The Drive for Greater Fuel Efficiency in Engine Lubes

by on March 11, 2016 6 Comments

ManwithFuelNozzle_Blog_03116When you see one of the new 2017 trucks later this year, take a look under the hood. And keep in mind the old adage about not judging a book by its cover. From all appearances, that sleek new diesel will look pretty much the same as the one it replaced. But don’t be fooled. Under the shiny new paint, this is definitely not your father’s heavy-duty diesel engine.

Changes to engine designs began more than 14 years ago as a result of new federal emissions standards, which led to a steady stream of new technologies. The ensuing alphabet soup – EGR, DPF, DEF, SCR— has now been boiled down to two acronyms: GHG and MPG.

Federal GHG (Greenhouse Gas) standards and MPG improvements for trucks first went into effect in 2014 with the next set of even tougher standards going into effect January 2017.

Fuel consumption has long been a major concern for truckers. Today, you can take any number of proven measures for keeping fuel economy high and costs low, like aerodynamic devices, low rolling resistance tires, automatic tire inflation systems, idle management strategies and driver training on fuel saving practices.

Looking ahead to 2017, truck and engine manufacturers are confident they will meet the GHG standards with a series of integrated engine-transmission-rear axle packages, electronic controls with features that reduce drag and manage torque more efficiently, and even solutions that promote proactive maintenance to keep trucks running in optimal condition.


Enter CK-4 and FA-4

As you probably have heard by now, heavy duty engine oils are playing an increasingly important role in improving fuel economy. In fact, the new performance category of heavy duty engine oils slated for release in late 2016 – formerly called PC-11 – is being developed in a large part for that reason.

Fuel economy has been one goal of diesel engine oils for a long time, but now it is a greater focus than ever. PC-11 has now been split into two categories: API CK-4 and API FA-4. API CK-4 is designed to meet the requirements for new engines that conform to the new GHG standards, but is backward compatible with existing engines as well.  API FA-4 is considered the “fuel efficient” category for new, lower-emission diesel engines. It will not only meet all the other API performance requirements, but also will provide the potential for improved fuel economy.


You Don’t Have to Wait for Tomorrow

Between now and the arrival of these new categories, there’s no reason you can’t take advantage of the fuel saving properties of premium engine oils starting today. Lower viscosity diesel engine oils have been proven to help cut fuel consumption. Their ability to flow faster, especially at lower temperatures, helps boost MPG.

Truck and engine OEMs and fleets have already taken notice of this benefit. As early as 2013, some manufacturers made SAE 10W-30 viscosity grade engine oils their preferred factory fill standard for Class 8 trucks.

There’s no reason to wait until 2017 to consider engine oils as part of a fuel saving and cost reducing strategy. To learn more about the future of engine oils click here.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

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.

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1.' Buddy Balliew says:

    Good information for all fleet owners!!

  2.' Troy Clark says:

    I was having ongoing EGR problems and finally replacing it in my 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD several years ago. The service tech said I was not using the proper oil. At my next oil change I went to Delo LE 400 Synthetic 5W40 and have not had any problems since. I have since switched my Diesel tractor over to the same oil. Thanks for your excellent products.

    •' Travis says:

      LMAO. EGR has nothing to do with the engine oil. The dpf is what requires the low ash oil.

      •' Troy Clark says:

        Delo 400 LE Synthetic SAE 5W-40 is an API CJ-4 heavy
        duty engine oil specifically formulated for 2007 Exhaust
        Gas Recirculation (EGR) with Diesel Particulate Filter
        (DPF) and 2010 EGR with DPF and EGR/Selective
        Catalytic Reduction (SCR) with DPF low emission
        engines. It is fully compatible with previous engine
        models and previous API Oil Service Categories. It
        delivers value through:

        This is why I selected Chevron! for my Jeep CRD Travis.

  3.' David Crosby says:

    Awesome info for tech and owners. Allot of changes go i ng on all relms of vehicle world.

  4.' Jim C says:

    2011 Ram 2500 SLT 6.7, 88k. Going to move up to Delo Synblend next change. Been Delo 400 til now. No problems EGR may get a cleaning also.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *