Find out how a few simple products can give your engine the wellness it deserves!
Find out how a few simple products can give your engine the wellness it deserves!

In this special feature, Caroline speaks to the experts at LIQUI MOLY to find out more about ‘wellness for engines’: how using high-tech motor oils and additives can improve the health and performance of your car, saving you money in the long run!

Did you know that every kilometre of road you cover in your car costs a tiny piece of your engine? Over time, your car experiences continuous friction and wear that can also be accelerated by poor fuel quality and deposits of old lubricants.

With the help of regular maintenance of the oil and fuel cycle, engine performance can be brought back to the level of a new car.

I put some questions to David Kaiser, Head of Research and Development at LIQUI MOLY, to find out more about how using high quality motor oils and additives can take years off your car and restore engine performance to the time when your car was new.

LIQUI MOLY offers a global, uniquely broad range of about 4,000 automotive chemicals for the health and maintenance of your car: essential motor oils, performance-enhancing additives, greases and pastes, sprays and car care, glues, and sealants. The company sells its products in more than 150 countries, including Ireland.

Founded in 1957, LIQUI MOLY develops and produces its oils and additives exclusively in Germany, where the brand is consistently voted the best oil brand by some of the country’s most influential motoring magazines. The brand is respected by professional motor mechanics and technicians, while many motorsport teams also use their products. For example, LIQUI MOLY is the exclusive oil supplier to the Moto2 and Moto3 race series.

LIQUI MOLY ensures quality of product through Made in Germany promise
The LIQUI MOLY quality promise

What is the role of engine oil in the modern combustion engine and how does motor oil work?

Motor oils ensure the engine of your car is always working smoothly. If you think of the engine as the heart of your vehicle, then the motor oil is the life blood! Though ‘invisible’ to most of us, without this essential lubricant it’s game over for your engine. David Kaiser of LIQUI MOLY – the German oil brand who make the matching motor oil for every vehicle in the world – compares motor oil to a ‘fluid spare part’ that needs to fit precisely to a specific engine. But it hasn’t always been that way. There are now more demands on the modern motor oil than ever before:

“In the past motor oil was just a mere lubricant for the engine to reduce friction, and wear and tear,” says David. “Today motor oil has a lot more jobs to do: it has to work in a cold winter as well as in a hot summer; cool down the engine; keep the engine clean; neutralize the formation of acids in the oil; be compatible to exhaust treatment systems, and many more. At the same time, the engines have got more power and the oil change intervals have been extended.”

So why are there so many different motor oils?

According to David Kaiser, this is the price we pay for more efficient engines. When a car manufacturer designs a new engine, the required properties of the oil are part of this design. As different car manufacturers follow different strategies in engine technology, the result is different oil requirements. Sometimes these different technical requirements can be combined in a single oil, sometimes they cannot.

“At the moment we see in Europe more than 50 different oil specifications just for passenger cars,” says David. “And the trend is definitely towards even more than fewer oil specifications. It is hard even for professionals in garages to keep an overview. Not to mention the car owner.”

How do I find the correct motor oil for my car?

You will find the correct specification in the owner’s manual. The LIQUI MOLY website also offers a free oil guide where you can enter a few simple search criteria like the make, model, and engine to find the right oil specification for your car.

Motor oil is the life blood of your vehicle but must be the right specification for your car
Motor oil is the life blood of your vehicle but must be the right specification for your car

Can developments in motor oils improve engine efficiency?

The role of engine oils has changed over time with developments in the automotive industry and complexity of engines. According to David Kaiser of LIQUI MOLY, there is a trend for motor oils getting thinner and thinner. Years ago, the 10W-40 was a widespread viscosity. Today it is 5W-30 with 0W-20 gaining market share. 0W-16 is already available, and the industry is working on 0W-12.

“The reason for this development is the car manufacturers who want to further reduce fuel consumption and emissions,” says David. “A very thin oil offers less inner friction, so the engine needs less power and consumes less fuel to pump the oil. The effect is not huge, 2% less fuel consumption approximately, but is one of the many parameters the car manufacturers are working on. It is important to understand that the engine needs to be designed for such a thin oil. If you use a very thin oil in a conventional engine, you do not gain anything, but the engine will suffer from massive wear and tear.”

Can a high-quality motor oil help save you money?

“Yes – in several ways,” says David. “First of all, car manufacturers often allow extended oil change intervals when using an oil meeting the respective specification. Usually these extended oil change intervals double the standard intervals. Even when the quality motor oil is more expensive, it is cheaper compared to buying twice the amount of a standard oil. Plus, you save the service fee for one oil change.”

He adds: “Then, quality motor oil keeps the engine in good shape. This results in fewer engine problems, in less repair cost and in longer lifetime of the engine. Compared to the value of a car, the cost for quality motor oil is negligible.”

What should owners of hybrid cars know about maintaining their engine?

Owners of a hybrid car should keep in mind that their combustion engine requires the same maintenance as every combustion engine. The combustion engine does not run permanently while driving, kicking in only every now and then when needed. This can lead to two problems. The first being the fuel in the tank ages and decomposes over time. Secondly the engine often does not reach its operational temperature, which promotes the formation of deposits at the injection system, which hamper the proper combustion.

“Our Hybrid Additive mitigates both problems,” says David. “Furthermore, the irregular use of the combustion engine puts a lot of stress on the oil. Therefore, it is important to use a high-quality oil and to adhere to the oil change intervals.”

A hybrid additive can help to prevent some problems that can occur in hybrid cars
A hybrid additive can help to prevent some problems that can occur in hybrid cars

What is the role of additives in the modern combustion engine and how do additives work?

Additives in the oil and in the fuel protect the motor and fuel system of your car. Without additives, no modern engine would work. They keep the engine clean, reduce the formation of deposits and deliver additional performance.

So why add additional additives? According to David Kaiser, it’s about getting more performance or functionality. Today’s engines are highly optimized and efficient, but also very sensitive towards contamination. Small deviations in fuel or oil quality – and even driving style and driving conditions – may result in problems like increased formation of deposits, increasing fuel consumption, less performance and deteriorating exhaust gas values.

“Additives help to keep the engine in good shape, to restore the original engine performance and fuel economy, to avoid future engine problems and to prolong the engine’s lifetime,” says David.

LIQUI MOLY has devised a colour coded system to help you quickly recognise what part of the car the additive should be added: blue caps for petrol, red caps for diesel, black caps for oil and white caps for the radiator. There is also a series of additives in fully black cans, called “Pro-Line”, used by professional mechanics and technicians.

Will I see the same benefits whether my car is 5, 10 or 20 years old?

“When it comes to cleaning additives, the effect is greater the more contaminants,” says David. “Owners of older cars are often astonished how different their cars feel after the treatment. It is a kind of rejuvenation.”

Over time all cars will slowly lose performance and fuel economy. This is often not noticed by the car owner.

“The sudden restoration of the original performance is eye opening,” says David.

He adds: “Newer cars benefit, too. In this case it is not about restoring but about keeping the original performance and about keeping the engine in good shape to avoid breakdowns and repair works.”

“Additives are useful chemical tools. But they are not miracle potions which can magically heal severe technical issues or improve fuel consumption by one third. If you see these claims, you should be cautious.”

With over 60 years in producing additives, you can trust the experts at LIQUI MOLY!

LIQUI MOLY passion for performance on road and on track
LIQUI MOLY passion for performance on road and on track

If you would like to find out more about the story of LIQUI MOLY and the company plans for the Irish market, check out our exclusive article Discovering LIQUI MOLY, Made in Germany.

Safe driving and always do the best for your engine!

Caroline Kidd