PC-11 Is for Off-Highway Use Too

by on February 23, 2016 0 Comments


You may have heard otherwise, but the fact is, the new category of heavy-duty diesel engine oils – Proposed Category 11 or PC-11 for short – was designed for BOTH On- and Off-Highway use.

The misinformation is most likely due to the fact that the new performance category will actually be a split category: API FA-4 and API CK-4. Both categories are designed to provide superior performance over the current category of oil – API CJ-4.

The API FA-4 category was specifically designed for improved fuel economy performance and will be designated for new model on-road heavy-duty diesel engines, which will be introduced in 2016/early 2017. This API category will not be suitable for use in off-road diesel equipment in the near and most likely longer term future.

However, the new API CK-4 category engine oils will be backward compatible with API CJ-4 and API CI-4 PLUS oils AND will meet the needs of new and older engines in both On- and Off-Highway applications.

The industry is confident that the new API CK-4 category oils will have no issue delivering the protection the less than new equipment needs because they are required to undergo nine stringent performance tests to meet qualifications. Seven of the nine are the same tests your current oils undergo to ensure they meet industry standards. Two new tests were added to ensure the new oils can stand up to the higher temperatures of newer engines:

  • Volvo T-13 oxidation test, an aggressive 360-hour evaluation of oil’s propensity to break down at high operating temperatures, which can cause it to thicken, foster corrosion and generate harmful deposits.
  • CAT C13A, an oil aeration evaluation to determine resistance to aeration, or the formation of air pockets that can be problematic in oil.

The new API CK-4 category oils will be available in a range of performance tiers, including conventional SAE 15W-40, Synblend SAE 15W-40 and SAE 10W-30, and full synthetic SAE 5W-40 and SAE 5W-30 grades – similar to viscosity grades that are available today for API CJ-4 oils.

While the new category of heavy-duty diesel engine oil will become available in December 2016, now is the time to start planning for the transition and understand the key benefits to your operation. One place to start is by an audit and evaluation of your current off-road diesel equipment and areas of lubricant performance improvement to help optimize equipment productivity. Understanding these items will be key in helping off-road diesel customers identify some of the performance and value that API CK-4 heavy duty motor oils can bring to their operations around increased oil drain intervals and extension of engine rebuild life.

To help better understand these benefits, contact a local Chevron Lubricant sales representative, Chevron Lubricant Marketer, or connect online to our PC-11Explained.com website for all the latest information.



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About the Author ()

Shawn’s career spans nearly 20 years focused exclusively on research and engineering dealing with heavy-duty engine lubricants, fuels, and materials. Before joining Chevron in 2013, he spent 12 years leading global fluids and materials engineering activities for Cummins. He also spent five years conducting lubricant, fuel, and emission research for the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO. At Chevron, he is a Senior Staff Engineer primarily responsible for product formulation of the Delo Brand of Heavy Duty Engine Oils. He is currently the lead formulator responsible for development of Chevron’s PC-11 product line upgrade. Whitacre is the new chairman of the ASTM Heavy-Duty Engine Oil Classification Panel, which is tasked with the final development of the Proposed Category 11 (PC-11) requirements that take effect in late 2016.


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