i got an e-mail from a friend in the OIL business (long read)
“BACKWARD COMPATIBILITY ” IN NEW ENGINE OILS ?
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News and views for the maintenance and mechanic trades
MUST READ COMPLETELY !
Now that I have your attention, please
bear with me…...This may seem to be
redundant, but anything worth repeating,
is worth repeating twice as the old saying
This newsletter is going to cover a
recently discovered subject matter of the
very most importance to everyone who
owns vehicles of any kind, be it, automotive,
trucking, construction equipment, etc.
The results are in with very dismaying
reports concerning the newest API engine
oil specifications, SM / CJ-4.
To put it very bluntly and to the point,
the newest specifications for both gas and
diesel have not been satisfactory for use
in engines prior to 2007.
In the past, when engine oils changed
formulation to meet the most up-to-date
specs, those formulas proved to be what
is known in the industry as “backward
compatible.” This simply means that the
year in which the oil met the new specs
and took effect for the new rating, it was
perfectly alright for use in older vehicles.
To my knowledge, at least over the past
22 years, there has never been a problem
with oil meeting backward compatible
The latest API specification, SM/CJ-4
does not seem to be working out to be
backward compatible, even though we
have been given assurances that it would
be. In a nutshell, this very well may cost
the owners millions upon millions of dollars
due to premature wear in both gasoline
and diesel engines.
The following will show you why the
GASOLINE SERVICE RATING “SM”
The newest gasoline engine oil service
classification is API: “SM.” One of the
primary reasons why the EPA wanted to
introduce this requirement was the concern
that for engines which burned a little
oil, the ZDDP (zincdialkylditiophosphate),
was poisoning catalytic converters.
The major automotive manufacturers
at first stated that there was no bona fide
data to confirm this theory, and even today,
it is still debatable. The government
calls for catalytic converters to have a
minimum useful life of 120,000 miles,
most catalytic converters have far surpassed
that mileage in use without having
an abnormal amount of failures due to the
ZDDP is the major anti-wear additive in
engine oil, it has been used for decades, it
is relatively inexpensive, yet very effective.
With the lowering of ZDDP in some
oils, almost nothing in some other oils due
to “additive drop-out conditions” (primarily
in semi-synthetic and some synthetic oils),
a devastating effect has occurred.
The first casualties of low-to-no ZDDP
took place in high-performance gasoline
and methanol fueled engines. One case
which I know of “flattened” three camshafts
within a two-month period in a race
Excessive valve train wear has also
been experienced with this oil.
Independent engine builders recognized
the problem almost immediately and
started recommending to the industries
they serve to use a “high-quality” oil with
zinc in it for anti-wear protection.
Most all of the majors, including those
who produce private label engine oil for
companies, such as for auto parts stores
have changed their formulations to meet
SM. You will see it on the shelves at the
stores, and from the oil jobbers.
DIESEL SERVICE RATING “CJ-4”
The newest diesel engine oil service
classification is API: “CJ-4,” sometimes
just referred to as “CJ.” The major cause
of change for this rating was to meet the
2007 Low-Emission Diesel Engines specifications.
The concern once again was
due to exhaust emissions. It had been
determined that on engines using a DPF
(diesel particulate filter), it would be
plugged up by the heavy metals in the
additive package of the engine oils which
were graded up to CI-4 plus. The newer
diesel emissions systems can reach temperatures
as high as 1,600ş F.
Heavy metal additives destroy the system.
Therefore any engine oil prior to CJ-
4 which is not formulated for these engines
should not be used.
According to the new specs for CJ-4,
the oil must contain lower levels of ZDDP,
Calcium and Phosphorous, it must also
not have a TBN any higher than 9. TBN
is a measure of the oil’* alkaline reserve,
which is used for fighting off the damaging
effects of acid.
Diesel oils which are formulated for
“Low-Emission Engines” when used in
pre-2007 engines has been reported as
having premature bearing wear in as little
as 10,000 miles. First showing up on the
Ford Power Stroke series 6.0 & 7.3 liter,
GM’* Duramax, and Dodge / Cummins
5.9 liter engines. Commercial truck and
heavy equipment application reports
have not yet come in, but if the precursor
is any indication, it doesn’t look good.
Furthermore, if any type of oil additive
is used to help the friction modification of
these oils, including molybdenum disulfide
, they will also poison the system in
THE BAD NEWS IS :
Hopefully, you will realize the gravity of
this situation. If you are involved in the
servicing of pre 2007 automobiles, trucks
or other equipment, you should continue
to use engine oil which is NOT rated “SM/
CJ-4.” More than likely it can be the
cause of premature wear in those pre-
2007 engines. Actually, as far as engine
wear is concerned, it could in fact also
cause more wear in the 2007 engines as
well, but you increase the possibility of
catalytic converter problems when the
engine gets to the point in which it starts
using a little oil if you use a pre– SM
grade. Personally, I would think this to be
minimal, and would rather replace a catalytic
converter than an engine.
Many engine builders when first realizing
the problem with wear in low ZDDP
oils started recommending the use of a
“good diesel oil” in gasoline engines. This
recommendation cannot be given any
longer unless the diesel specification is
CI-4 or previous, and has a full additive
package. If the oil is rated SM/CJ, you do
not have a full additive package for the
older engines. Generally if you see an oil
with a label stating “For Low-Emission
Engines”, it will NOT have a full additive
package which gives the full protection
needed for older engines.
You have now heard the bad news
about engine oil, as the old saying goes
“A word to the wise is sufficient.”
THE GOOD NEWS IS:
A completely unprecedented decision
concerning new engine oil specifications
by Southwestern Petroleum Corporation
with their SWEPCO brand 306 Supreme
Formula Engine Oil has been made. Usually
in the past when a specification rating
went into effect, they have been right in
there with the new specs and introduced
any changes in formulation into the product
when it was time to do so. However,
in this case, when the specs went into
effect last October, they had held back on
re-formulating to meet them.
I am very pleased to inform our valued
customers and prospects that we will continue
to provide swepco 306 Supreme
Formula Engine Oil with a full-bodied
additive package, rated at SL/CI-4 Plus
formula in the following weights: 10W30,
15W40 and 20W50. For engines requiring
5W30, it is rated SJ/CI-4. The TBN on
this oil is 10.3, vs. the newer 9.0 max for
diesel. The detergent, dispersant and antiwear
(zinc) levels are still higher than
most other oils on the market rated SL/
SWEPCO is not going to introduce a
SM/CJ product into the market until more
testing has been completed and they are
able to supply an oil which will surpass
the needs of the specification without sacrificing
the protection you have come to
rely on with SWEPCO lubricants.
In any case, it will not be a reformulated
“306” oil. The 306 will remain an
SL/CI-4 for pre-2007 engines. ~~~~~~◄
SWEPCO . . . . . . Solutions to Keep it Running since 1933
also this on a Porsche site (also a long read)
"Many Porsche repair shops have acknowledged that these newest SM and CJ-4 motor oils are not sufficient for protecting any Porsche engine. With longevity and the protection of vital engine components in mind, many shops are recommending the addition of GM'* EOS Engine Oil Supplement at every oil change. Shops that used to run M1 in their race cars have either switched to Mobil'* synthetic motorcycle oils or have resorted to using premium dino oills, such as Swepco 306 15w40 or Brad Penn Racing 20w50 oils, for their higher levels of protection. For most owners, the reduction in longevity of a catalytic convertor is a small price to pay considering the many thousands of dollars it costs to properly rebuild a Porsche engine."
i think i will start to use 1/2 bottle of GM'* Engine Oil Supplememental additive.