Next-gen oil category nears completion

Updated Nov 19, 2015

Shell’s Dan Arcy told attendees at CCJ’s 2015 Fall Symposium that PC-11, the next commercial vehicle grade motor oil that will be introduced in conjunction with 2017 emissions-compliant engines, is nearly ready to be introduced into the marketplace. Arcy is chairman of the American Petroleum Institute committee developing the new PC-11 category.

In fact, the new oil is undergoing its final authorization steps and is on schedule to receive its first licensing in December of 2016.

More notable is decision on nomenclature for the new oil, which will be offered in two different formulations.

Arcy said the new category development team decided the logical naming sequence was to build on the old CJ-4 classification. Therefore, PC-11A, the formulation that will replace SAE 40 weight oils, will be classified as CK-4. PC-11B, which will replace SAE 30 and 30 weight oils and lighter will be designated as FA-4.

FA-4 oils generally are thinner than conventional grades, in keeping with the industry’s efforts to decrease vehicle emissions while increasing fuel economy. Arcy says testing has confirmed that the new oils will deliver fuel economy boosts from 2 to 4 percent, depending on engine and application.

The new oil will be backward compatible, meaning that it will be perfectly acceptable in older engines (i.e. engines currently on the market and running in fleets). CK-4 will be the backward compatible bend, engineered to “preserve traditional heavy-duty engine oil criteria.” FA-4 will be the specified oil for all 2017 generation engines. It is designed to deliver fuel economy benefits while maintaining expected levels of engine protection and durability.