In August 2015, MCS ran an article on the upcoming changes to diesel engine oil to meet the EPA and NHTSA emission regulation scheduled for diesel-powered commercial transport vehicles in 2017. The regulations require significant improvements in fuel consumption to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. When it comes to fuel consumption improvements, it depends on vehicle class, type, and size, and specific improvements for medium- and heavy-duty engines. This created the need for a new category of lubricant specifications called Proposed Category 11 (PC-11).
These oils will replace the current CJ-4 heavy-duty oils. The American Petroleum Institute (API) will introduce two types of heavy-duty diesel oil as part of PC-11:
- PC-11A (CK-4) oils will replace today’s lubricants and will be completely backwards compatible with all current vehicles. They will be designed with improved oxidation resistance, shear stability, and aeration control. The name API CK-4 is the name for the category.
- PC-11B (FA-4) oils will meet these new requirements and include lower viscosity grades designed for next-generation diesel engines to help maximize fuel economy without sacrificing engine protection. These oils will have limited backwards compatibility because some older engines were not designed to operate with lower viscosity grades. The name API FA-4 is the name for the category.
These new engine oil requirements, especially for PC-11B, are a major change in the industry’s approach to heavy-duty oil specifications. Oil producers will need to continue to deliver excellent wear protection and cleanliness—two factors that help to drive down customers’ maintenance costs and prolong engine life.
THE DIESEL ENGINE
According to Chevron, Diesel engine design is undergoing a period of significant change, driven by new CO2 and fuel economy regulations. Changes include:
- Diesel engine downsizing, 15L to 13L
- Down speeding, 1,600 rpm to 1,200 rpm
- Advanced combustion design
- Active oil temperature control
- Variable valve timing
- Start/Stop technology
IMPORTANCE OF OIL
Diesel engine oils play a vital role in enabling new advancement in diesel engine hardware designs. Using oil with a lighter viscosity grade and friction modifiers could increase fuel economy, plus improve engine durability with new advanced additive chemistry and base oil selection.
The new diesel oil standards will be licensed on December 1, 2016. As the process rolls out, there are online resources to keep you up-to-date, such as pc-explained.com, newdieseloil.com, and whatispc-11.com.
What are companies doing to get prepared? According to Chevron, here’s what some companies with diesel equipment are doing to get ready for the change:
- Developing education programs with key vendors so their key personnel understand upcoming industry changes
- Targeting field testing of PC-11 Oils in some equipment so they can monitor oil performance under their own operating conditions
- Understanding possible PC-11 products that will fit their needs the best
- Engaging OEMs and other key industry suppliers on how best to approach what they will need for their equipment for planning purposes
NEW DONUT SYMBOL
API introduces a special service symbol donut to help consumers identify the recently approved API FA-4 diesel engine oil, which is designed to protect the next generation of diesel engines. API approved two new diesel oil standards, FA-4 and CK-4.
“API is introducing a diesel engine oil category for use in truck engines designed to meet 2017 model year on-highway greenhouse gas emission standards,” says Kevin Ferrick, senior manager for engine oil licensing. “The FA-4 donut was developed to help truck owners who need FA-4 oils easily recognize the oil and distinguish it from CK-4 oils.”
The new donut, bottom right, features a shaded section to differentiate API FA-4 diesel oils from CK-4 oils. The API CK-4 service symbol donut, bottom left, will look the same as the current CJ-4 donut.
Most truck manufacturers recommending API-licensed CJ-4 engine oils will likely recommend API CK-4 oils as soon as they are available to better protect today’s diesel engines. API FA-4 oils have been designed to protect diesel engines that are expected to be introduced in 2017. ■
For More Information: The American Petroleum Institute (API) is the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Our more than 600 corporate members, from the largest major oil company to the smallest of independents, come from all segments of the industry. They are producers, refiners, suppliers, pipeline operators, and marine transporters, as well as service and supply companies that support all segments of the industry. For more about PC-11, visit www.newdieseloil.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions – June 2016
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