With the changing automotive landscape and rising gas prices, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles become more and more popular. It makes sense that leading automotive lubricant manufacturers like Eneos, Liqui Moly and Motul are developing products that are designed specifically for these applications. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles are unique for a few reasons:
- Because of their increased fuel efficiency and range, fuel may stay in the tank for longer periods of time so the fuel is more prone to aging effects detrimental to performance
- Irregular engine usage such as very low RPM operation means that the fuel injector tract has a tendency to develop a build-up of deposits
- Auto start/stop of the engine requires quick lubrication so a lower viscosity is preferred
- Many hybrids also run the engine during cold start to get up to temperature, whether the gasoline engine is actually being used or not
With these quirks in mind, here are some of the products we've sourced to keep Hybrid drivetrains running well!
- ENEOS 0W-16 FULLY SYNTHETIC MOTOR OIL: this is the factory fill for some of the new and upcoming Asian hybrid and economy minded vehicles. A lower viscosity means further fuel savings compared to the more common 0W-20 weight. At the moment, this oil is only available in 1 quart bottles
- MOTUL 0W-16 HYBRID FULLY SYNTHETIC MOTOR OIL: Similar benefits are found with the 0W-16 oil from MOTUL. 0W-16 offers quicker warm up times so less fuel is used during this process for hybrid cars. It's sold in 4L jugs which is sufficient for many smaller displacement eco cars.
- LIQUI MOLY HYBRID ADDITIVE (LM20342): This is a dual purpose additive that should be added to the fuel tank. It acts as a fuel stabilizer which is important as plug-in hybrid vehicles in particular may go weeks before a tank of gas is cycled through. This leads to degradation of the fuel quality over time resulting in lesser performance and worse fuel economy. The second purpose of this additive is to clean the fuel injection system as engines in hybrid vehicles often aren't under much load which leads to build-up of deposits.