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PC-11: Overview of the upcoming API specification change

The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) heavy-duty diesel engine oil category (commonly referred to as "Proposed Category 11" or "PC-11") is designed to help reduce emissions and boost fuel economy. ExxonMobil wants you to be prepared for this industrywide change. Get all of the key facts below.

What is PC-11 all about?

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The development of a new oil category

PC-11 established two new diesel engine oil specifications – one with backward compatibility for older engine technology ("CK-4") and one for use with newer engine technology ("FA-4").

FA-4 oils aim to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CK-4 oils will be designed as direct replacements to current CJ-4 oils, offering enhancements in oxidation resistance, shear stability and aeration control.

How will PC-11 affect owner/operators and fleets?

Truck driver in front of black truck

Switching engine oils

PC-11 will not change the best practices that help drive the success of owner/operators and fleets. It’s also important to note that PC-11 will not affect every business in the same way.

Some owner/operators and fleets with older equipment may see only a small impact from PC-11 – switching their current CJ-4 oils to the enhanced CK-4 oils. In comparison, fleets with a combination of older and newer equipment may choose to stock both CK-4 and FA-4 oils until the older units are cycled out of the fleet.

Owner/operators and fleets operating newer equipment with advanced engine technology should follow original equipment manufacturer recommendations, but they also may decide to upgrade to FA-4 oils if they are looking to improve fuel economy. We anticipate that some owner/operators and fleets will want to be early adopters of both the advanced engine technology and high-performance FA-4 oils.

When will PC-11 arrive?

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The first release date is December 2016, although it’s likely that owner/operators and fleets may not see the new diesel engine oils until early 2017.

Where will PC-11 be applied?

Map of North America highlighting US, Canada and Mexico

North America

There will be a global impact to PC-11, but the primary applications are in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Why do we need a new oil specification?

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Emissions and fuel efficiency standards

New industry standards are calling for vehicle and engine improvements capable of:

  • Reducing carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Enhancing fuel efficiency.
  • Maintaining engine durability while improving oxidation resistance, shear stability and aeration control.

These improved engine designs will require commercial vehicle engine oils with performance capabilities far exceeding those of current CJ-4 oils.

How were the new oils created?

Close up of oil in a beaker in a lab

Research and development

The new diesel engine oils have gone through substantial research and development, ensuring the lubricant technology will meet new performance targets while improving engine wear protection. After being proven via extensive field testing, the new PC-11 (CK-4, FA-4) Mobil Delvac™ engine oils were announced on Sept. 20, 2016.

As of August 2016, we have accumulated more than 30 million miles of testing data on our CK-4 and FA-4 formulations. We are still accumulating more than 1.5 million miles a month of additional testing data with select fleet partners. Our current field testing includes about 200 trucks.

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