The addition of the new API CJ-4 engine oil service category, which must be met by all motor oils used in EPA’07-compliant diesel engines, is creating hurdles for lubricant manufacturers-- especially the need for many fleets to stock two different engine oil blends.

“We saw similar issues when we switched from CI-4 to CI-4 Plus oils, but there’s never been anything as dramatic as this switch to CJ-4,” Walt Silveira, U.S. technical manager for Shell Lubricants, told FleetOwner.

“In 30 years, we haven’t experiences this dramatic a shift – and part of that is because, for the first time, we’re stocking two tiers of oils,” he explained. “In the past, when we introduced a new engine oil blend, we phased the old one out. Not so this time, as we will be producing both CI-4 and CJ-4 blends for some time to come.”

He stressed that adoption of CJ-4 will proceed slowlyuntil more fleets buy trucks equipped with ’07 engines. “Here’s the issue: ULSD (ultra low sulfur diesel) fuel has been out there for a year; so has CJ-4. But ’07 engines aren’t out there in big numbers yet,” Silveira pointed out. “And while CJ-4 is backward- compatible and is simply a better oil overall, fleets won’t buy it until they need it. So until more ’07 engines are purchased, fleets won’t go CJ-4 for their operation.”

Silveira, who is taking over as Shell’s “Answer Man,” noted that Shell plans to roll out a synthetic CJ-4 formulation this fall to broadest its CJ-4 portfolio. “It’s a benefit in cold temperature applications, especially for cold starts, and we need it so CJ-4 can meet all the different fleet needs out there.”