Explaining the new PC-11 oil categories

by on November 5, 2014 4 Comments



In the near future, lower viscosity engine oil grades will replace SAE 15W-40 as the main products used by truckers. Almost all new diesel engines for on-road trucks are being factory filled with API CJ-4 SAE 10W-30 Heavy Duty Motor Oil (HDMO). 7 of the 10 largest trucking fleets in the country have switched to SAE 10W-30 to take advantage of better fuel economy and continued engine protection. The adoption of SAE 10W-30 has even hit medium and smaller fleets looking to minimize fuel costs and remain competitive with larger fleets.

In 2016, the second phase of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) greenhouse gas emission reduction rules will come into effect. The oil industry is developing a new category of lower-viscosity diesel engine oils as part of the upcoming Proposed Category 11 (PC-11) oils that will offer even better fuel economy, along with superb engine protection against wear, oxidation and deposit buildup. ASTM, EMA and API committees are overseeing the development of the new PC-11 engine oil standards, so owners and owner operators can be confident that these oils will  provide appropriate protection while providing additional fuel economy performance over current API CJ-4 SAE 10W-30 and SAE 5W-30 oils.

PC-11 will have two categories of HDMO engine oils for the SAE xW-30 grades (such as SAE 5W-30 and SAE 10W-30):

PC-11A will be backward compatible with API CJ-4 and API CI-4 PLUS oils. These new oils can be used with older and newer engines in mixed fleets regardless of the oil viscosity. PC-11A oils will have a minimum High-Temperature High-Shear (HT/HS) viscosity of 3.5 cPa and are expected to be designated as API CK-4 at first licensing, currently targeted for December 1, 2016. PC-11A oils will cover SAE xW-30 and SAE xW-40 viscosity grades.

PC-11B will define new low HT/HS oils, and will not be backward compatible with API CJ-4 and API CI-4 PLUS oils (as indicated by OEMs today). These oils will typically only be recommended by OEMs for use in model year 2017 diesel engines to take advantage of improved fuel economy while providing excellent engine protection. PC-11B will only cover SAE xW-30 viscosity grades and will have an HTHS viscosity between 2.9 and 3.2 cPa. They will be designated under a completely different API category at first licensing, currently targeted for December 1, 2016.

Continued education for fleet personnel will be important to ensure understanding how OEMs will adapt to this new category of oils. As always, customers should be sure that they understand the new categories, along with their own fleet make-up, so they can identify the correct application of PC-11 oils. Questions? Contact us to learn more.

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About the Author ()

Leonard has worked over 25+ years in the Lubricants Business in sales, product line, training, and solutions focus with over 14+ years with Chevron Lubricants. He is Chevron’s Global Commercial Brand Manager overseeing the Delo Brand and product line strategy for Heavy Engine Oils, Coolants, Greases, and Automotive Gear Oils within Chevron’s family of lubricants brands. He has developed and led Chevron lubricants HDMO and Driveline strategy into low viscosity leadership with the launch of several key fuel efficient Chevron Delo branded products. He also is the Global Project Manager responsible for Chevron’s Delo PC-11 product launch into the North American, European, Africa & Middle East, and Asia Pacific Markets for the future. Leonard is a member of STLE and SMRP and holds several certifications including Certified Maintenance Reliability Professional (CMRP); Certified Lubrication Specialist (CLS); Oil Monitoring Analyst (OMA); Machinery Lubricant Technician (MLT); and Machinery Lubricant Analyst (MLA). He has also written over 35+ articles for various publications in relation to reliability, coolants, greases and heavy duty engine oils. Recent articles including “Breaking the Myths and Superstitions about Total Base Number”, “Coming Changes for Customers with PC-11” and a recent featured article in STLE Tribology & Lubrication Technology Magazine – “The Challenges of PC-11 – Q&A with Chevron Lubricants Leonard Badal”

Comments (4)

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  1. Dsegretti@aol.com' Don Segretti says:

    Will the new engines be much different? How much will the oil assist in fuel economy? Are changes to passenger engines/oil going to follow?

  2. mr_dollar_man@yahoo.com' Seow cheehui says:

    Hi, interested to learn more.

  3. parsonst@usf.edu' Todd says:

    What’s the TBN of the PC-11A and PC-11B?

  4. Shawn Whitacre says:

    The TBN of heavy-duty motor oils will vary depending on the specific product, but you will find that PC-11A and PC-11B oils to have similar TBN to today’s API CJ-4 oils.


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