AFTERMARKET AUTOMOTIVE & CAR CARE

AUTOMOTIVE AFTERMARKET

Automotive Aftermarket

Aftermarket is the secondary market of parts, accessories, and ancillaries after sale of the vehicles by the Original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Vehicle manufacturers often approve specific fluid formulations and stipulate that only these fluids must be used in order for the warranty to remain valid. Aftermarket producers offer increase consumer choice after the OEM warranty period has ended.

Chemical manufacturers and formulators make fluids that perform vital roles in the vehicle operation and functions. For example, lubricant blenders produce engine oils, gear oils, and automatic transmission fluids. Similarly, other chemical companies make glycol fluids, such as antifreeze/engine coolants, and clutch and brake fluids.

Maintenance mechanics select the aftermarket automotive fluids according to the make of vehicle. In general, vehicle manufacturers create specifications for the performance levels that fluids for their systems must meet.

Often, vehicle manufacturers also specify tight limits of physical properties that many experts would consider unlikely to affect performance. Additionally, many manufacturers do not make details of their specification requirements easily available for openness and transparency. Some vehicle manufacturers state that consumers must only use their own brand of fluids. Others state that consumers must only use fluids that they approve. Frequently, they list approved fluids by trade name without quoting any performance test results.

Aftermarket fluid and chemical manufacturers blend additives into a base fluid in order to produce the required product. For instance, antifreeze/engine coolant, and clutch and brake fluid manufacturers mix corrosion inhibitors and stabilizers into glycol base fluids. Similarly, lubricant blenders mix antioxidants, detergents, dispersants, corrosion inhibitors, and extreme pressure and anti-wear additives into mineral or synthetic oil.

MEETING REQUIREMENTS

Aftermarket fluid manufacturers should ensure their product will meet the performance requirement of the standards specified by the OEM. Different OEMs sometimes source different components and materials in their manufacture. Consequently, blenders sometimes formulate a range of several different fluids that meet the requirements of the specifications set by various different OEMs.

Formulators often use the same base fluids for multiple aftermarket products, adjusting the finished fluid properties to suit different OEM applications by adding different additives. They choose additives according to function: some additives protect the fluid, while others protect the vehicle components. In order to ensure that the fluid both protects the parts, and does not degrade in use, they use a combination of several additives in the base fluid. Occasionally, some combinations of additives and base fluid produce unexpected undesirable results. In such cases, the formulations chemists have to redesign the product and retest.

Additionally, formulators must obtain reliable test data the fluid against the OEM specification requirements. OEMs usually specify a large battery of tests that make the product testing both extensive and expensive. Moreover, when you consider the cost of cars and trucks, most consumers would agree that this testing is necessary in order to protect their investment. However, if a fluid fails the final stage of testing, then the redesign and retesting add significantly to development costs and time.

Increasingly, aftermarket fluid product designers use additive packages, which, when added to a stated base fluid, will produce a product that passes all of the required performance tests. Additive package manufacturers combine several additives into an easy-to-handle liquid that blends easily into the base fluid. They then test the finished fluid against the performance tests specified in the OEM specs, in order to show that it meets the performance requirements.

ADDITIVE PACKAGES & GLYCOL FLUID STABILIZERS

Antifreeze

Brad-Chem Ltd. manufactures antifreeze/engine coolant super concentrates, and a brake fluid corrosion inhibitor package. Glycol fluid manufacturers use these stabilizers to produce commercial antifreeze concentrates and ready-to-use (RTU) products.

For older vehicles, we offer Brad-Chem 552, which is a non-NAP free Organic Acid Technology based inhibitor. Brad-Chem 552 replaces the older inorganic IAT types. For modern cars and trucks, we offer Brad-Chem 557, which is a NAP free long-life OAT package, suitable for modification to HOAT and SiOAT. Moreover, Brad-Chem 557 in mono-ethylene glycol meets many current international standards and OEM specifications.

Additionally, many automotive engine and gear oil manufacturers use Brad-Chem 526 as their corrosion inhibitor package. This corrosion inhibitor package gives multi-metal rust inhibition and excellent copper and yellow metals corrosion protection.

We are the distributor for BRB International BV to the UK and Ireland market. In this capacity, we supply automotive gear oil, engine oil and ATF additive packages to the UK aftermarket. We also distribute their OCP, styrenic, and star copolymer VI improvers to this region.

In our capacity as the UK distributor for Nyco, we supply synthetic esters for some speciality automotive fluids applications. Additionally, we supply the full range of poly alpha olefins (PAOs) and metallocene catalysed m-PAOs. Combinations of some of these base oils and additive packages can be used to manufacture full synthetic engine and gear oils. Increasingly, lubricant blenders also use the Nyco esters as speciality additives for greater lubricity and cleanliness.

CAR CARE ADDITIVES

Producers of car care chemicals generally offer a range of different cleaners and other fluids, such as screen wash products. Cleaning products include traffic film removers, and alloy wheel cleaners.

Most manufacturers of car care products make water-based cleaning products. Furthermore, water, itself, can corrode expose metals. Exposure to water initiates rust on exposed ferrous metal surfaces, or staining of aluminium alloys. Some producers also incorporate acids or alkalis that remove dirt; but, which, also can attack certain metals, especially into wheel cleaners.

The paint coatings on the external parts of cars provide a very good barrier that prevents water from reaching the metal surfaces. However, water and cleaning chemicals can sometimes reach the paintwork if the coating is damaged in some areas. Automotive paint manufacturers incorporate coatings inhibitors to prevent rust from spreading underneath the undamaged areas. Nevertheless, it is still useful to incorporate a corrosion inhibitor into traffic film remover, to protect any exposed parts.

We recommend to incorporate Brad-Chem 563 into traffic film removers of neutral to mildly alkaline pH to protect automotive metals and alloys against corrosion. Brad-Chem 563 is readily biodegradable and has low environmental impact in this application.

Wheel cleaners can be either acid or alkaline formulations and the corrosion challenges for these two types vary. We offer a range of acid corrosion inhibitors for many different acid types, and, also, solutions for alkaline wheel cleaner systems.
For further information on our additives for the automotive sector, please contact us.