Shell launches lube tour

| October 11, 2010

Shell Lubricants is touring eight U.S. cities through Oct. 28 to educate fleet owners and maintenance managers about products and related service capabilities.

At the tour’s start Oct. 5 in Philadelphia, Dan Arcy, Shell Lubricants’ technical marketing manager, discussed fleet maintenance problems, including a few routine maintenance procedures required on 2010 equipment. He also discussed classic mistakes fleets make in caring for their vehicles inefficiently.

For example, one fleet paid more for ELC (Extended Life Coolant), but failed to train its technicians in ELC’s minimal maintenance requirements, Arcy said. They continued to check for and add Supplemental Coolant Additives (SCA), which are only needed with conventional coolant.

ELC is more expensive initially, but coolant-related maintenance is greatly reduced. This includes occasionally checking antifreeze strength and adding an extender. These procedures are less time consuming and need to be performed less frequently than the required addition of SCAs to conventional coolant.

Arcy also reviewed the construction and operation of selective catalytic reduction systems used on most 2010 diesels, and several simple SCR-related maintenance items. He emphasized the filter for the SCR tank must be replaced annually to prevent potential flow problems. Also, drivers must fill the diesel exhaust fluid tank periodically. He said that in most applications where the vehicle gets 6 mpg, the DEF tank will need refilling at about 7,500-7,600 miles.

Shell’s two semi-synthetic T5 engine oils, available in 10W-40 and 10W-30 viscosities, improve cold starts and reduce starter and battery wear, Arcy said. By reducing engine friction and the amount of energy required to power the oil pump, the 10W-30 version can save fuel. A test of medium-duty trucks with 2009 engines showed fuel savings of up to 1.6 percent.