July 10, 2020

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PC-12: What will it look like?
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Photo courtesy of Mack Trucks, Inc.

What will the next API heavy-duty engine oil category, PC-12, look like?

Representatives from the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) are planning to report in December what the next steps are for this new heavy-duty engine oil specification which will be licensed by the American Petroleum Institute (API).

“We are hoping by December we can have a clearer picture,” said Hind Abi-Akar of Caterpillar, a member company of the EMA. “We will be actively considering what we need to do moving forward,” she said to the Diesel Engine Oil Advisory Panel (DEOAP) which met last week in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. Referring to the older API C categories, she added that EMA will also review if they are all needed.

“In the global market, there are old machines which need these [older category oils] to be available. But can we streamline it?”

One of the issues regarding older API engine oil categories is test availability. “How long can we keep these tests available? We need to re-evaluate for availability and utility, whether it is useful or not.”

Abi-Akar pointed out that new heavy-duty engine oil categories are driven mainly by U.S. federal regulations. But there are also regional regulations, such as California’s, which can have an impact on the overall U.S. market.

Tia Sutton, EMA vice president, said that the OEM trade group which represents heavy-duty truck and engine manufacturers will have a cohesive plan to bring to the group in December.

During the meeting, it was pointed out that engine tests which have been in use for decades are at risk due to parts availability. Specifically, the Mack T-11, T-12, and T-8 lubricant tests are not sustainable, it was pointed out due to lack of liner parts. The liners will no longer be produced by the supplier after this last batch is delivered. The Mack T-8 test is required for API CH-4 and CI-4.  The Mack T-12 test is required for API CJ-4. The Mack T-11 is required for API CI-4+ and API CJ-4.  Several alternatives would be to develop equivalencies with newer tests. But Abi-Akar said the group should also review if the tests are still valuable.

Test development is very much needed to support new categories as well as to support older categories, it was emphasized at the meeting.

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