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Challenges faced by hybrids

Hybrid engines operate differently compared to internal combustion engines, this challenges the engine oil in three critical areas.

The three main challenges faced by hybrids

The switch between the internal combustion engine (ICE) and battery-powered motor challenges engine oil in three key ways:


Increased oil contamination due to cooler engine temperatures

Constant switching between an electric motor and ICE causes hybrid engines to run cooler. This can lead to water and fuel build-up in the oil, which can disrupt some oils and cause engine deterioration.


Reduced performance and protection from engine intermittency

Hybrids repeatedly switch between the electric motor and ICE. Typically, the e-motor handles lower speeds and the ICE kicks in when higher speeds are needed. In some hybrids, the engine can ramp up to high engine speeds quickly. Some oils can’t keep up, reducing engine performance and protection.


Reduction in system efficiency due to cooler running and lower oil temperature

The ICE in a hybrid powertrain recharges the battery that powers the electric motor. Cooler running means the oil may not meet its optimum operating temperature. This can lead to reduced engine efficiency and in turn, poorer fuel efficiency and charging of the battery.

Engine oil must perform across all three areas to help optimise performance. Watch our video to find out more.
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