The industry has covered the technical implications of the new specification extensively, but it’s important to really understand how the spec change will affect fleets’ day-to-day maintenance and lubrication practices.
For example, fleets using CK-4 oils and FA-4 oils will need to implement two storage and dispensing systems and budget for the additional systems accordingly. Fleets will also need to prepare their tanks and engines before using new oils. Although the old oil can be mixed with the new oil (CJ-4 to CK-4 or CJ-4 to FA-4), a hot oil drain must be performed to help minimize residual oil or “hang up” during the drain. Note:
A best practice is to completely drain tanks before switching oils. However, if this is not possible, retaining up to 10 percent of the previous oil after the drain is acceptable.
To monitor both equipment and oil condition, ongoing used oil analysis should be performed based on the application and duty cycle of the vehicle. Initially, oil drain intervals may produce similar results. However, with the help of a lubricant expert, fleets can help maximize their oil drain interval using a data-driven approach, such as the ExxonMobil Optimized Oil Drain Interval (ODI) Process
Overall, the new engine oil category will provide fleets with important performance and protection benefits, and offer them the opportunity to help reduce fuel consumption.