October 2014 – 17,000 kilometers in ten days from North Cape in Norway to the southern tip of Africa. Motor car adventurer Rainer Zietlow successfully completed this tour in his VW Touareg. He arrived in Cape L’Agulhas on Sunday. His motor oil, LIQUI MOLY, contributed to this success. Assistant Laboratory Manager Oliver Kuhn explains where this motor oil can be subjected to even higher loads than on this extreme trip.
17,000 kilometers in ten days, that is nearly 250 hours of uninterrupted engine operation. What happens to the motor oil in such situations?
Oliver Kuhn: Well, the oil is at its operating temperature over the entire period and the engine continues to run smoothly. High engine speeds, such as are prevalent on races courses, are probably an exception here. In principle these are ideal conditions for the motor oil. For the motor oil, the real extremes results from short trips.
Do you mean that driving to the grocery store is worse that a trip half way around the world?
Oliver Kuhn: All totaled, yes, that is correct. Short trips in the city are the worst thing that can happen to a motor oil. The engine temperature changes constantly, high engine speeds alternate with idling, the oil never reaches its optimum temperature and fuel collects in the oil. Rainer Zietlow uses our Top Tec 4200, which is suitable for nearly all models from Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat. It has such high performance reserves, that it can even handle the loads encountered in city driving and allows longer oil change intervals.
Snow and freezing temperatures at North Cape and heat in Africa: Doesn’t that have any effect on the motor oil?
Oliver Kuhn: The ambient temperatures are actually not a problem, regardless of whether high or low. Our Top Tec 4200 provides optimum lubrication even at minus 30°C. And high outdoor temperatures do not automatically mean that the oil also becomes hotter. Earlier that posed a problem with air-cooled engines, but not today with state-of-the-art water cooling. Dust can cause greater problems. If the air filter is working properly, no dust should get into the oil. If this does happen, dispersion agents in the oil ensure that the dust particles are kept in suspension in the oil until they are filtered out by the oil filter. Naturally this particle dispersing capability is exhausted more quickly in the desert than in our climate.
Top Tec 4200 is an every day motor oil, for use in Golfs and Polos as well as Touaregs. Why didn’t he choose a racing oil for such an extreme trip?
Oliver Kuhn: If he had used a racing oil, I would worry about it breaking down along the way. Racing oils are usually sprinters; by contrast our Top Tec 4200 is a marathon runner. It contains more additives than standard oils and therefore has extremely high performance reserves. This trip to South Africa gave it an opportunity to completely demonstrate its strengths.
Should Rainer Zietlow change the oil immediately or can he start his return trip without a delay?
Oliver Kuhn: Hard to say. To be sure, it would be necessary to take a sample of the oil and have it analyzed at a laboratory. This would allow us to estimate, if it is still okay for the return trip. But it is quite imaginable. After all Top Tec 4200 is approved for oil change intervals of up to 50,000 kilometers.
About LIQUI MOLY
LIQUI MOLY GmbH from Ulm in South Germany offers a wide range of high-quality products such as motor oils, additives, vehicle care products and service products. The range includes some 4000 items. LIQUI MOLY develops and tests their products in their own laboratories, manufactures exclusively in Germany and markets all of their products themselves. LIQUI MOLY was founded some 50 years ago and is now one of the leading companies in the industry. The products are sold in Germany and in 110 other countries.