Mercury Marine says it spent the last five years developing a new line of four-stroke marine oils, featuring three formulas designed specifically for outboard and inboard/sterndrive engines. The two key four-stroke oils in the product line have a 25W-40 viscosity rating, and are produced with either a semi-synthetic or straight mineral-base stock formula. The third oil in the lineup is a 10W-30 mineral-base stock oil intended for use in rope-start outboards because it’s easier to pull over in a cold engine… call it duck hunter’s oil.
The new oil is National Marine Manufacturers Association FC-W certified, and the 25W-40 blend can be used in any marine engine, including Verado outboards, except pre-2007 “Gen I” Verado motors. These particular engines should still be filled with Mercury 25W-50 synthetic Verado oil. I was told that this is because Mercury simply doesn’t have a Gen I Verado available to use for oil testing, and thus can’t yet certify the new oil for those motors. These three oils replace six different bottles that used to line a Mercury dealer’s shelves.
The two best ways to prevent engine wear are to use a high-quality base oil combined with a high-tech set of anti-wear additives. Knowing this, Mercury chose to develop an oil without using viscosity modifiers. A viscosity modifier is an oil additive that helps an oil maintain viscosity as temperature changes. But when these modifiers do their work, they also “stretch.” When this happens they become more susceptible to shear and the viscosity goes away. This shearing plays a huge factor in marine engines, which spend a lot of time running at high rpms and under tremendous load, degrading the oil’s ability to lubricate the engine. By not using these modifiers, Mercury is ensuring its oils would be as shear-stable as possible.
Mercury says that in a leading high-temp, high shear test (ATSM D-6278), its 25W-40 semi-synthetic was 34 percent better than marine industry FC-W minimum requirements. Additional testing (ASTM D-445) showed Mercury’s 25W-40 maintained 99.4-percent of its viscosity. What this all means is that from a lubrication standpoint, Mercury 25W-40 lubricates the same the first time you start your engine up as it does the twentieth time or fiftieth time and provides the best possible protection for any marine engine.
Mercury says the mineral 25W-40 oil is “good,” but the semi-synthetic is “best” and offered additional shear protection at the most demanding conditions. If you run hard, the semi-synthetic is the way to go. Both oils are superior to any Mercury has offered previously.
New Mercury Oil Change Kits
If you own a Mercury motor and change your own oil, here’s a handy idea that will make maintenance easier: Mercury has developed four new and convenient oil change kits that contain all the components needed to change the oil in a Mercury outboard engine. So instead of standing at the parts counter to collect the right oil, filter, and drain plug gasket, you can just grab a box off the shelf and get to work. It’s like a Happy Meal for the DIY outboard owners. Each kit includes: Mercury 25W-40 marine engine oil, a Mercury oil filter, a drain plug seal, a drip tray (if required), and complete instructions printed right on the box.
The kits are put together for specific engine families: 15/ 20 HP CARB Oil Change Kit (P/N 8M0081914); 25/30 HP EFI Oil Change Kit (P/N 8M0081915); 40/50/60 HP EFI Oil Change Kit (P/N 8M0081916) and 75/90/115 HP EFI Oil Change Kit (P/N 8M0081917). Retail prices range from around $22 to $60. Mercury has determined that owners of larger outboards are either not handy, or don’t care to twist a wrench, so the kits stop at 115 horsepower.
For more information visit Mercury Marine.