Lubricantssponsored by Shell ROTELLA T
Global Brand Manager
Mark Reed has been involved in the Canadian Automotive Aftermarket for over 30-years. He has held positions as a Retail Store Manager, Territory Sales Manager, National Account Sales Manager, and Regional Sales Manager. After a strong sales career he moved into marketing holding various roles from Product Manager, Brand Manager, and Director of Marketing to his current role for the last 2-years as Global Brand Manager Shell Rotella® for the Shell Global Lubricants division.
Engine Oil Additives
Q. What types of additives are in diesel engine oil and how do they work?
A. Additives represent 15 to 20 percent of a gallon of oil with the balance being high-quality base oil. Additive packages play a key role in helping to keep an engine clean and protected from varnish and sludge, as well as provide wear protection and protection from heat and acids. Key additives perform vital functions:
Anti-oxidants - Engine oils react with oxygen in the air forming organic acids. Oxidation causes an increase in oil viscosity, formation of sludge and varnish, corrosion of metallic parts and foaming. Anti-oxidants inhibit this oxidation process.
Anti-wear additives - Anti-wear additives prevent direct metal-to -metal contact between the engine parts as they lay down a protective, sacrifical film. The use of anti-wear additives results in longer engine life as they reduce wear and scoring of the engine.
Friction modifiers - Friction modifiers reduce friction in the engine, resulting in less fuel consumption.
Dispersants - Dispersants keep foreign particles present in oil suspended so they don’t form deposit build-up on engine parts.
Detergents - Detergents neutralize strong acids present in the oil and remove them from metal surfaces. Detergents also form a film on the metal surfaces preventing sludge and varnish from forming in high temperature parts of the engine.
Pour point depressants - Pour point is the lowest temperature at which the oil may flow. Wax crystals formed in mineral oils at low temperatures reduce their fluidity. Pour point depressants inhibit formation of wax particles, allowing the oil to flow at low temperatures on engine start-up.
Viscosity index improvers - Engine oil viscosity sharply decreases at high temperatures, which causes a decrease in the ability of the oil to lubricate properly. Viscosity index improvers keep the viscosity at acceptable levels, which provide a stable oil film even at increased temperatures.
Anti-foaming agents - Agitation and aeration of engine oil may result in formation of air bubbles or foaming in the oil. Foaming enhances oil oxidation and decreases its lubrication effect, causing oil starvation. Anti-foam agents prevent this from happening.
Properly functioning diesel engine oils help enhance fuel economy, prevent deposits and maintain proper flow and viscosity in hot and cold temperatures. On-road testing is important to understand how well diesel engine oil will hold up under extreme road conditions. Shell Rotella T Triple Protection® has been proven in more than 50 million miles of durability testing.
Q. What type of maintenance should I perform on my truck before spring?
A. Cleaning the outside of your truck from top to bottom, including underneath, will remove dirt and salt that can cause corrosion. Pay close attention to your lights, as the contacts can become corroded during harsh weather. Check all of your lights to ensure that they are working properly.
Don’t forget to change your windshield-wiper blades after a long winter. Consider using high-quality wiper blades such as Rain-X® Heavy Duty blades made for trucks.
Check air pressure and tire tread. Tires inflated to the proper pressure on any vehicle should help maintain fuel mileage and maximize tire life. On the steer axle, check to make sure the tires are wearing evenly across the tread. Uneven wear may indicate the vehicle needs alignment or that there is a problem with one or more suspension components.
Make sure your air filter is clean, as it can help improve the way your engine performs and can help increase fuel economy. Checking all fluid levels to ensure they are at the proper level is also very important. You may want to carry a spare fuel filter in case you need to replace your current one while on the road.
Also, change your oil at the proper interval. Shell Rotella® T Triple Protection® oils provide triple action to help control wear, deposits and emissions and continuously adapt to the needs of the engine for protection. Shell Rotella® T Triple Protection® demonstrates up to 38 percent lower iron wear in on- and off-road testing in late-model engines.*
Finally, clean out any debris from in front of the radiator and air intakes. Check inside the radiator to be sure you have the proper concentration (freeze point) of coolant. Maintaining the proper coolant level and concentration is important at any time of year. And consider converting to an extended life coolant, such as Shell Rotella® ELC. It requires less maintenance and helps keep your cooling system performing well.
* Compared to Shell Rotella® T 15W-40 CI-4 PLUS
Q. How important is it to regularly grease my truck?
A. Very important. One of the best ways to maintain your truck is to make sure it has been greased properly.
Did you know it takes approximately three pounds of grease to properly lubricate a Class 8 chassis and fifth wheel?
Here’s where you should grease: wheel bearings, kingpins, tie rods, slack adjusters, brake cams, suspension bushings, clutch release system and universal joints.
Many different types of greases are suitable, but they must all have certain properties in common:
- Grease must be usable from -40° F to 350° F
- Resist water washout
- Resist excessive oil bleed and softening due to mechanical action
- Protect against rust and corrosion
- Protect against wear under heavy loads
While we recommend following the guidelines of your truck’s manufacturer, here are general ones you should follow:
When applying grease through a grease fitting (zerk), be sure it’s clean. Also clean the end of the nozzle before starting. Apply the new grease until the old grease is forced out. But be careful not to use too much or apply under excessive pressure. Both of these can cause ruptures.
If the new grease fails to flush out the old grease, check the part for damage. If a fitting does not accept lubrication due to some kind of stoppage, replace it with a new fitting. Excess grease should always be removed from fittings and other surfaces.
There is a Shell Retinax® grease for centralized chassis lubrication systems, wheel bearings, fifth wheels as well as multi-purpose chassis greases. The greases provide excellent heavy load carrying ability, oxidation stability and rust protection. They meet the hard working conditions and stress of high temperatures, water wash-out, dirt and contamination.
So grease your truck regularly. And you’ll keep it on the road a long time.