DALLAS, TX — Chevron has introduced its new line of Delo 400 API CK-4 and FA-4 heavy-duty motor oils, after a five-year development phase, to be available on December 1. Initially there will be five CK-4 oils and one FA-4 blend, with another of the latter to follow in 2017. All of them are claimed to offer advantages over current CJ-4 products, some of them being very dramatic improvements.
The company will also be launching a new advisor service created to help customers select the best products for them by assessing their needs, analyzing their current lube choices, and developing a customized action plan specific to their operating conditions. Customers will definitely have questions, and this service will pair them up with Chevron product experts. The program will be expanded in 2017.
“This is a time of change in our industry,” said Doug Hinzie, Chevron’s VP, Americas Lubricants. “With the licensing of API CK-4 and FA-4 oils, our customers will have more choices than ever, so we are providing products and services to answer those questions,”
The new Delo 400 product line will be available in a variety of viscosities and will support both API CK-4 and FA-4 categories:
Delo 400 XSP SAE 5W-30 – Full synthetic meeting API CK-4
Delo 400 XSP SAE 5W-40 – Full synthetic meeting API CK-4
Delo 400 XLE SAE 10W-30 – Synthetic blend meeting API CK-4
Delo 400 XLE SAE 15W-40 – Synthetic blend meeting API CK-4
Delo 400 SDE SAE 15W-40 – Premium base oil meeting API CK-4
Delo 400 ZFA SAE 10W-30 – Synthetic blend meeting API FA-4
“We are seeing some of the longest drain intervals and best engine protection in our company history,” said Len Badal, global Delo brand manager. “Chevron is currently field-testing the new Delo products in more than 900 engines, across a range of OEMS and a diverse set of operating conditions, going beyond the many miles on the road, but also the most significant off-highway testing Chevron’s conducted for a new category change. These products have seen tens of thousands of hours of testing across nine different industries, including trucking, construction, agriculture, mining, inland marine, and much more.”
The new oils have undergone more extensive testing than any previous family of Chevron engine lubes, according to Shawn Whitacre, senior staff engineer for lubricant technology.
The results look impressive, like 20% improved oil oxidation resistance and 50% reduction in wear compared to today’s CJ-4 equivalents for Delo 400 XSP 5W-40 synthetic.
Delo 400 XLE 15W-40 Synblend is said to be the first 15W-40 to meet Mercedes’ stringent MB228.51 piston cleanliness requirements, not to mention extending drain intervals 25% further than the maximum OEM-published limits.
The most popular of the new oils is likely to be Delo 400 SDE 15W-40 Premium Conventional, and it’s said to offer a whopping 38% improvement in wear performance and 20% increase in total engine life to rebuild compared to CJ-4 oils.
These gains, says Chevron, are the result of the next generation of its ISOSYN technology — ISOSYN Advanced — a combination of formulation expertise, high performance additive chemistry, and premium base oils. It’s said to enable increased durability through better oxidation control, anti-wear protection, and piston control compared to API CJ-4 oils.
Chevron, incidentally, creates additives in its own subsidiary company.
Unique packaging will be used to help avoid confusion: CK-4 oils will have red caps while FA-4 will have yellow, with additional identifiers on the labels.
That raises the matter of backward compatibility. It’s not an issue for the CK-4 lubes, but that’s not obviously the case for the FA-4 blend — which is a thin, low-viscosity oil especially designed for 2017 and later engines that focus on extreme efficiency and high fuel economy. In fact, engine makers have been generally slow to clarify their positions, given that much testing is required. Chevron says some 2017 engines will get an FA-4 factory fill, but it might be several years before we full acceptance of it. Stay tuned.
One thing’s for sure, Chevron says: FA-4 lubes will likely never be approved for EPA-07 and earlier engines.
The company also says its existing Delo CJ-4 products will continue to be available as long as there is market demand. There are off-road and on/off-road operators who simply don’t need to care about the coming category change. Chevron won’t force the change, fearing it might be perceived as a ploy to raise prices.
The company launched an education campaign at the end of last year to help with the transition to API CK-4 and FA-4 (formerly known as PC-11), which included a website (pc11explained.com) that described the two new oils, providing news articles, information, blogs, and answers to the most common questions. There’s now a new website, which includes a section on API CK-4 and FA-4 to educate and prepare the industry for the transition. See chevrondelo.com.