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Engine Oil Discussion - Brand, Intervals, Filters, etc.


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Isn't it time for a rehash on engine oil?  Absolutely! 

Do you change your oil based on time?  Are you a Delo man or is Rotella T6 the best thing since Egyptians invented grease?  It's a Ford vs Chevy thing . . . or is it?

OK, maybe not tested in a multi-million dollar materials lab but I do like the way Todd goes about testing materials.  Watch and learn:

Personally I'm sticking with Rotella T4 changed out based on mileage (not time) from the Cummins Representative recommendation during the 2022 Monaco Gathering. 

Let the oil slinging begin!

Project Farms has another video testing Lucas Red n Tacky vs Supertech (Walmart) grease.  Also enlightening.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMmSQSjraSE

- bob

PS - It's ok to keep your oil change practices or brand intact. 

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Annually.  Sometimes put 3K, other times, almost 10K.

Monaco got a kickback to use Texaco and tout or list in my manual

That specific product was no longer used in th USA….Foreign countries only.

Switched to Rotella T for a few years.

Then used and am using the Valvoline Blue 

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/valvoline-cummins-premium-blue-diesel-engine-oil-1-gal

This is the same oil that Cummins recommends and uses in their shops.  Walmart carries or stocks in some locations.  AutoZone also has it.

BTW….A few years ago it was $11.99 at TSC….and often on sale

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  • Tom Cherry changed the title to Engine Oil - Change Every 12 Months? BOGO - Which BRAND do you Prefer?

Back ( a life time ago) when I was involved in maintenance in the underground mines we changed oil on engine hours.  Initially it was 150 hours but then we adopted a oil testing program and eventually had enough history to extend the oil interval change to 200 hours.  This was reinforced with a number of consultants that we had in and out of the complex.   Mining in general is a pretty harsh environment especially on the equipment.   The 200 hours would accumulate quickly on the primary pieces of equipment, less then 11 days most of the time (6 hours per shift, 3 shifts per day = 18 hours per day).   But if you translate the 200 hours into miles at ~50 miles an hour it would exceed 10K miles.  With proper maintenance and some luck we could exceed 10,000 hours on and engine before rebuild ( I once saw 14K hours). 

The oil sampling was to check the health of the engine, looking for metals  AND any signs of dirt.  Silica was a big indicator of an air intake problem.  

So with that I decided to test my oil and extend my oil changes.  Last sample I sent in tested good and it had 2 years on it.  

Since Valvoline Blue lists Cummins right on the jug that's what I use. 

So let the mud slinging begin. 

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Should the oil filters also be in this thread?  My last ISX  engine always had low oil pressure at idle using Wix/NAPA Gold.  When I switched back to the Fleetguard oil filter the oil pressure increased to normal.

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When I purchased my 2008 Dynasty new in April 2007, it came with a DPF and was designed to run on Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel.  There was also a new Cummins Emission Solutions (CES) for engine oil.  The designation was CES 20081 (later updated to CES 20086).  At the time, there were very few oils available that met the new Cummins spec.  Shell Rotella T3 was one.  Since it was readily available at a good price from Walmart, that's what I used.  A few years ago, Shell Rotella T3 was replaced with Rotella T4. and that's what I now use today. 

Today there are a lot of oils meeting that standard to select from.  Here is a list of Cummins CES oil specs that I just pulled off the Cummins QuickServe web site.  Based on the engine you have (no EGR, with ERG, or with Aftertreatment), the oil you use should have the proper CES number listed on the container.

 

Cummins Oil.jpg

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Always Valvoline Blue except last spring I could not get 12 gal locally so I went with T5 that was available in that volume. Our trips are typically at least 4k miles so 8-12k miles calls for a change before leaving, once a year. I do oil test every time but change anyway. Using long Fleetguard filters LF9000.

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I do mine each year, regardless of miles. We do travel 5,000 or so each year. The spec is CK4. I buy it at Tractor Supply in five gallon buckets. This past Summer, it was on sale for $59 for a five gallon bucket. 
 

As far as I know, CK4 is CK4. Anyone counter that belief?

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7 hours ago, Doug and Nicki said:

I do mine each year, regardless of miles. We do travel 5,000 or so each year. The spec is CK4. I buy it at Tractor Supply in five gallon buckets. This past Summer, it was on sale for $59 for a five gallon bucket. 
 

As far as I know, CK4 is CK4. Anyone counter that belief?

According to Cummins, an API CK4 designation by itself is not sufficient.  However, our engines are so old and oils have gotten so much better with CK4 oils compared to the original engine build oil specs, in reality it doesn't much matter. 

Having said that, I never used an engine oil that didn't have the correct Cummins CES number on the label. 

Compared to an engine failure cost, for me deciding on an engine oil based only on say a CK4 rating alone is not good enough.  A CK4 oil MUST also have the Cummins CES 20086 spec on the label before I would use it in my engine today.  Years ago when CES 20081 was the Cummins recommendation, that's also what I used.  CES 20081 was close to an API CJ4 but back in 2007, not many CJ4 oils had the Cummins CES 20081 spec on their label.  Shell Rotella T3 did, so that's what I used for years until Rotella T4 replaced Rotella T3 with the new Cummins CES 20086 spec (having a spec closest to API CK4). 

If an oil has an API spec of CK4 and NOT a CES 20086 spec listed, I will NOT use that oil in my engine.  That also includes any oil additives without a specific reference to approval for use with Cummins CES 20086 engine oils.  Engine oil additives should not be used with any fully formulated approved engine oil and the use of them may actually cause more harm then good because of chemical interactions with the original oil additive package.

Cummins-Oil-Specification-Requirements-From-QSOL-Oct-2017.pdf

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  • Tom Cherry changed the title to Engine Oil Discussion - Brand, Intervals, Filters, etc.

Followup Frank's post about Cummins Specs....

FWIW....as a Cross Check on my "preference", Valvoline Premium Blue Part Number 773780, which I purchase at Tractor Supply. 

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/valvoline-cummins-premium-blue-diesel-engine-oil-1-gal

Took a little bit of clicking to get into the Valvoline Global Product Specification Portal.  But here is the Valvoline Specs

https://sharena21.springcm.com/Public/Document/18452/2842540d-5870-ea11-9c34-ac162d889bd1/afc1248c-5870-ea11-9c34-ac162d889bd1

Ok....if you go to the TSC Link and click on the pictures and the back of the container, I blew that up and attached the JPEG.

The 773780 Valvoline Part Number is the US One Gallon Container.  The 2.5 Gallon Container on the Tractor Supply webpage has a DIFFERENT NAME.

The Premium Blue 2.5 gal. Heavy-Duty Diesel 15W-40, 881173 

SO, if you use the Valvoline PN 881173 and go to this page and do the search.

https://pisheets.valvoline.com/?_ga=2.227759005.1479213187.1665916518-565267371.1665916518#/home

Put in the 881173 Valvoline PN and you get this

Valvoline Premium Blue One Solution Gen2 SAE 15W-40 Engine Oil

OK, Click on that link and you get this Valvoline Spec Sheet - US Spec Sheets

https://sharena21.springcm.com/Public/Document/18452/2842540d-5870-ea11-9c34-ac162d889bd1/afc1248c-5870-ea11-9c34-ac162d889bd1

It has the SAME TWO Cummins CES numbers as the 773780 (CES 20086 & 20092) and the AIP CK4 (see Frank McElroy previous post).  BUT, if you scroll down to the PN and the Container Type and size, Valvoline does NOT list a 2.5 Gallon container....  BUT, the 881173 was what directed me to the US SPEC List.

It would appear that the "Valvoline Premium Blue One Solution Gen2 SAE 15W-40 Engine Oil is the SAME in the 773780 (One Gallon) and the 88173 (2.5 Gallon) size.

So, I guess I rest easy.  I have been using the correct oil with the proper CES and API codes.  My head is spinning.....

 

 

 

 

Valvolene Blue 773780.jpg

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Over the years as engines have evolved so has the oil, primarly to adjust for tighter tollerences, heat, shear, and of course the golden grail being emissions🙀back when i still had the strength to torque a set of Cummins head bolts i was working for Ryder trucks then later Hertz penski. We leased primarly OTR trucks running from one coast to the other, granted they put there miles on quickly and didnt use the age factor but then it was the Dello brand. As different manufactures now claim the specifics of there needs which mandates which oil does or does not comply, reading everyones breakdown  on this blog makes me think im going to reach out to both Ryder an Hertz to see what there using, an though there maintaince Mentality differs greatly between them, they are both HEAVLY vested in long life from there trucks an what it takes to get the absolutly best performance from there oil. 
So in my mind primarely due to era based longevity when i had the oppertunity to service an maintain many of the engines that have long since gone to the wayside due to the ever rentleness emissions standard i for now will stick with the Dello brand. 

Fun fact: Back in the 80’s there was a time when we drained the oil, rather than draining it into a tank for disposal Ryder truck had a machine that sucked the oil directly out of the crankcase and the luberfiner oil filters and pumped it directly into the fuel tank of the same truck. That once all the oil was in the tank they then switched the valve and circulated that mixture thru a set of filters to remove all the carbon. That one move saved them soooo much on there operating cost. However Hertz tried a modified version of the same, which for them backfired in that instead of 1 truck 1 fuel tank they used there oil dump tank an cycled it thru there in ground fuel tank. The problem with that method was now they not only used the oil from both gas and diesel engines there was also automatic transmission oil, gear oil, part washer liquid, as well as all the other stuff that finds its way into a drain bucket. I highly doubt Hertz is still using that practice as it appeaerd to be a environmental hazard.

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Tom,

I did not do any further research other then relying on the Cummins endorsement on the container, hoping that "Truth in Advertising" was there. 

I've used Valvoline Blue since I purchased my rig in 2008, no complaints.  I do look for sales and buy what I need and put it on the shelf, rotating it out on a regular basis.  Back ~3 months ago I was in Tractor Supply and they had a sale sign on the Valvoline Blue self  $12.99/gal so I bought all they had >> all 3 gallons.  I also check Autozone as they sometime have it sale. 

So moral of the story is that "Even a broken watch is right twice a day" !!

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My son, a certified Cummins tech, used to do all my coach maintenance. Once a year whether it needed it or not. He switched my coach over to all synthetic using Rotella after 30,000 miles ( typical break in mileage ). Everything in my coach has synthetic - genny, hydraulics, gear case, etc. He had a couple friends who worked in Cummins skunk works who fed him information from the dyno room. That information never matched what Cummins corporate released to the market. A perfect example is fuel treatments. Cummins at one time said you do not need fuel treatment. Then when the switch was made to ULSD and Cummins got hammered with fuel line leak warranty claims from shrinking seals they came out and said add fuel treatment. Then they bought Diesel Kleen and touted it as the best. Back in the dyno/engineering room they found that Opti Lube was the best performing fuel treatment on the market. Diesel Kleen didn't even rate in the top ten. In one study performed by an independent lab, Walmarts 2 cycle engine oil performed better then Diesel Kleen.

When I worked in NASCAR I had a lot of friends who fed me info that came from testing and the dyno room. Remember back in the 90's when drivers were blowing engines due to valve train failure ? They cured it with 2 things. Valve cover spray bars and Mobil 1. They found Mobil 1 carried the heat away from the valve train the best and also had superior lube properties. I never knew that till I was in a discussion with Jack Roush and Robert Yates and they explained what they found during testing. Once that info got out, all the teams switched to Mobil 1, including Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin who were Valvoline and Quaker State sponsored. The teams would empty out their sponsors oil jugs and fill them with Mobil 1 to take to the track. I run Mobil 1 in all my vehicles ( except the coach ).

There is so much BS and misinformation out there concerning engines, lubricants, fuel treatments, etc. The last group of people I listen to are the corporate people. The ones I always follow the advice of are the ones in the engine testing rooms who are pulling dyno tests and doing analysis 5 days a week. What they find that works the best never reaches the public. Those tests are buried by the suit and tie guys in order for the company to make more money off a different product. Dave Pratt is a former racer and he can also tell you some stories.

Talking about awesome jobs, I have 2 friends who retired from GM. One worked in diesel hot test and the other worked in the Duramax lab. Imagine having a job that paid 6 figures and all you did was do dyno runs and try and blow up engines. 🙂

Edited by throgmartin
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