New engine oils seem to be going through a fast-paced transitional change almost as quickly as new technology for the driver to aid in avoidance collision, mandatory back up cameras and staying connected to the cloud. Some of these changes are happening so fervently that many of us, yes even motor heads, can’t seem to keep up with the pace. Recently I read an article relating to Noack volatility and new engine oils (WT?) —are you still reading?
Yes, it seems like the newest energy efficient oils starting off as a 0w-xx like to vaporize and automotive companies are taking a serious look at oils and how vaporization (volatility) affects their engines. Guess what? No one can agree on the limit: GM says 14 is acceptable limit, Mercedes Benz is 10 and even Honda is seriously looking at this for longevity of oil and engine.
Without going into great detail, Noack (named after the person who developed this test) is ASTM 5800 standard which is used by the API to test the most recent approvals (API SN/ILSAC GF-5). This approval rating has a limit of 15 percent or 15 to us consumers. Meanwhile, there is some debate over its effectiveness and how it should be done as it is currently done in a laboratory and not on a bench engine sequence test. None the less this should be a serious concern for the consumer when choosing one of the many brands of 0w-xx engine oils.
As a consumer rather than watching makers of engine oil and their commercials that show race cars buzzing around a race track and trying to make us feel like our engine oil will make our car seem like a racer, they should be showing us what their Noack level is. I’m just sayin’…
– Opinion Piece by Paul Hawkes, ICML MLT1, MLA1