Energy efficiency improvements continue to be a significant challenge to the transportation and lubricant industries. Many areas are being examined to increase energy efficiency in lubricants. This paper examines contributions from base oils in terms of friction reduction since friction reduction is related to energy consumption. The impact of base oil on the frictional differences in a passenger car lubricant is studied using PAO and Group III base oils. Chemical and physical property differences are highlighted and the Stribeck and Traction curves have been measured using a Mini Traction Machine (MTM). Relating the differences in friction to the energy efficiency have been estimated based upon different lubrication regimes measured with the MTM. Reductions in energy losses due to cooling or exhaust have not been included so that any improvements are estimated on frictional differences alone. These frictional improvements are assumed to be related to the differences in chemical make-up of the base oils studied.
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