Direct injection and superchargers or turbochargers make for a powerful combo, but delivering high torque at low speed can lead to abnormal combustion that not only degrades performance but can also cause catastrophic engine damage.

Independent research and testing has found that reducing the amount of Calcium detergent and eliminating the Sodium detergent in the motor oil formula reduces the frequency and severity of LSPI and other abnormal combustion events. Testing also revealed that increasing the level of Molybdenum reduces the tendency of these abnormal combustion events.


Low Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI) is an abnormal combustion event that can lead to catastrophic engine damage, and LSPI is common to Turbocharged Direct Injection Engines. Normally, combustion follows the spark event as controlled by the engine management system. In a LSPI event, the combustion event begins prior to the spark event, which causes abnormally high pressures within the cylinder. These high pressures can damage the piston. Research indicates the formula of the motor oil has a direct link to the frequency and severity of LSPI.


Calcium based detergents are the most widely used detergents in off-the-shelf motor oils, and they are typically used in high concentrations. To avoid potentially catastrophic damage, motor oils must be formulated specifically for direct injection engines to ensure engine durability. Driven Racing Oil’s own research has confirmed an oil’s detergent chemistry impacts LSPI, with Calcium and Sodium increasing and Molybdenum compounds decreasing frequency. Lab testing confirmed that high levels of Sodium and Calcium tend to promote mixing of the oil and fuel that contributes to LSPI events in direct injection engines.

From that research and engine testing, Driven developed a new line of motor oils that provide a right-now solution for direct injection engines. Driven’s DI Synthetic Motor Oils are ahead of the curve when it comes to the newest API SN Plus & SP Engine Oil specs. Each Driven DI formula features lower levels of Calcium and boosted levels of Molybdenum to combat LSPI, reduce abnormal combustion, and protect against soot related wear. The DI line of motor oils also features a lower volatility base oil, reducing crankcase vapors and carbon buildup on intake valves. The results below show how Driven’s DI formula delivers a different additive package compared to current European specs and the previous API spec, and Driven’s DI formula reduces wear compared to the new API SN+ & SP oil spec in a high performance DI engine.