engine oil

Is your truck getting the most out of its oil?

TORONTO, Ont. -- The last truck I owned was a 1991 Peterbilt 379 with a Detroit Series 60 engine. I had to change the oil in that thing every 10,000 miles (16,000 km). At about $200 a pop every time I pulled the drain plug, oil changes took a significant bite out of my maintenance budget. I'm not in a big hurry to buy another truck, but I have to say I'm envious of current truck owners who can get away with two or three oil changes per year -- in some cases, maybe only one.

New engine oil categories making the grade

SANTA BARBARA, CA - A new generation of engine oils is in the North American market, passing a battery of tests developed for specific engine brands. But the work of convincing buyers about related features and benefits continues. The transition from CJ-4 to CK-4 and fuel-efficient FA-4 categories has essentially been seamless, says Dan Arcy, Shell Lubricants' global OEM technical manager, referring to formulas that were officially released in December. The chemistry was driven by ongoing calls for longer drain intervals, better fuel economy, lower emissions, and increasing horsepower, after all. And these are hardly the engine oils that have flowed through pumps in years gone by. Oxidation stability had to improve to handle higher under-hood temperatures. When oil oxidizes, it becomes acidic and thickens, Arcy explained during a media briefing in California this week. At the very least, that shortens potential oil drain intervals.