Next-generation diesel engine oils: Imperial and you

It’s been 10 years since API CJ-4, the last American Petroleum Institute (API) specification change. CK-4 and FA-4, the upcoming API heavy-duty diesel engine oil specifications of API CK-4, API FA-4, represent the latest lubricant technology for heavy-duty trucks.

Tested in the lab, proven on the road

You can depend on our science. We’ve had a number of technical experts play key roles in the initial development and advancement of specifications and testing parameters that are part of the overall API CK-4, API FA-4 initiative, holding chair positions on the Diesel Engine Oil Advisory Panel and the T-13 Test Development Taskforce. From scientists to engineers, collaboration is essential throughout product development, so our research approach at Imperial involves results from both the laboratory and the driver’s seat.
Since 2011, we’ve been field testing low viscosity formulations in preparation for the change in oil specifications, working closely with major commercial vehicle manufacturers and engine builders. Our current field testing includes about 200 trucks, and we’ve accumulated more than 80 million kilometres of testing data on our CK-4 and FA-4 formulations as of June 2017. Plus, we’re continuing to add more than 2.4 million kilometres each month with the help of select fleet partners. Every mile logged helps us further prove the benefits of API CK-4, API FA-4.


Putting more kilometers behind PC-11 44 MILLION
We’ve accumulated more than 44 million kilometers of testing data on our CK-4 and FA-4 formulations

Lubricant technology at work

API CK-4, API FA-4 includes two specifications – CK-4 and FA-4 oils – that both represent an upgrade to CJ-4 oils. CK-4 oils maintain traditional high temperature/high shear (HTHS) viscosity and FA-4 oils are lower HTHS viscosity. Of the two API CK-4, API FA-4 specifications, FA-4 oils focus on enhanced fuel efficiency. However, both CK-4 and FA-4 oils help:

  • Reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Maintain engine durability while improving oxidation resistance, shear stability and aeration control
Whether owner-operators or fleets opt to use CK-4 or FA-4 oils, API CK-4, API FA-4 will not affect every business the same way. But it’s helpful to note the success of low viscosity oils preceding the upcoming diesel engine oil category. Schneider, Lesmeister Transportation, Pride Transport, H&W Trucking, Dot Transportation and other industry leaders already rely on low viscosity oils to help them reach their sustainability and money-saving goals. The advanced specifications of API CK-4, API FA-4 can help build upon these improvements.
Still, the development of API CK-4, API FA-4 wasn’t an overnight process, and, likewise, the process for choosing an oil deserves careful consideration and planning. We recommend reaching out to your lubricant supplier and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to ensure the best results for your business.


Switching to the new PC-11 oils

  1. Consult your lubricant supplier
  2. Choose the right oils
  3. Follow OEM service recommendations 
  4. Determine optimal oil drain intervals


Relying on API CK-4, API FA-4 experts

For more than 90 years, we’ve been helping companies prepare for and operate under new industry regulations, earning the recognition of leading on-highway trucking fleets and off-highway companies. API CK-4, API FA-4 is another example of how we have successfully helped our customers manage change.

We continue to work closely with fleet managers and owners of various sized fleets on a daily basis. In addition to the educational tools we’re developing, our field experts are helping fleet managers determine the right oil choices for their business.

After choosing a API CK-4, API FA-4 compliant oil, it’s important for fleets to determine the best maintenance solutions to help optimize oil drain intervals and protect their vehicles’ engines. We offer a four-step process for optimizing oil drain intervals. The Imperial Optimized Oil Drain Interval (OODI) process has yielded exceptional results for fleets of various sizes; we recommend this data-driven process for fleets as they implement API CK-4, API FA-4 compliant oils into their operations.

Once a new baseline oil drain interval is in place, maintenance personnel and Imperial technical experts can better assess how the API CK-4, API FA-4 oil is performing and whether or not they can take advantage of the performance properties offered by the API CK-4, API FA-4.