LIQUI MOLY turns towards alternative drives
A special additive for hybrid vehicles and a pictogram for identifying motor oils
October 2017 – The number of registered vehicles with alternative drives is still minimal compared to those with diesel and gasoline motors, but the new drive types are revolutionizing the car industry. LIQUI MOLY is also intensively dealing with this topic and is launching an innovation on the market: The Hybrid Additive, a fuel additive specially developed for hybrid vehicles. Furthermore, motor oils suitable for these motors are identified with a pictogram.
Strictly speaking, the Hybrid Additive is itself a hybrid, because it combines two properties. It stabilizes the fuel quality and it cleans the injection system. In hybrid vehicles, the electric motor is the main drive; the combustion motor works only as an assistant. It is mostly only used for short periods. "This results in two problems," says David Kaiser. He heads the Research & Development department at car chemicals specialist LIQUI MOLY.
"The fuel remains in the tank for longer and ages more," says David Kaiser, compared to vehicles powered exclusively by a diesel or gasoline motor. An additional problem: Deposits in the injection tract because of the irregular short-term use. The newly developed Hybrid Additive keeps the gasoline quality stable, protects against deposits in the injection system and removes existing deposits. "It therefore solves both problems," says the LIQUI MOLY expert.
With this innovation the company underlines its development expertise in an industry undergoing major changes. The car industry will change more in the coming ten years than it has in the past 100. The cause for this are various megatrends, one of which is electromobility. "Alongside quality, to us, made in Germany also predominantly means change by innovation. That's why research has always been one of the supporting pillars of our success," says David Kaiser.
The company has been dealing with combustion motors since its formation 60 years ago. Considering this expertise it was obvious that electrohybrid in alternative drives had to be concentrated on next. Based on the global registration figures, hybrid vehicles are the most common of alternative drives. According to Statista and IHS Autoinsight the gap between them and purely electric vehicles will significantly increase by 2025. "We are backing the right horse," says the R&D head of LIQUI MOLY. "Because diesel motors only play a subordinate role for hybrids with a downward trend, we are launching a purely gasoline additive onto the market."
There is also a change in lubricants, although purely an aesthetic one: The labels of the 1 and 5-liter canisters will have a hybrid pictogram added to them. This will allow car drivers and mechanics working in garages to see at a glance whether the motor oil is suitable for hybrid vehicles. Those who want to be sure can make use of the online oil guide by LIQUI MOLY.
"Without care, problems are pre-programmed"
Hybrid technology means dangers for the integrated combustion motor, knows David Kaiser of LIQUI MOLY
October 2017 – Vehicles with a hybrid drive combine two different power sources in one car: An electric and a combustion motor. Unlike with conventional vehicles, which are powered exclusively by gasoline or diesel fuel, the combustion motor of a hybrid car only runs in certain situations and then often under a low load. David Kaiser, head of Research & Development at the German oil and additive specialist LIQUI MOLY, explains what problems that can lead to and how car drivers and garages can avoid them.
What are the differences between the requirements of a combustion motor in a hybrid car compared to a conventional vehicle?
David Kaiser: In a hybrid vehicle the combustion motor is not permanently used. When starting, in urban traffic and on short routes the energy comes from the electric drive. Only over long distances, from medium speeds or in the event of an empty battery does the combustion motor switch on. To summarize, this is a very one-sided driving profile.
But long distances are less wearing than short journeys, aren't they?
David Kaiser: That's right. Compared to conventional cars, hybrid vehicles have a significantly shorter range and play to their strengths in the short and medium range. The combustion motor is therefore usually only used for short periods. This is good for the environment, but bad for the motor.
David Kaiser: Due to the low consumption of hybrids, the fuel remains in the tank for longer and therefore ages more. Gasoline and diesel fuel change their configuration with the effect of air or the oxygen, moisture and temperature therein. This worsens cold start and driving behavior in the longer warm-up of the motors in hybrid vehicles. The fuels are subjected to a natural aging and oxidation because of this. By adding oxygen, the fuel oxidizes. And this can lead to deposits. Overall, the properties of the fuel are worsened by this. In extreme situations, it will eventually become unusable by the motor.
How can car drivers act against this?
David Kaiser: The quality of the fuel can be stabilized with additives. LIQUI MOLY has developed such an additive especially for hybrid vehicles. One of the tasks of the additive is to slow down the aging process of the gasoline and therefore keep its quality stable.
Can the deposits mentioned in the tank also cause problems?
David Kaiser: The requirements for a well-functioning motor are motor oil, electricity, air, coolant and fuel. If one of these components is impaired, a failure of the motor is possible. Tank deposits can block the fuel filter. However, this many deposits are only formed in exceptional circumstances. The core problem with deposits lies somewhere else.
David Kaiser: The latest developments in motor technology are flowing into hybrid vehicles. These modern and efficient motors present the greatest of demands on fuel quality. Particularly in the case of irregular and short-term use of the combustion motor the risk is great that deposits will be formed in the injection system. These worsen the injector spray and the fuel combustion and this ultimately leads to a worse motor performance. Uncombusted fuel can get into the motor oil and thin it. That's why a clean fuel system is so important.
How is this kept clean?
David Kaiser: A steady and consistent motor operation helps a lot, but is not the only salvation and is an exception in combustion motors in hybrid vehicles. Special cleaning additives in our hybrid additives dissolve existing deposits and prevent new sticky, paint or resin-like deposits from forming. This means I can use the additive for prophylaxis or in the event of existing problems. For prevention, it has to be regularly added to the gasoline in the tank.
Head of Media Relations International
Phone: +49 731 1420-189
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LIQUI MOLY GmbH | Jerg-Wieland-Straße 4 | 89081 Ulm | GERMANY
About LIQUI MOLY
With around 4,000 items, LIQUI MOLY offers a global, uniquely broad range of automotive chemicals: Motor oils and additives, greases and pastes, sprays and car care, glues and sealants. Founded in 1957, LIQUI MOLY develops and produces exclusively in Germany. There it is the undisputed market leader for additives and is repeatedly voted the best oil brand. The company led by Ernst Prost sells its products in more than 120 countries and generated 489m euros in sales in 2016.