A qt. of Mobil 1 engine oil sitting on a table in a garage.

How the right motor oil can help improve fuel economy

Over the last 15 years, modern automobile gasoline engines have been getting more and more efficient to meet the demands of government regulations for increased fuel economy. The use of lower viscosity oils can help support efficiency and improve fuel economy by decreasing engine friction.

Where does that unused engine energy go?

There are four key areas in an engine where energy friction loss occurs:

  1. The valvetrain
    Energy loss occurs in the camshaft bearings and in the contact area between the valve and lifter.
  2. The piston and cylinder
    Energy loss occurs at the piston liner interface during the combustion cycle and especially before and after the midstroke.
  3. The oil pump
    In the oil pump, energy loss occurs due to rotational energy consumed by pumping heavier viscosity oils, particularly during warmup. That’s why we’ve seen the trend of lower viscosity oils, such as 0W-16, 0W-20 and 0W-30.
  4. The crankshaft
    The main bearings and connecting rod bearings are two additional areas where friction occurs.

Switching from a higher viscosity oil to a recommended lower viscosity, such as Mobil 1™ Advanced Fuel Economy motor oil can help decrease engine friction, which can help improve fuel economy.*

Engine protection plus fuel economy
The low-friction formulations of Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy full synthetic motor oils increase engine efficiency and fuel economy versus viscosity grades most commonly used. How does this work?

During warmup, Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy oil flows faster because of its lower viscosity, which can minimize metal-to-metal contact to reduce friction and wear.

The lower viscosity, full synthetic formulation flows more easily through the oil pump, requiring less energy to pump the oil to critical engine parts. It also reduces friction at points of contact between the piston compression rings and cylinder walls.

Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy provides faster lubrication and less viscous drag than higher viscosity oils, while providing exceptional wear protection and helping keep engines clean and running like new.

Despite the benefits of low viscosity oils, it’s important to remember that today’s engines have varying lubrication needs. For example, Mobil 1™ 0W-16 Advanced Fuel Economy is an ultra-low viscosity oil recommended by ExxonMobil for select Honda, Lexus and Toyota gasoline and hybrid engines. Find the right oil for your vehicle’s engine below.

*Potential fuel economy improvement obtained by switching from higher viscosity oils to either the 0W-20 or 0W-30 viscosity grade. Actual savings are dependent upon vehicle/engine type, outside temperature, driving conditions and your current engine oil viscosity.