In order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and keep up with federal regulations, engine manufacturers may need to lower the viscosity of heavy duty engine oils across the entire trucking industry, according to Shell Rotella.
The company’s representatives discussed the future of heavy duty engine oils for the trucking industry and why a change is needed at a press event in Hamburg, Germany, at the end of August.
Lowering the viscosity, or thickness, of engine oil increases gas mileage and the change will also help engine manufacturers meet stringent federal laws regarding emissions and increased vehicle fuel economy.
However, the change wouldn’t be a simple one. The trucking industry depends on the standard 15W-40 oil it uses now to keep the vital parts of an engine well-lubricated and working properly without decreasing the overall engine life.
Since 2011, the American Petroleum Institute (API) has been developing a low viscosity oil as part of a new engine oil category, simply referred to as Proposed Category 11 (PC-11). The new category was created because of the necessity to find an oil that could increase fuel efficiency and reduce engine emissions.
The hope is that the new category will also present engine oils that can handle increased engine temperatures while also preventing shearing and oil aeration through the improved ability of oxidation.