Farm Guide VIC : 2014-15
66 Automotive Multigrade oil is designed to act like thin oil when cold (so it circulates through an engine quickly on start-up), and like a thick oil when it’s hot (so the engine is protected). An SAE rating of 10W-30 indicates the oil viscosity is 10W in winter (W=Winter), and 30 when hot. The API classification This is a two-letter rating system. The first letter represents what type of engine the oil is designed for – ‘S’ symbolises petrol, and ‘C’ symbolises diesel. The second letter indicates the oil’s quality – the ratings begin at ‘A’, and the further up the alphabet the higher the oil’s quality. The highest ‘S’ (Petrol) rating is currently SN and the Highest ‘C’ (Diesel) rating is CI-4+. The + indicates a step above CI-4 to meet more manufacturers’ approvals. Oils that meet both petrol and diesel standards have a rating for both classifications e.g. SL/CF means the petrol rating is ‘SL’, and the diesel rating is ‘CF’. This makes it easier for mixed fleets to service all engines with one grade of oil. Generally, there’s also a round shaped symbol commonly referred to as a ‘donut’. The donut guarantees the product has been assessed and approved to meet API standards. Any interruption to production can affect your business returns, and that’s why it’s essential for your machinery to perform efficiently and effectively. Hopefully, this has provided a better understanding on when to check and change engine oil, and how to find the best oil for all your engine needs. Oil for new-age engines A new generation of harder working, low emission diesel engines from Europe, Japan and the US has put the heat on oil companies to produce smarter lubricants that can cope with the new technology. In the past decade, makers of diesel engines – once considered a major cause of soot and particulate pollution – have taken great strides in reducing the level of emissions from the exhausts of farming and mining machinery, trucks and buses. In 1988, the average diesel-powered truck produced about 215 kilograms of soot and particulates for every 200,000 kilometers it travelled in the US, but by 2007 the figure was down to less than five kilograms. The environmentally- friendly engine emission standards demanded of Northern Hemisphere machinery manufacturers have been tightened significantly. The flow-on to US and EU machinery export markets, such as Australia, has already been felt, and is expected to increase by the end of this year as new “off-highway” gear rolls off the production lines to meet the 2011 Australian standards. To cope with the tougher expectations of the high-technology machines, lubricant producers have had to work quickly to develop engine oils that cope with hotter burning, harder working engines with smaller sumps and packed with extra catalytic and filtration gear. The oils are not only expected to keep the new-age diesel workhorses running smoothly for longer and under more extreme - often turbocharged - conditions, they also require specific ingredients that ensure the filtered soot particles don’t coagulate and block up the internal filtration system and engine galleries. For the past few years, significant changes have been made to the formulation of oils to make sure all regulations are met, and to ensure that cleaner engine technology can operate effectively. To meet the next tier of emission specifications and to get the most from the new generation of low emission diesel engines, you need a new generation of oils to help them perform. Diesel engine oil has been refined so you can still get all your engine needs from both new and old models. Using the right oil is essential as we transition into this new era. Information kindly provided by Caltex.