Can the right engine oil really improve the fuel economy of your commercial vehicle?

CV Blog 4

Fuel efficiency measures

Since the introduction of the European Commission emission legislation over 20 years ago, the commercial vehicle industry has seen vast innovations and technological developments which have dramatically reduced the amount of pollutants coming out of the tail-pipe of diesel engines.

It may seem like only yesterday but it’s been 2 years since Euro-6, the latest diesel engine emission legislation, came into effect. This has made diesel engines cleaner than ever before.

With this in mind, fleet operators are investing more into improving sustainability and becoming more fuel efficient. There are many ways in which a fleet can save on fuel. According to a Commercial Motor survey, in association with Mobil Delvac, driver training was the most common measure taken by fleet businesses to improve fuel efficiency. The results of which could see a typical driver maintain savings of 1-6% per year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.*

However, despite the same survey revealing that only 5% of fleets use lower viscosity engine oils to reduce fuel consumption, there is a growing stack of evidence suggesting that switching to fully synthetic, low viscosity engine oil can save in the same savings as driver training and other popular efficiency initiatives.

This begs the question then, why aren’t more commercial fleets seizing the saving opportunities of switching to a fully synthetic, low viscosity oil?

Fully synthetic engine oil

There is a lot of opinion and promotion in the industry about the role low viscosity oils play in a fleet’s fuel economy. Even here at WP Group, the South’s authorised distributor of Mobil Delvac lubricants, we understand the benefits that fleets can enjoy from switching to a fully synthetic engine oil; from enhanced engine protection to low temperature performance. However, what fleet managers everywhere really want is proof of performance and evidence that shows that the right engine oil really can save on fuel.

Putting it to the test

ExxonMobil have strived to prove that its Mobil Delvac products have the potential to save businesses money. Undertaking independent fuel economy tests at Millbrook, the Mobil Delvac 1 LE 5W-30 engine oil consistently outperformed, showing a 2.9% fuel economy improvement using the fully synthetic product throughout the driveline, compared to a mineral engine oil.**

WP took this one step further and decided to put fully synthetic lubricants to the test on our own 40+ fleet of HGVs. Aiming to reduce carbon emissions and decrease fuel consumption, fully synthetic Mobil Delvac 1 was used in the engine, transmission and rear axe of all our vehicles.

Fuel running tanks and monthly mileages were monitored over three months under normal working conditions. No other mechanical aspects of the vehicles were changed and the drivers were unaware of the trial.

At the end of the 3 months, the results indicated a 6.67% reduction in fuel usage, with drain intervals extended from 6 to 12 months. Not only this but cleanliness parameters showed improvements in engine wear protection and prolonged engine life. It’s safe to say our fleet have been reaping the benefits of fully synthetic lubricants ever since.***

The need for fleets to become more sustainable and fuel efficient will only increase as operating costs go up, alongside legislations and regulations set to see continued reductions in vehicle emissions. With this in mind, fleet operators should look at all efficiency opportunities within their business and assess how these measures translate into bottom line savings in fuel expenditure.

How can an integrated fuel and lubricant solution help your business reduce its fuel usage, save energy and reduce waste? Download our e-brochure to find out. Alternatively, to talk to a member of our team about the requirements of your business, contact us on 0800 980 6172 or email at .

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