Starting in December 2016, you will begin to see a new category for heavy-duty engine oils (HDEO) and if you own, or plan on purchasing equipment with a diesel engine, this could affect you. The new categories will be CK-4 and FA-4, and will supersede the current CJ-4 category released in 2007.
Over the past few years, diesel engine and emission technology has moved evolved in leaps and bounds. It only makes sense the HDEO technology evolves with it. That is why the API has tasked oil manufactures to create a new oil that meets the needs of these new engines and vehicles. The main drivers for these changes are things we have been talking about for years; fuel-efficiency and lower emissions as well as higher operating temperatures in newer engines. These new oils will be different from the current CJ-4 oils in three key aspects, improved fuel economy, shear stability and oxidation stability.
Another noticeable change is we now have two categories instead of one. The reason for this we need an oil that will be able to be used in current generation engines and one that we will be able to use going forward in next generation engines. That means CK-4 will be a direct replacement for the current CJ-4 spec. You will be able to use the same viscosity grades and types of oil you are currently using in any diesel engine. FA-4 will be offered in lower viscosity grades to help increase fuel economy without sacrificing protection. The new FA-4 oils will not be a replacement for the CJ-4 oil but will be mainly used in newer, “next generation” engines.
Shell Rotella has led the way in developing these new categories of HDEO and they have produced great educational material about the upcoming changes.
For additional information, please view the following links: