The Lowdown on PC-11: What You Need to Know

October 09, 2015 by Seth Sparks, @sethbsparks

The commercial trucking industry is adapting to meet the ambitions agreed upon by governmental agencies and large engine manufacturers aiming to reduce emissions and improve the fuel economy of larger trucks. The upcoming changes in big-rig engines have led to the need for oil that can accommodate these fuel-saving systems. Enter PC-11.

What Is PC-11?

PC-11 (proposed category 11) is heavy-duty engine oil specifically designed to handle the higher temperatures at which engines must run to meet fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards. The makers of PC-11 say that it will surpass the current CJ-4 oil technology, which was released in 2006, to better meet the performance requirements of current and future commercial trucks.

Two Types of PC-11

PC-11 will be available in two different varieties, tentatively called PC-11A and PC-11B. PC-11A will serve as the replacement for the oils currently being used, while the second will be used in the next generation of diesel trucks.

What Makes PC-11 Different?

Shell Rotella lists four areas of improvement that distinguish PC-11 from the existing oils being used by diesel trucks: fuel economy, shear stability, oxidation stability, and aeration control. They also provide a customizable fuel-savings calculator to determine how PC-11 might impact your bottom line.

When Will PC-11 Be Released?

It might be a little over a year before we see availability of the new oil, with the first license for PC-11 expected to come in late 2016. There’s still no word on what the official name of the oil will be.

For some of the more technical details of PC-11, take a look at some of the materials offered by Shell Rotella, where they break down everything from the PC-11 stress testing to the future of fuel economy.

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