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New Truck Oil Classification Education Campaign Begins

Posted: December 16, 2015

SAN RAMON, CA —  Late last week the ASTM International’s Automotive Lubricants Subcommittee approved the new Proposed Category 11 (API CK-4 and API FA-4) specifications for the next generation of heavy duty diesel engine oils to be licensed on Dec. 1, 2016. 

To help prepare the industry for the change, Chevron Lubricants, launched its PC-11 public education campaign dedicated to building awareness and clarity around PC-11, including to explain what the new oil classification category means to truck owners.

“Based on our research, awareness of the new category of oil is low, and among those who are aware, there is a lot of confusion,” said Shawn Whitacre, senior staff engineer of engine oil technology at Chevron Lubricants, and chairman of the ASTM Heavy-Duty Engine Oil Classification Panel, which is tasked with the final development of the PC-11 oil requirements. “Once those who rely on these oils are made aware of PC-11, and that the new category is actually two subcategories, there are a lot of questions and concerns. Now is the time to help the industry and our customers get ahead of the change and prepare for it.”

According to Chevron, the education campaign includes a new website, PC-11Explained.com, providing expert commentary, multimedia resources, news and insights on issues surrounding the new heavy-duty motor oil (HDMO) categories, including:

  • An ongoing video series of interviews with the Chevron Delo PC-11 leadership team answering questions and providing updates on PC-11;
  • A monthly column to dispel any and all misinformation around PC-11;
  • A weekly question and answer column to provide timely answers to pressing questions;
  • Webinars for end-users that offer insights and explanations to help them understand the basics about PC-11;
  • Customized information for those interested in on-highway related topics, as well as off-highway; 
  • Latest news on PC-11 within the media landscape; and
  • Links to other resources, news articles and commentary related to PC-11.

Why the Oil Change?

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced regulations intended to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions and mandate fuel economy improvements for medium and heavy-duty engines and vehicles.

Diesel engine design is undergoing a period of significant change to meet these requirements, and consequently heavy-duty engine oil is making an upgrade to its current oil category, API CJ-4. For the first time, a new category of heavy-duty engine oils will actually be two: CK-4 and FA-4. CK-4 (aka PC-11A) will be both backward and forward compatible. The second category, FA-4 (aka PC-11B), will be specifically for the new engine models.

These new categories will help in a number of ways, including:

  • Enabling new advancements in diesel engine hardware designs;
  • Increasing fuel economy through lighter viscosity grade and friction modifiers; and
  • Improving engine durability with new advanced additive chemistry and base oil selection.

The new API CK-4 and API FA-4 products are better oils,” said Whitacre. “They will better protect engines, provide better fuel economy, and reduce GHG emission compared to today’s oils. 

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