PC-11 or Proposed Category 11 is the working title for the new API category of heavy duty engine oils in development to be available December 1, 2016. The next generation of heavy duty engine oils will surpass the performance of the current category of heavy duty engine oils. API-CJ4— offering better fuel economy along with superb engine protection against wear, oxidation and deposit buildup.
Anyone who owns a piece of equipment or truck for work should be aware of the Proposed Category 11 (PC-11) next generation of heavy-duty diesel engine oils. PC-11 has been in the works for at least four years with the new oils set to be commercially available in December 2016.
Recently, the ASTM Heavy Duty Engine Oil Classification Panel (HDEOCP) approved the PC-11 specifications with the American Petroleum Institute (API) expected to approve in the coming weeks.
So what does that mean, and how does it affect the construction industry?
Oil specifications have to be established one year prior to the oils being commercially available. The recent specification approval means the new engine oil category is keeping pace with the deadline set by engine manufacturers to have the new oils available in late 2016 for use with 2017 model year vehicles and equipment.
What comes next is the commercialization period, according to Shawn Whitacre, head of the ASTM panel and Senior Staff Engineer at Chevron. The commercialization period includes time for the oil manufacturers and their additive partners to complete product testing and begin product transitions for licensure in December 2016.
This is also the best time for consumer education. According to Whitacre, the most important thing at this point is for consumers to become educated on the changes and how those changes will affect their operations.
Contractors should use this educational period as a chance to work with their OEMs to make sure they understand and are following OEM recommendations for using these new oils. Contractors should make sure they know not only what viscosity grades are allowable for each piece of equipment but the API specs as well.
Unlike new oil categories in the past, PC-11 will be split into two subcategories: API CK-4 and API FA-4.
“The split specification concept allows for this new category to be broadly applicable for use in a wide variety of heavy-duty diesel engines, regardless of whether those engines are used in on-highway trucks or in off-highway equipment,” Whitacre says.
The subcategory CK-4 builds on the previous API CJ-4 category. The CK-4 oils will offer improved oxidation stability, aeration control and resistance to viscosity loss by shear, Whitacre says.
CK-4 oils, which will be approved for use in many of the same engines and applications that currently recommend CJ-4, will be available in the same viscosity grades consumers are using today and will also be “backwards compatible” with the CJ-4 oils.
The API FA-4 subcategory will adopt the same performance requirements as the CK-4 oils but will be at a lower viscosity level compared to today’s oils, Whitacre says. These thinner oils can offer more optimized fuel economy for newer engines designed to use lower viscosity oils.
“Like with other low viscosity oils, we don’t expect that engine makers will allow these oils across the board,” Whitacre says. “OEMs are still working on their own engine test programs to determine what extent the new FA-4 oils can be recommended, if at all. This is something that we’ll be watching closely in the coming months, as these positions become clearer.”
The off-highway market will likely not use the FA-4 oils much. According to Whitacre, these oils are designed more for diesel pickup trucks and on-highway trucks. Contractors who do have Class 8 road trucks, medium-duty or diesel pickup trucks in their fleets may see a use for the FA-4 oils.
Effects on component life
A major priority for the PC-11 oils was they be able to stand up to elevated temperatures for longer periods of time without breaking down. New engines are placing greater demands on engine oils, and engine makers continue to push for longer oil change intervals, requiring the new oils to be more resistant to oxidation, Whitacre says.
These new oils provide consumers with the latest advancements in wear protection and viscosity control. Contractors who continue to use oils that do not meet the new engine demands and requirements may compromise the ability to achieve maximum OEM-published oil drain intervals, Whitacre adds.
While it’s not recommended contractors continue to use the older CJ-4 oils in newer engines starting with the 2017 models, using the new CK-4 oils in older engines is possible.
The CK-4 oils are backwards compatible to the previous API categories and will have no adverse effect in older equipment, Whitacre says. However, he cautions that contractors should check with their OEM recommendations for viscosity grades.
The FA-4 oils will not be as backwards compatible as the CK-4 oils. From a specification standpoint, FA-4 is not backwards compatible.
“The older category had a viscosity limit that excludes the range that the new category encompasses, so you can’t meet that new FA-4 spec and claim the older spec because the viscosity ranges are mutually exclusive,” Whitacre says.
While it appears FA-4 oils may be usable in older engines, OEMs are still figuring out to what extent the FA-4 oils can be used in older equipment.
“We expect OEMs to publish more specific guidance as to the limitations (or restrictions) associated with these lower viscosity oils in 2016, before they hit the market,” Whitacre adds.
Whitacre says that 2016 will be a busy year for oil and additive manufacturers as the industry is entering the home stretch for PC-11. However, he says it’s important to remember that while all this work, testing and transitioning will be continuing over the next year, these oils will not be commercially available until December 2016.
It has been 10 years since the last new engine oil category was introduced. While the industry was averaging a new oil category nearly every four years prior to that, Whitacre says he expects the CK-4 and FA-4 oils will be relevant for a while with no new oil category currently on the horizon.
However, improvements in technology and continuing greenhouse gas regulations may ripple into the oils and lube market. While it’s too hard to speculate at this point, new developments in an ever changing industry may at some point trigger discussions on the next future engine oil category.
Spend the time preparing for the new oils debut in 2016. Understand what the new engine oil category means for your equipment and for your company’s oil – and maybe even equipment – buying process.
To help prepare for the Proposed Category 11 (PC-11) engine oil specification coming in December 2016, Chevron launched its public education program dedicated to building awareness and clarity around PC‑11. Chevron has made a commitment over the next 12 months to not only keep the industry informed but also to “explain PC‑11” clearly and simply.
The Chevron PC‑11 Public Education campaign includes a new website that debuted this week – PC-11explained.com. Chevron’s new website will provide ongoing expert commentary, multimedia resources, news and insights on issues surrounding the new heavy-duty motor oil (HDMO) categories, including:
- The Oil Change: A monthly video interview series with Shawn Whitacre and Len Badal created to help prepare you and your customers for the transition to PC‑11
- Fact or Fiction: A monthly column to dispel any and all misinformation around PC‑11
- Ask an Expert: A weekly Q&A column to provide timely answers to pressing questions
- In the News: Links to the latest articles and interviews on PC‑11
A major part of Chevron’s PC‑11 Public Education Campaign is an extensive Public Relations campaign that will put Shawn Whitacre, Senior Staff Engineer Chevron Lubricants, and Len Badal, Global Commercial Brand Manager, Chevron Lubricants, front and center in the discussion of PC‑11. Stay tuned to SiriusXM’s Road Dog Trucking for regular interviews with Shawn and Len, and visit PC‑11Explained.com every Monday to read the most recent news on PC‑11.
Visit PC‑11explained.com regularly so that a year from now, you will feel knowledgeable and well-equipped to adapt to the new market.
Did you know that up to 20% of diesel engine failures or causes of engine downtime are related to coolant or cooling system failures? Extended Life Coolants (ELCs) have been specially designed to deliver better protection in heavy-duty on-highway diesel engines than traditional coolants at a lower overall cost. The inhibitors in ELCs help maximize heat transfer and help protect metal surfaces against corrosion in the cooling system.
Using the correct ELC, along with recommended coolant maintenance practices, can help avoid many cooling system problems and achieve optimum performance levels. There are several types of Heavy Duty ELCs that a user can select to help ensure superb engine cooling system protection:
- Extended Life Coolant with Nitrite (Ethylene Glycol based): First developed in the mid-1990s and introduced by Caterpillar for all their engines as factory fill, this is the most common Heavy Duty ELC found in the market in both trucks and off-highway equipment.
- Extended Life Coolant – Nitrite Free (Ethylene Glycol based): These have been more commonly associated with European Heavy Duty trucks, but their use is expanding in North America by OEMs that have European-based ownership. They provide good protection, but don’t provide liner protection equivalent to that of ELC with nitrites.
- Extended Life Coolants (Propylene Glycol Based): These are formulated the same as the above coolants but have a non-toxic propylene glycol base. Crucially, these can be used in operations where there are environmental concerns or where contact with humans or animals is possible.
- Extended Life Corrosion Inhibitor (Water Based): These provide the best heat transfer performance and the full benefits of ELC performance when freezing temperatures are not an issue. These are mainly found in warmer climates or in marine applications where the engines are not exposed directly to freezing weather.
Read a more detailed version of this article in Chevron Lube Matters.
Maintaining your engines is only one component of a vehicle operating at prime efficiency.
Chevron has a full line of products proven to keep your vehicles running at optimum performance, including engine oils, coolants and antifreezes, greases, gear lubricants, and transmission fluids. And they are all covered by the Delo Warranty Plus program and meet your OEM requirements, which provides bumper-to-bumper protection against any lubricant and coolant related failures.
After all, when all is said and done, we share the same goal – keeping your trucks on the road – because if they’re not on the road, they’re not making money.
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Watch to see who wins round 2 of the ultimate tug of war!
So you are checking your equipment’s coolant system on a regular basis when it comes in for maintenance. Are you also conducting deeper system diagnostics once a year?
While these tests are more intensive than the regular system checks, they provide more comprehensive insight into your coolant system’s health. Annually, you should:
- Take a coolant sample and send it to an approved Lubewatch lab (or other oil analysis program) for testing.
- Perform a cooling system pressure test.
- Track all of your results over time. If you start noticing deterioration, change your coolant.
You should also implement systems in your shop to make sure that you’re servicing engines promptly and correctly. Here are some things you can do:
- Place labels in all of the vehicles in your fleet identifying the type of coolant in their system. (Chevron’s Smartfill labels are a good option.)
- Determine how often your cooling system and coolant need to be checked, in accordance with OEM recommendations.
- Ensure that you are storing your coolant appropriately given your level of use. If you mix coolant with water on site, make sure the water meets OEM and coolant manufacturer requirements.
Proactively monitoring and maintaining your coolant systems will help to reduce the chance of diesel engine failure, and will save you maintenance and downtime costs. Chevron has developed a coolant maintenance kit named Kool Tools to help you develop your own best-in-class program. Contact us to find out how you can get one.
Read a more detailed version of this article in Delo Lube Matters.
Chevron’s Delo Extended Life Coolant has a solid reputation for long life, value, protection and a better return on investment. This market-leader is used or recommended by many of the world’s leading passenger car, commercial truck and off-highway equipment manufacturers. What makes Delo ELC the best choice for your vehicle?
Here are some of the facts about Delo ELC:
1. Longest service claims
2. Longest service history
3. Leading heavy-duty ELC in America
4. Leading heavy-duty ELC formulation used by North American OEMs
5. Leading heavy-duty ELC formulation used by North American fleets
6. Long service life can save money
When you purchase Delo ELC, you can be sure you are receiving a technologically advanced product to protect your equipment and allow it to go further as a result of decreased wear on engine components. In heat transfer tests, Delo ELC stands out among the competition. Delo ELC is silicate free, and contains nitrites that provide for cavitation protection in HD diesel equipment.
Competitor ELC products:
* May contain silicates that impede effective heat transfer
(Delo ELC does not)
* May use Aromatic OAT which can compromise thermal
stability leading to corrosion (Delo ELC does not)
Delo ELC leads the industry in longest service life:
750,000 miles. For even longer service of 1,000,000 miles, just
add Delo Extender at 500,000 miles.
Competitor ELC products only last 600,000 miles.
Protects the Most Trucks:
Delo ELC is the leading heavy-duty ELC in North
America AND the leading factory fill choice of US
heavy-duty truck OEMs including Volvo, Western
Star, Mack, Kenworth, Freightliner, and Peterbilt.
When you use Delo ELC you are making an investment in your equipment that will pay dividends in the future. Let one of our lubrication specialists show you how much you can benefit by using this superior product.
Delivering Value Through Improved Fuel Economy
Up to 3.6% improvement vs. SAE 15W-40 oils in on-road testing for class 6 trucks and up to 1% improvement vs SAE 15W-40 in on-road testing for class 8 trucks.
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Are you a Severe Duty operator? Take the test to find out!
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