Meeting the challenge

| January 23, 2007

Obviously, you’re going to run any vehicle with a DPF on ULSD no matter what unless you need some LSD to get you to the next truckstop. EPA regulations make it unlawful to use LSD in a truck with a DPF. So if a public official caught you misfueling a new truck, you might get fined.

But what if you are running a 2006 or earlier vehicle without a DPF? LSD will be around until Jan. 1, 2010, at least in limited quantities. Especially if you can get LSD regularly, and you are running an older vehicle, it would be perfectly OK to use it and would save you money.

In spite of the potential cost savings, there is a strong case for running ULSD anyway. When it comes to preventing wear and optimizing oil change intervals, running ULSD and the new CJ-4 oil is the hot setup.

The reason is that CJ-4 oil is much, much better for your engine, whether it’s old or new. However, it actually works better with ULSD than with LSD, and running the higher sulfur fuel may compromise its performance just a little.

The issue here is not what the fuel does to the engine, but what it does to the oil. The factor that limits when you need to change your oil varies depending upon how you operate and what kind of oil you use. However, if you use oil analysis, and one of the big factors in determining your change interval is TBN content, chances are pretty good that using ULSD might allow you to extend your oil changes, especially when you run an older vehicle. Older engines put less stress on the oil than 2007 engines.

CJ-4 oil is licensed by ASTM, the organization that approves engine oils only after they pass strict tests, to be backward compatible with CI-4. It will work even if you run LSD. However, most CJ-4 oils have a slightly reduced Total Base Number. TBN additives normally create ash. The new oil had to have less ash in it to extend the maintenance intervals for the DPF (See the July 2006 Truckers News for more information about DPFs). The reduction in TBN is very small and, with some oils, TBN may actually be the same, so it’s fine to use CJ-4. Jim McGeehan, Chevron’s global manager of diesel engine oil technology, headed the ASTM committee that determined what tests CJ-4 would need to pass. He suggests consulting with your engine manufacturer to determine your change interval if you want to switch to CJ-4 and go on using LSD. You may have to change a little more often.

The point is: CJ-4 is a super oil. It is so good that McGeehan said in our November 2006 issue that CJ-4 gives “verified longer wear in the field.” Chevron touts 38-50 percent less wear on various parts in comparing its CJ-4 with the earlier CI-4. Running CJ-4 and ULSD will guarantee you’ll be able to give your engine maximum protection while also getting the longest possible oil change intervals and, if you don’t use oil analysis, having the fewest worries about how long those intervals can be without causing unnecessary wear.

For More Information:
American Petroleum
(202) 682-8000

ExxonMobil Corp.
(800) 375-4328

Shell Oil
(713) 241-6161

(925) 842-1000

Travel Centers of America
(888) 982-5528

Petro Stopping Centers
(915) 779-4711

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