Reformulated Motor Oil for '07 Diesels

By Heather Burlingame, Senior Production Editor | September 28, 2010

Shell CJ-4 Rotella T
Shell's CJ-4 Rotella T provides what the company refers to as "triple protection" to control wear, engine deposits and emissions. Designed for '07 diesel engines, the oil works for pre-'07 diesel engines and off-highway equipment, as well.
Valve injector screws
During the Cummins ISM engine test, valve injector screws showed less wear and scratching with CJ-4 Rotella T (right) when compared to another passing CJ-4 oil (left).

As ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel enters the pipelines, Shell announces its latest motor oil for heavy-duty diesel engines.

Rotella T meets the new CJ-4 category — a requirement for 2007 on-highway diesel engines — for diesel motor oil, as well as several OEM requirements for low-emissions diesel engines. CJ-4 oil can be used in pre-2007 engines, too. In fact, Shell recommends it, saying the CJ-4 oil provides increased performance over CI-4 Plus oil. Drain intervals remain the same. For fleet managers with on- and off-highway diesels, CJ-4 oil can be used for the entire fleet, says Shell.

It's acceptable (not necessarily recommended) to mix CI-4 Plus with CJ-4 oil, depending on the engine model and if it is a pre-2007 engine. New '07 engines, for example, must use CJ-4 oil, and it's safe to stick to CJ-4 for warranty purposes as well. However, if it is absolutely necessary to top off with CI-4 Plus oil, Shell recommends changing the oil as soon as possible.

Benefits of using CJ-4 Rotella T include what Shell calls "Triple Protection" technology, which helps control wear, deposits and emissions, according to the company.

Through 5.5 million miles of on-highway testing and laboratory tests, Shell figures that Rotella T provides an average of 50-percent more wear protection for valve-train components than CI-4 Plus oil. During Cummins ISM engine testing, the injector screws showed little wear, according to Shell.

To help keep sludge and deposits minimal, the new oil formulation contains 30-percent more ashless chemistry than the previous formulation. Rotella T also provides increased soot-related viscosity control, says Shell. The detergent system is designed to control high-temperature piston deposits and minimize blockage in the diesel particulate filter (DPF) in '07 engines.

Created to help '07 diesel engines meet the new emissions requirements, the DPF exhaust after-treatment device works as soot attaches to its wall and engine-oil ash sticks on its face. As with all filters, the DPF requires periodic cleaning, though the only standard of yet is the minimum of 150,000 miles required by the EPA.

Because a blocked DPF can cause higher exhaust back pressure, increased fuel consumption and loss of engine power, motor oil can become an important factor in reducing ash buildup in the DPF. Shell claims CJ-4 Rotella T does just that.

CJ-4 Rotella T became available in bulk and drums July 1 and will be available in quart, gallon and pail packages by Oct. 15. CI-4 Plus Rotella T will continue to be available in bulk and drums.

Shell plans to introduce another new heavy-duty diesel CJ-4 motor oil — Rimula Super — this year.