New diesel engine oils hit shelves Thursday

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API developed two visually different API Service Symbol Donuts so that consumers can easily distinguish between the two categories. The API CK-4 (above) Donut will look the same as the current CJ-4 Donut.API developed two visually different API Service Symbol Donuts so that consumers can easily distinguish between the two categories. The API CK-4 (above) Donut will look the same as the current CJ-4 Donut.

The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) new diesel engine oil standards – API CK-4 and FA-4 – will hit store shelves and bulk tanks nationwide Thursday.

Earlier this year, API’s Lubricants Group approved the new API CK-4 and FA-4 specifications – previously widely referred to as PC-11 –  to address the needs of modern engine technologies and to help diesel engine OEMs meet increasingly stringent emissions requirements.

Kevin Ferrick, senior manager of API’s engine oil licensing and certification system, says the time between last winter’s approval of the categories and the first licensing Dec. 1 gave large, medium, and small oil marketers the ability to test their new formulations and get them ready for market.

API CK-4 oils will replace current API CJ-4 engine oils, the formulation most widely available today. It is backward compatible with most applications where engine manufacturers currently recommend CJ-4 and will provide a number of improvements over CJ-4, including improved shear stability, oxidation resistance and aeration control.

The new API FA-4 Donut features a shaded section to differentiate API FA-4 oils from CK-4 oils.The new API FA-4 Donut features a shaded section to differentiate API FA-4 oils from CK-4 oils.

API FA-4 oils will provide similar improvements over CJ-4 oils, but are only intended for use in newer on-highway diesel engines. FA-4 oils will have limited or no backward compatibility with on- and off-highway diesel engines where engine manufacturers recommended CJ-4, but are expected to play an important role in some current and new diesel engines by protecting those engines and at the same time helping them meet more stringent emissions requirements. To date, Detroit Diesel is the only OEM to announce they would factory fill 2017 model year and newer engines with FA-4 oils.

Ferrick notes that CK-4 and FA-4 oils are designed for different applications and advises technicians and consumers to check owner’s manuals or with engine manufacturers to determine which oil is right for their vehicle.

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