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API CK-4 and API FA-4 new oil categories

December 8, 2016  By Leonard Badal Jr.

Image: Chevron

December 8 , 2016 – The introduction of API CJ-4 back in 2006 was the last time a major commercial API oil category change took place and the end result led to exactly one product for heavy duty diesel engines – the 15W-40 motor oil. While customers could choose their preferred brand, there were really no choices beyond that.

How things have changed. Now that the PC-11 initiative has produced the API categories CK-4 and FA-4, independent truckers and fleet operators have more choices than ever in terms of viscosity grades, performance criteria and price points to meet their objectives. Chevron’s extensive new Delo 400 line of CK-4 and FA-4 oils is a prime example of the choices available to customers. Whether seeking greater fuel efficiency, longer oil drain intervals or improved startup performance, there is a new oil, which also offers long-term engine protection. Additionally, for those with a mixed fleet of older and newer engines, there is now an opportunity to upgrade to an oil that can satisfy the needs of both, while still delivering better wear protection.

Lower viscosity is the future
With the new oil categories, there is a trend toward lower viscosity as the wave of the future. No longer does lighter viscosity signify less protection. Today’s lighter weights can deliver the equivalent or even better wear protection than a CJ-4 15W-40 oil, along with significantly improved oil drain performance.

That said, not all oils of a given viscosity are alike. The major oil producers may have access to similar base oils and additives, but the formulating expertise that goes into creating the oils is what separates one oil from next. The situation is similar to the cooking shows on TV: two competing chefs have access to the same ingredients, but one of them is able to blend their base ingredients in such a way that their dish is more appealing than their opponent.


With thinner film viscosities, it takes a great deal of formulating expertise to achieve the same levels of protection as a 15W-40 grade product. Thinner film means less room for formulation errors. Along with the new Delo 400 products, Chevron recently unveiled the next generation of our ISOSYN technology – called ISOSYN Advanced Technology – which showcases Chevron’s formulating expertise combined with high-performance additives and premium base oils. In testing, ISOSYN Advanced Technology has demonstrated that it offers greater engine durability than CJ-4 oils with better wear performance, oxidation stability, piston deposit control and longer drain intervals.

In general, more choices is a good thing, but too many choices can be confusing. This is why Chevron has introduced a free advisory service to help customers make the best decision to meet their unique needs as they transition to CK-4 and FA-4 products. Through this service, Chevron’s advisors will conduct a free analysis of the equipment and business requirements to help determine the optimal oil for each customer’s needs. Please contact a Chevron Lubricants representative to learn more about this new program.

Leonard Badal Jr. is the global commercial brand manager for Chevron.

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