Our Valvoline team saw opportunity in a problem and solved it
The Ashland answer
“No one had taken apart high-mileage engines and really quantified the frequency and the type of problems they were having,” said Fran Lockwood, Ph.D., senior vice president of technology.
The Ashland advantages
“The chemistry we had previously developed and filed some patents on turned out to be a very good chemistry for solving ring wear and oil consumption problems. But, we needed a supplemental anti-wear additive,” said Lockwood. Ultimately, the team developed one, which was also patented.
Next, MaxLife was put through grueling field tests in vehicles that far exceeded 75,000 miles in high-stress driving conditions. The tests included a fleet of passenger vans and a police department motor pool.
After the product launched, the technical team spent another two years testing MaxLife side-by-side with the "me too" versions that eventually arose from our competitors, and validating ongoing tweaks to the formula.
Today, MaxLife is sold around the world, there are versions for both light- and heavy-duty vehicles, and it is guaranteed to perform under the exact specifications of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
“To me, innovation is more about a great business idea, as opposed to a technology idea,” said Lockwood. “Most research shows that really successful companies didn’t get that way because of technology; technology was an enabler to a great business idea.”
There's more to know:
● MaxLife was named Lubricants World “Product of the Year.”
● The average age of a car in the U.S. is 10.6 years
● Everyday drivers in the U.S. can guarantee their engine up to 300,000 miles with a combination of MaxLife and the Valvoline Engine Guarantee
● The Valvoline Engine Lab manages testing programs in the UK, Indonesia, Australia, Chile, Portugal, China, South Africa and Brazil, among others