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New oil classifications are close: lubricant experts

SARNIA, Ont. -- Thanks to ever tightening environmental standards and the resulting demands placed on an engine's o...


SARNIA, Ont. — Thanks to ever tightening environmental standards and the resulting demands placed on an engine’s oil, a new classification is close to becoming reality in about one year’s time.

“The 2007 requirements are like trying to find fly poop in a pile of pepper,” says Clinton Smith, a technical advisor in Imperial Oil’s automotive lubricants research department. That’s how clean diesel exhaust will be following the October 2002 round of cuts to nitrates of oxygen (NOx) and particulate matter emissions levels.

But in order to get to that level, Smith says most engine makers will be employing some form of cooled exhaust gas recirculation, commonly referred to as EGR. The problem is the new combustion techniques will result in more heat and potentially harmful contaminants being force on the engine oil.

Higher performance requirements will bring with them new, more stringent classification regimes. The current benchmark — API CH4 — will be replaced by API CI4, explains Smith. As well, both Mack and Cummins designations will be retooled and badged MackEO-N and CE20078 respectively.

Premium designations are also expected for oils going above and beyond the base levels in any of the three certification criteria.


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