European vs American Formulas

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The 2009 Corvette ZR1 is rated at 638-hp. As long as an oil meets GM4718M that's all this machine needs for proper lubrication. Since the 1/4 mile wails by in 11.2 seconds at 130.5 mph,* an oil good enough for this thing should be good enough for almost any thing. Not necessarily but you get my drift. Why do vehicles like Porsche, Ferrari and BMW M's specify heavier oils than this Corvette? Is it just the European mindset vs the American mindset? Or are engines in European vehicles actually manufactured in some way that requires the thicker oils protection? I mean 10W-60 and 5W-30 are pretty different. Aren't they? I think a BMW M5 and a Corvette ZR1 have more in common than a Toyota Camry and a ZR1 do with each other. At least I think it is normal to come to that conclusion. Why are European specs like: - MB 229.1, 229.3, 229.5; BMW LL–01 - VW 502.00/505.00/503.01 inconsistent with American/Japanese specs like: - GM 6094M, GM 4718M - Honda HTO-06 Is it just a preference for Long Life, thicker oils that distinguishes European from American requirements? Does it have anything at all to do with PAO content? * Motor Trend test: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coup...test/index.html
 
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My dullard expression/impression is that they're not comparable in all terms. Most Euro's have fuel economy/deposit/longevity/etc. components to their requirements that we don't have to meet. So, while we don't see anything more stressful than a ZR1 doing its ditty, the oil isn't asked to jump through all the same hoops that create a narrow corridor of requirements.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Why do vehicles like Porsche, Ferrari and BMW M's specify heavier oils than this Corvette?
Just curious, but does GM recommend 5w-30 for the Corvette in Europe as well? As for your question, longer intervals are certainly part of it. Maybe another part is that in Europe an oil has to be capable of protecting the engine at sustained speeds of well above 100 mph for hours at a time (say, Autobahn). Such operating conditions don't exist in the US, unless you track the car. But since those specs are created in Europe, I'm guessing they just copy/paste when they create the owner's manual for the North American market, without considering that maybe driving conditions are somewhat different here. Or maybe they just don't want to keep track of different oil recommendations for different markets because that would complicate their lives.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
My dullard expression/impression is that they're not comparable in all terms. Most Euro's have fuel economy/deposit/longevity/etc. components to their requirements that we don't have to meet. So, while we don't see anything more stressful than a ZR1 doing its ditty, the oil isn't asked to jump through all the same hoops that create a narrow corridor of requirements.
+1 exactly!!! The euro oils can be extended drain,high performance oils in a manner of description.
 
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No question Euro automakers have been driving the long drain interval strategy, which in turns drives the motor oil market. No different than Ford and Honda driving the demand for 5W-20 grade in recent years. Look at Vauxhall UK service interval chart: http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/vaux/pages/fin.../index.jsp#vxr8 Vauxhall Service Technical Info: http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/vaux/owners/se...=&brandCodeI=94 Service requirements for Vauxhall Vectra
  • September 1995-2002 10W-40 ACEA A3 / B3
    • 2002 onwards 5W-30 ACEA A3 / B3 - ECOService GM-LL-A-025, GM-LL-B-025 - ECOService Flex
      • 2006 onwards 5W-30 GM-LL-A-025, GM-LL-B-025 - ECOService
 
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Art: I think what you're doing is "over-focusing" on the oil side (forgivable here if anywhere...) and not thinking enough about the cars. While of course the oils have a range of measurable physical characteristics, in so many of these thick-thin threads, there is an unspoken assumption that "thick is always good" or "thin is always good". Or bad. Or whatever. In reality, no oil is "good" or "bad", effective or ineffective, just based upon its physical properties. Any oil is "good" if it's used in an engine that's well suited to the oil's physical properties. Any oil can be horrible if misued in an application where it does not belong. Each different car maker is putting together tremendously complicated machines (aka engines) that are, in effect, a huge bundle of engineering compromises, put together in the way that each maker feels will best suit their design goals. Each car/engine maker will strike its own balance of compromises. And then of course, different locales have different climates, physical and legal. Though a particular oil may be ideally suited to a high-performance 'vette, I don't think it's safe to assume that you can project oil choices from the 'vette, to an entirely different machine, from an entirely different place. If everything from the oil pump to the bearings and nozzles (if so equipped) is different from the 'vette's system how can one safely extrapolate from the 'vette? I would go as far as to say that the commonest mistake seen here is to overgeneralize to the effect that "thick is good/ thin bad" (or vice versa), without first looking carefully at what equipment is being lubricated.
 
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IMO the difference is less of an engine design and more of: 1) Driving condition (autobahn vs stop/go driving) 2) Fuel difference (sulfur content, oxygenates, ethanol) 3) Usage pattern (extended drain vs price conscious) 4) Ingredient different (group I vs II in dino, group III vs IV/V in synthetic) 5) fuel economy target (CAFE)
 

Art_Vandelay

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 Originally Posted By: ekpolk
I would go as far as to say that the commonest mistake seen here is to overgeneralize to the effect that "thick is good/ thin bad" (or vice versa)
ekpolk, I understand what you are saying. For the record, I don't think thin nor thick is better. I just notice the European preferences. I'm not suggesting the Corvette's oil spec should be applicable to another performance car. Rather I'm wondering why it isn't or vice versa? Is it the machinery or the mindset? Apparently AEHaas runs 0W-20 in a Ferrari. The fine folks in Maranello would probably seize up faster than a Testarossa missing a drain plug, if they ever heard about that one.
 
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 Quote:
I'm not suggesting the Corvette's oil spec should be applicable to another performance car. Rather I'm wondering why it isn't or vice versa?
The Corvette's oil spec MAY be perfectly suitable for a European car if the European car was maintained under the Corvette's schedule. The reverse may not be true. I don't think the animals are all that different ..but the diet and feeding times are. That's too generalized ..but ..
 
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 Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Apparently AEHaas runs 0W-20 in a Ferrari. The fine folks in Maranello would probably seize up faster than a Testarossa missing a drain plug, if they ever heard about that one.
Unless Ali has changed his routine, he was using 0w30 in his Enzo (which specs 10w60), and he has told Ferrari about it. He uses 0w20 in his Maybach (which specs 5w30), and he's told the folks at DaimlerBenz about that, too. His UOAs in both vehicles tend to show them doing just fine on these oils.
 
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 Originally Posted By: G-MAN
Unless Ali has changed his routine, he was using 0w30 in his Enzo (which specs 10w60), and he has told Ferrari about it.
And did they promptly proceed to void his warranty or were they open-minded about it?
 
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The answer is very simple. CAFE. European cars do not have to comply with US mile per gallon standards. US car manufacturers, by specifying a thinner oil, can squeeze out that last fraction of a MPG on the CAFE qualification tests.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Saab9000
The answer is very simple. CAFE. European cars do not have to comply with US mile per gallon standards. US car manufacturers, by specifying a thinner oil, can squeeze out that last fraction of a MPG on the CAFE qualification tests.
Why wouldn't a company do that if they can get the same protection AND better gas mileage? Sounds like CAFE is a good thing.
 
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Are there any mechanics out there? I seem to recall Porsche suggesting an xW-60 for one of their cars. That's thick enough to make you wonder if the engine is substantially different. Are Euro engines designed with higher bearing loading, smaller journal diameters, or other factors that would require an oil with high HTHS values in order to maintain a similar/acceptable film thickness?
 
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 Originally Posted By: G-MAN
 Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Apparently AEHaas runs 0W-20 in a Ferrari. The fine folks in Maranello would probably seize up faster than a Testarossa missing a drain plug, if they ever heard about that one.
Unless Ali has changed his routine, he was using 0w30 in his Enzo (which specs 10w60), and he has told Ferrari about it. He uses 0w20 in his Maybach (which specs 5w30), and he's told the folks at DaimlerBenz about that, too. His UOAs in both vehicles tend to show them doing just fine on these oils.
The fine doctor discovered that the 10w-60 sheared 2 grades within 25 ft ..and that (iirc) his factory fill M1 0w-40 on the Maybach sheared to a 30 (no surprises there). He opted for a different approach...
 

Art_Vandelay

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 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
 Originally Posted By: G-MAN
 Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Apparently AEHaas runs 0W-20 in a Ferrari. The fine folks in Maranello would probably seize up faster than a Testarossa missing a drain plug, if they ever heard about that one.
Unless Ali has changed his routine, he was using 0w30 in his Enzo (which specs 10w60), and he has told Ferrari about it. He uses 0w20 in his Maybach (which specs 5w30), and he's told the folks at DaimlerBenz about that, too. His UOAs in both vehicles tend to show them doing just fine on these oils.
The fine doctor discovered that the 10w-60 sheared 2 grades within 25 ft ..and that (iirc) his factory fill M1 0w-40 on the Maybach sheared to a 30 (no surprises there). He opted for a different approach...
Yes I was just reading the thread. Let me ask about this quote from it:
 Originally Posted By: G-MAN
Based on this UOA there is no way I'd use Helix 10w60 in anything I own, much less a million dollar Enzo. GC has no VI improvers to shear, hence its rock solid shear stability.
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1017431&fpart=1 Is this true regarding no VI improvers in GC?
 
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 Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
 Originally Posted By: G-MAN
Unless Ali has changed his routine, he was using 0w30 in his Enzo (which specs 10w60), and he has told Ferrari about it.
And did they promptly proceed to void his warranty or were they open-minded about it?
Under US law a car manufacturer cannot void your warranty based on the oil you use unless you have a warranty claim and they can show that the oil caused the problem and it wasn't the recommended oil.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Geonerd
Are there any mechanics out there? I seem to recall Porsche suggesting an xW-60 for one of their cars. That's thick enough to make you wonder if the engine is substantially different. Are Euro engines designed with higher bearing loading, smaller journal diameters, or other factors that would require an oil with high HTHS values in order to maintain a similar/acceptable film thickness?
From being over there for two months, I can tell you the drivers are much more aggressive whether they're driving a moped or a 7 series. In Greece especially, everyone even taxi drivers seeemed to think they were WRC racers. I noticed the suspensions even in the same make and model Mercedes I'm used to over here were stiffer. It's very safe to say the cars are driven harder over there. Many more are stick shift and the average driver always has the revs in the powerband ready to go. There's none of this short shifting at 2,000rpm over there. They'll cruise at 100kph in third at 4,000rpm instead of 5th gear for no reason.
 
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 Originally Posted By: BuickGN
They'll cruise at 100kph in third at 4,000rpm instead of 5th gear for no reason.
Do the same car there has only 1/2 the displacement (i.e. 2.0L vs 3.5L) of the one in US, so they have to rev 2x as much?
 
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