Shell’s Pennzoil Ultra a sludge beater

  • 19-Jul-2010 04:03 EDT

The piston running on Pennzoil Ultra (right) performed better than a competing oil in the ASTM Sequence IIIG Test in terms of resisting deposits.

Pennzoil’s new Ultra synthetic oil was developed by a global team of Shell Lubricants scientists pursuing the goal of maintaining an engine in factory-clean condition.

The scientists did not achieve that specific stretch goal, but they did their jobs well enough that Shell claims no other oil keeps an engine closer to factory-clean.

“The Holy Grail is the engine gets no deposits,” Robert Sutherland, Principal Scientist, Consumer Lubricants, Shell, said at a media event for the introduction of the full synthetic oil. “I will submit to you that that is still a work in progress. But it doesn’t diminish the fact that we’re very excited about a product that keeps your engine closer to factory clean than any other.”

So clean is it that, in addition to helping prevent the buildup of sludge and other deposits in the engine, the oil also cleans up existing sludge when used in an engine that had been running on a different oil. All the while, Pennzoil Ultra provides better wear protection than any other leading synthetic motor oil, according to Shell.

Also speaking at the event was Jim Linden, a longtime General Motors engineer who now runs Linden Consulting LLC. “Spending more than 30 years in engine and lubricant development for one of the largest car manufacturers in the world taught me the importance of maintaining a clean engine,” he said. “A clean engine is not a want, but a need for today’s consumers to help maintain engine efficiency and performance.

He and other speakers at the event noted that today’s engines are much more complex and sophisticated than their counterparts of just a few years ago. They are smaller, yet they generate more power, often via turbocharging or supercharging, so they run hotter. They feature far tighter tolerances. Every engine today is expected to provide better performance and higher fuel economy while generating lower tailpipe emissions than did a comparable engine of just a few years ago. These changes put greater stress on the motor oil.

For every gallon of gasoline burned, an engine produces carbon, soot, unburned fuel, partly burned fuel, corrosive acids, and water. These by-products can contaminate the engine oil and lead to sludge, varnish, and other engine deposits, which can reduce performance and damage the engine if allowed to build up. Engine and oil experts recognize that cleaner engines are better protected, more efficient, and better performing.

In addition to exceeding the most stringent car manufacturer standards for cleanliness and protection, Pennzoil Ultra exceeds the 2010 GF-5 specification’s requirements for cleanliness and protection.

Shell has a longstanding technical partnership with Ferrari globally. Pennzoil Ultra is the only motor oil recommended by Ferrari North America. The company has a similar relationship with Richard Childress Racing. Both companies worked with Shell to develop Pennzoil Ultra.

“Our engines are built to be extremely efficient. With engine heat rising up in some cases to over 280ºF in tolerances that we measure to a thousandth of an inch, it is essential that our engines are maintained in clean, pristine condition, and we look to our team at Pennzoil to provide that,” said Danny Lawrence, Engine Builder and Track Side Manager for Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines, the high-performance engine production and research and development company established in 2007. “In racing, even the smallest deposits can rob performance and lead to catastrophic engine failure, and Pennzoil technology helps provide exactly what we need to keep our engines running clean.”

New Pennzoil Ultra 5W-20, 5W-30, and 10W-30 viscosities can be found in major automotive retailers nationwide. Pennzoil Ultra 5W-40 and 10W-60 viscosities can be found at retailers and installers servicing mostly European cars or through Ferrari dealerships.

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