Demonstrating the impact on engines by replicating harsh conditions experienced in Africa and Middle East

To replicate driving conditions in areas affected by these harsh conditions, we chose one of the most popular SUV vehicles currently sold in Africa, the Toyota Hilux. By using Afton’s Ashland facility, for the first time we can provide a reliable, repeatable and accurate level of analysis that can be used for proving additive performance.

Sticking with the theme, our technicians at Afton ensured that the reference oil used was Africa & Middle East’s most common, an SAE 20W-50 grade with API SL specification.

To complete the dramatization we also ensured that the testing accounted for the three tough conditions
identified earlier.

By running the Toyota Hilux for a period of ten thousand miles on our mileage accumulator chassis dynamometer we can demonstrate the difference in additive performance between Afton’s uniquely designed solutions and the API SL reference oil.

Finding a typical fuel quality for Africa is very difficult. Sulphur levels can vary from 50ppm to over 2000ppm depending on the country.

Referencing the International Fuel Quality Centre we blended the fuel to a sulphur content of 1000ppm by adding diterbutyl disulphide to provide a representative sample for the test. Additionally:


  • Harsh environmental conditions were replicated with both oil contamination and high temperatures.
  • Samples of used oil from the region was analysed for particulate contamination, both composition and quantity.
  • We blended ISO grade A2 fine test dust into the test oils to replicate this level of contamination before adding to the engine.
  • For our aged oil acceleration testing, we chose the Standard Road Cycle, which has high speeds and rapid transients – adding extra stress and harsh operation to the oil. The cycle is programmed into a robot, whichdoes all the driving, thus ensuring consistent test repeatability.
  • The heat of the region was replicated by running the test at the peak of the Virginia summer at our Ashland facility, where extreme humidity & temperatures of 35 C to 40 C are normal.
  • The ability to program specific drive cycles for the vehicle is one of MADs unique features adding to test repeatability and control.

Each test oil was run using a brand new engine to ensure a consistent base for testing. Once a test was completed, the engine was removed and transported to our Richmond facility for teardown and rating.

The teardown was performed by our professional technicians using strict procedures and care. Once disassembled, the parts were evaluated and rated by our highly trained professionals.

The parts were evaluated for sludge, varnish and other deposits in critical areas, including the piston rings and oil pan. Also inspected was the condition of the cams, bearings and other moving parts for wear.

Afton’s unique Ashland Facility provided us with the opportunity to replicate, understand and formulate solutions that can handle the three tough driving conditions commonly seen in Africa & the Middle East.

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