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What you need to know about next-gen engine oil

What you need to know about next-gen engine oil

Diesel engine oil is going to change dramatically in the next year few years, which will affect the buying options of anyone driving a diesel-powered pickup truck or operating equipment that uses diesel fuel.

To help you understand what the new oil, called the API PC-11 proposed category, will mean for you, lubricant supplier Shell Rotella has launched an interactive website called The website will cover topics such as the fundamentals of PC-11, impending changes, testing updates, and how it is expected to affect new, current and older engines when the category replaces API CJ-4 engine oils by 2017.

“PC-11 is a constantly developing specification and new information is available regularly to guide the industry through the expected changes,” said Kate Faucher, global marketing projects lead for Shell Lubricants, in a news release issued this morning.

The current category has been on the market since 2006. New engine designs and the government mandates to improve fuel economy and lower emissions have called for a thinner, cooler-running oil, which truck owners will need to adopt by 2017 to stay in regulatory compliance.

Farm Industry News had the chance to see the performance of the new PC-11 oils last summer as Shell Rotella did an engine teardown of a fleet of trucks that had run the oil. You can see our report here.

And also check out: Shell expert breaks down engine to show new oil's performance

Test results showed that the new oil was able to improve fuel economy without affecting the engine wear performance.

PC-11 is a lower viscosity oils are being developed.  Unlike past categories that are backward compatible with the previous category, the new category will have two subcategories, one that is backward compatible to older engines and one that will work with upcoming engine designs, as stated in the news release. It says education about both oils will be important to ensure seamless integration for every industry affected by this change.

“With two subcategories and new engine hardware tests, there will be lots of questions about how the oils will be formulated and which oil should be used for different applications,” said Dan Arcy, OEM technical manager for Shell Lubricants.  “As we formulate and test the new oils, Shell Lubricants can offer valuable resources to those operating diesel engines both on- and off-highway to support them through the transition over the next few years.”

Shell Lubricants belongs to a family of companies that supplying more than 13% of global lubricants volume. The companies manufacture and blend products for use in consumer, heavy industrial and commercial transport applications. Its brands includes Pennzoil, Quaker State, FormulaShell, Shell TELLUS, Shell RIMULA, Shell ROTELLA T, Shell SPIRAX and Jiffy Lube.

For more information on the upcoming PC-11 oil, visit Shell Rotella’s new website (

Also today, the company announced the release of Shell Rotella Extended Life Coolant - Nitrite Free (ELC NF), a companion to Shell Rotella Ultra ELC. Both products are designed to meet the requirements of a growing segment of commercial vehicles that are moving to nitrite free engine antifreeze/coolant formulations to better protect aluminum components.

States Stede Granger, OEM technical manager, Shell Lubricants, in a second news release issued today: “Shell Rotella ELC-NF was formulated to meet more severe operational conditions of modern, hot-running engines,” said.  “This is particularly important for new emission engines, especially those with exhaust gas recirculation.”

For more information on the new nitrate –free LC-NF coolant, visit

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