Mobil2 Photo: Sean Kilcarr/Fleet Owner
ExxonMobil's Paul Cigala

ExxonMobil unveils three new CK-4/FA-4 engine oils

Lubricant maker believes low viscosity FA-4 formulations will begin to “take hold” in the trucking market around 2019 or 2020.

ExxonMobil is introducing three new Mobil Delvac 1-branded full-synthetic heavy-duty diesel engine oils that meet either the CK-4 or FA-4 specifications developed by the American Petroleum Institute (API):

  • Mobil Delvac 1 ESP 5W-30 offers up to a 100,000-mile oil drain interval, with the potential to exceed that number, which is 10,000 to 15,000 miles beyond current CJ-4 and CK-4 intervals.
  • Mobil Delvac 1 Advanced Fuel Economy 5W-30 that offers improved fuel economy of up to 2.6% compared against mineral-based oils.
  • Mobil Delvac 1 ESP 5W-40, which is formulated for both on- and off-highway diesel-powered equipment.

Paul Cigala, commercial vehicle lubricants applications engineer for ExxonMobil, told Fleet Owner that while the premium price for a full-synthetic is two to three times that of a conventional mineral-based oil, the 100,000-plus mile change interval means fleets could up changing their oil three times less, the extra cost “evens itself out” with the added benefit of better engine wear protection, more time on the road, and less in the shop.

ExxonMobil noted that it conducted those extended oil drain tests using  Cummins ISX, Detroit Diesel DD15, Paccar MX-13 and Mack MP-8 engines.

The company added that its new oils can also provide benefits for fleets focused on reducing waste as well. For example, in lab testing, ExxonMobil said its new Mobil Delvac 1 5W-30 oils showed a 37% improvement in oil consumption when compared to a leading global CJ-4/MB 228.51 synthetic blend.

ExxonMobil said those results are based on the Caterpillar C13 Piston Deposit Test, which is what is currently prescribed to meet the API CK-4 specification.

The synthetic formulation of the new oil is also critical to sustaining fuel economy gains while to oil is within an engine, Cigala said.

“Synthetic means it is man-made; that means the molecules are more in line and uniform, and they don’t have the contaminants and waxes found in mineral-based oils, which is derived from crude oil,” he explained. “The goal is, if you keep the viscosity steady from start of use to when you drain it, the fuel economy benefit stays same the same over the life of the oil. Keeping that constant 2.6% to 3% gain is key.”

ExxonMobil said tests carried out by the Millbrook Group, a global independent vehicle test and validation provider, indicate that Mobil Delvac 1 ESP 5W-30 oil helps improve fuel economy up to 2.6% in city driving conditions when compared against conventional mineral-based oils.

That testing involved two Volvo FH500 6x2 Euro 6 trucks, loaded to 60% vehicle payload, on the track at the Millbrook Proving Ground in the United Kingdom.

Yet Cigala noted that fuel economy improvements are dependent on vehicle/equipment type, outside temperature, driving conditions and current engine oil viscosities.

Still, he stressed that when looking at a customer’s total cost of operation or “TCO” profile, when factoring lower consumption of engine oil, the need for fewer oil filters, fewer required “touches” on trucks for maintenance with longer oil drain intervals, the economics of switching to the new Mobil Delvac 1 oils can be “pretty strong” with a year’s time or less to gain a return on the investment in these new full-synthetic diesel engine oils.

“Our new oils offer fleet managers a big opportunity to grow their business by taking advantage of only a small portion of their budget,” Cigala stressed. “Use of these oils translates into less money spent on fuel and maintenance and more money to invest in other areas of their business that will help drive growth.”

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