SACRAMENTO. Shell Lubricants has announced that it will continue offering CI-4 Plus oils for older engines after it introduces its new CJ-4 oil for 2007-spec diesel engines in July. The new oil formulations are backward-compatible with all older diesel engines and will provide significant performance advantages over the current CI-4 Plus oils, but will also carry a price premium, company officials said here at a press launch for its new Rotella T with the CJ-4 classification.

Targeted at small- to medium-fleet users, as well as owner-operators, the new Rotella T will be available in bulk and drum quantities on July 1. Quart, gallon and pail quantities won’t be on the market until Oct. 15, which is the first day the American Petroleum Institute (API) will allow its CJ-4 specification “donut” label to appear on packaging. The older CI-4 Plus Rotella T will only be sold in bulk and drum quantities after Oct. 15.

Shell’s large-fleet brand Rimula will also be offered in both API classifications – the CJ-4 Rimula Super and CI-4 Plus Rimula Premium. Again, the new spec version will be available in bulk and drum quantities on July 1 and in jugs on Oct. 15. The older formulation will be offered in bulk quantities only.

In addition to meeting the API’s CJ-4 specifications, Shell’s 2007-spec oils have already been certified as meeting additional engine-manufacturer oil requirements from Caterpillar, Cummins, Mack and Volvo, as well as draft specification requirements from Detroit Diesel.

The new Shell oils required the most significant chemistry changes in almost 30 years, according to Dan Arcy, technical marketing manager, Transport Lubricants. In particular, they have to be able to handle higher operating temperatures and soot levels in 2007 low-emissions diesels, he said.

Although fleets can choose to continue using older oils in pre-2007 engines, “they must use CJ-4 in the new ones” to avoid plugging aftertreatment systems with soot and perhaps voiding warranties, he said. Despite the premium for the new oils, improvements in wear protection and the possibility of extending drain intervals also could make Shell’s CJ-4 oils cost-effective for older engines and simplify inventory management, Arcy said.

Preparing bulk storage tanks for the new oil requires draining them completely “and cleaning them if at all possible” before refilling with CJ-4, Arcy said. He also pointed out that blending used motor oil with diesel fuel would “no longer be acceptable with the new engines.”

More information on the new Shell CJ-4 oils is available at www.rotella.com