More than just lubrication and cooling: modern oil management “made by MAHLE”

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Stuttgart, September 2014 – The complexity and importance of oil balance in engines is often underestimated. Not so at MAHLE. For decades, we have been developing filters, pumps, and cooling components in order to perfect oil management in engines—and thus increase efficiency and service life.

The reliable lubrication of moving parts with oil, in particular in engines and transmissions, is essential. It is the only way in which mechanical friction can be significantly reduced and damage avoided. Moreover, the oil cools the components that cannot be connected to the coolant circuit and also removes dirt particles from surfaces. This is why a reliable oil management system is so critical. Oil pumps, oil filters, oil thermostats, and systems for heating and cooling oil, for example, all come under the umbrella of oil management. The development and production of such complex systems has long been one of MAHLE’s core competences.

One important innovation in oil management is the controlled pendulum-slider oil pump from MAHLE. Its excellent efficiency and smart, demand-based supply of oil pressure and volume can, for example, reduce CO2 emissions in the NEDC by up to two per cent in comparison with conventional oil pumps. Indeed the MAHLE pendulum-slider oil pump generates pressure and volume flow only on demand, reducing the required power consumption to a minimum. The most important advantages over other controlled oil pumps—such as external-gear pumps and vane pumps—include its ability to withstand dirt, its high overall efficiency over the entire service life, and its suitability for high speeds. Various control strategies with short adjustment and response times are also possible.

Further innovative oil management components are available from MAHLE, such as the heating and cooling modules. According to demand, they can additionally handle channel guidance, temperature regulation, and coolant flow filtration. The broad range of oil thermostats from MAHLE is also important in the aftermarket. In automatic transmissions, they regulate the oil temperature. The warm-up phase is thus significantly shortened and the transmission subsequently kept at an ideal operating temperature. This results in reduced wear, improved shifting comfort, and fuel savings of approximately one per cent in conventional driving cycles.

A key aspect of oil management is functional integration. Depending on the customer requirements, MAHLE has expanded the functionality of the oil filter to include, for example, sensors for pressure and temperature control, or oil pressure and crankcase pressure regulation. Additionally the increased use of modern materials — including high-performance plastics — needs to be taken into account. For example, MAHLE has begun production of plastic housings for oil filter modules — more specifically from proven materials with a good price/performance ratio. However, components are now designed in a completely different way to the previous aluminium housings: simple, radial O-ring seals instead of axial sealing concepts, oil guidance channels with small cross sections, and accurate screw connections, preventing any direct force flow onto the plastic. This results in weight savings of 5–15 per cent, lower costs, and more functions integrated into the component. MAHLE has also applied this materials expertise to the filter inserts in all-plastic modules for the aftermarket.

The pin technology and the ecological filter module are some additional intelligent innovations found in MAHLE oil filters. Both concepts have caught on in the aftermarket, as professional servicing of the oil circuit is particularly important for the service life and cost balance of the vehicle. In essence, the MAHLE pin ensures that, during an oil filter change, virtually all of the remaining oil in the filter housing flows through a bore into the oil sump. Used oil is therefore completely replaced with new oil, and once the new filter element is installed, oil no longer leaks out of the housing. And as every new MAHLE oil filter has a pin, the bore is effectively sealed—the oil circuit remains stable. Assembly is quite simple: at the base of the filter housing there is a helical guide, similar to a marble run. By tightening the cover, the pin slides through this guide into the bore, where it snaps into place and locks.

Alongside high-performance plastics, more and more ecological oil filter elements are emerging on the market. They optimise the recycling process of the filters as the element is manufactured from filter paper or environmentally friendly, incinerable plastics. The element is changed during servicing and disposed of in a waste incineration plant, thereby generating heat—all that remains is literally a small pile of ashes.

MAHLE also supports these modern technologies in the aftermarket, and thus ensures that the engine oil balance still functions like clockwork, even after years. Both printed and digital product catalogues offer a quick overview of the Aftermarket product range in original equipment quality. To make sure that the right product is correctly installed, the repair shop can rely on a comprehensive MAHLE service portfolio. Web-based technical information and a telephone hotline leave no question unanswered. The damage brochures from MAHLE are a “classic” example. They clearly illustrate damages to filters, pumps, and other components in both words and pictures, and provide solutions. Product-specific fitting instructions, technical training, and the appropriate repair shop equipment from MAHLE all ensure a correct and professional repair. This is how—together with a dense network of service and sales partners—we are able to provide a continuous product and problem-solving chain. MAHLE—the expert solutions provider for the aftermarket.


MAHLE is the globally leading manufacturer of components and systems for the internal combustion engine and its peripherals as well as vehicle air conditioning and engine cooling. In 2014, some 64,000 employees at 140 production locations and ten major research and development centres are expected to generate sales of around EUR 10 billion.

About MAHLE Aftermarket

MAHLE Aftermarket, the business unit specialising in spare parts and service, uses the expertise from the series production of original equipment in its automotive aftermarket product range, and supplies trade, repair shop, and engine repair partners. MAHLE Aftermarket is represented at 23 locations and other sales offices worldwide, with 1,670 employees. In 2013, the business unit achieved a global sales volume of EUR 805 million.

Find out more about MAHLE Aftermarket GmbH