads me to the next thought that many cycles over years in the hands of consumers cannot be duplicated on a test bench or test fleet. Real world use, sub-zero starts, stop and go traffic, less than ideal maintenance cannot be duplicated in a laboratory.

Same idea with all the press Ford sent out on their Ecoboost 3.5L engines. Blah blah blah on the tough test cycles.
What are they on the 3rd major revision of one kind or another in less than 10 years?
Sub zero starts and stop and go traffic can easily be duplicated in a laboratory environment.
 
Sub zero starts and stop and go traffic can easily be duplicated in a laboratory environment.
As a specific example, a vehicle in daily use in Northern Ontario with the dead battery boosting, the overnight plug ins with uneven block heating, salt, the dirt, the temperature and humidity swings from -40F to 40F, the corrosion from various road chemicals .... cannot be duplicated in a lab.
 
As a specific example, a vehicle in daily use in Northern Ontario with the dead battery boosting, the overnight plug ins with uneven block heating, salt, the dirt, the temperature and humidity swings from -40F to 40F, the corrosion from various road chemicals .... cannot be duplicated in a lab.
The engine itself can easily be tested in a sub-zero environments and computer controlled to simulated loaded stop & go traffic.

There's something called temperature controlled buildings, that the engine can be conditioned to those temperatures, and the controlling electronics can be in the same building, next to the room.

GM has the resources to procure various road chemicals and subject its materials to corrosive environments.

Yes, I have put products through those type of testing, albeit in a different industry.
 
Interesting that all this oil stress testing on the Northstars didn't expose the weak head bolt fatal issues on that engine.
Makes you wonder....
you can have a team of 20 people work for 2 weeks at 40 hours a week that's 1600 hours, or you can sell 1600 cars and have that many hours in an hour.

This also applies to software, which is why bugs/issues are found after release. You'd hope your testing methodology can cover for everything but it does not.
 
Remember this when an automaker says you can use your oil for ~10k miles. They've tested it, extensively.... This isn't unique to Chevy or Corvette's either.
 
That's not what he said or implied.

"There are so many oils that are good that work very well that it is impossible to test all of them under the same conditions and ferret out all the differences. Not sure of the "marketing verification"...marketing to me means advertising. Even if the Mobil 1 is not the ultimate oil it has been validated under the worst case product testing for that specific product...that is not just "marketing". Besides, as I have said, someone has to test it...we test the Mobil 1 and recommend it as good. If you want to use something else....YOU are doing the testing. If this irritates you that GM does not test all the other alternatives understand that we also do not test all the other tires, spark plug wires, spark plugs, etc.....we provide a validated product and provide the specs to maintain it as validated. If you think that you can do better, have at it...just accept the responsibility if you don't. "

GM is a lighting rod here - but frankly does not come here for inspiration …
 
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