Todays sophisticated European engines produce higher horsepower densities per cubic inch and subject the engines oil to severe operational conditions. Throw in all the emissions control equipment on these cars and the oils used must demonstrate exceptional anti-wear performance and meet the strict formulation requirements needed to meet the most current European motor oil specifications.
Those specifications at this writing are VW 504/00/507.00, VW, 502, 505 and 505.01, BMW LL-04, Porsche C-30, ACEA C-3, ACEA A3-B3/B4, Mercedes Benz 229.31 and 229.51 etc. Since most European car makers specify oil change intervals that are considerable longer than those of U.S car makers, oils meeting these specifications need to demonstrate excellent high temperature/high shear performance (HT/HS) to maintain viscosity and provide adequate engine protection.
In addition, turbocharged direct injection (TDI) engines are common in European vehicles. Motor oils used in these applications must be very thermally stable to handle the high operating temperatures and resist deposit formation while providing adequate turbocharger cooling. Thermally stable oils help keep oil passages clean and promote fluid circulation so turbocharger bearings stay cool and lubricated
Because of the sophisticated and extremely efficient pollution control equipment used on European vehicles, almost all European car makers require oil used in these applications to be formulated with lower amounts of sulphated ash, phosphorous and sulfur. (SAPS) SAPS is a commonly used anti-wear additive in motor oils.
The problem is that oils with excessive sulphated ash, phosphorus and sulfur (SAPS) can harm modern exhaust treatment devices. Diesel particulate filters (DPF’s), for example, require low-SAPS motor oil to help prevent filter plugging. This is why using motor oil that does not meet the correct specification can cause engine problems and that annoying check engine light to come on!
Because SAPS additives provide a high degree of wear protection, its reduction has caused some motor oil formulators considerable difficulty in producing a engine oil that both provides outstanding protection and meets the car makers requirements for use with their engine advanced pollution control equipment. The most ideal motor oil for European engine is high grade synthetic oils engineered for the above specifications. Synthetic oils have very low pour points protecting the engine from oil starvation and providing immediate oil pressure when the outside temperature is low while its thermal stability withstands high-temperature/high-RPM breakdown to resist deposit formations that starve TDI systems of lubrication.
This is why some of the biggest names in European cars such as Mercedes and Porsche are factory filled with synthetic oil and many require the use of synthetic oil to maintain the cars warrantee.
Amsoil Inc. introduced the first American Petroleum institute rated motor oil in 1972. Today Amsoil is considered the world leader in high grade synthetic lubrication and offers synthetic motor oils specifically engineered for the most demanding European car applications.