Published: Nov 2012
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The automotive industry is facing tough international competition, government regulations, and rapid technological changes. Ever-increasing government regulations require improved fuel economy and lower emissions from the automotive fuel and lubricant systems. Higher energy-conserving engine oils and better fuel-efficient vehicles will become increasingly important in the face of the saving of natural resources and the lowering of engine friction. Recently, industry research needs for reducing friction and wear in transportation are critical for saving fuel economy and extended vehicle reliability. There are many hundreds of tribological components, from bearings, pistons, transmissions, and clutches to gears and drivetrain components. The application of tribological principles is essential for the reliability of the motor vehicle and the energy conservation of our environment. This review chapter will provide a comprehensive overview of various lubrication aspects of a typical powertrain system including the engine, transmission, driveline, and other components as well as the major issues and the current development status for automotive engine lubricants in North America. This review chapter also describes the major functions of typical engines (gasoline and diesel), engine oil characteristics, and test methods. Included are descriptions of the tribological concerns associated with various engine components, service effects on engine oil, standard automotive tests for engine oil and the types of service they represent, and an overview of the current issues and future trends that needs to be addressed.
Becker, Edward P.
General Motors Corp., Brighton, MI
Tung, Simon C.
RT Vanderbilt Company, Norwalk, CT