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To read this article in it’s entirety, please read the September edition of AMSOIL Action News.


AMSOIL has recently documented increasing levels of diesel fuel dilution in the engine oil of 2007-2009 light-duty diesel pickups from all major vehicle manufacturers. Research indicates that fuel dilution is increasing due to the use of post-fuel injection during the diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration process. The issue, however, is not prevalent enough at this point to warrant an adjustment in the drain interval recommendation of AMSOIL Premium Diesel Oils.

Higher Fuel Dilution Levels

In Dodge light-duty turbo-diesel pickups, the combined regeneration requirements of the DPF and NOx absorber technologies are causing fuel dilution of the engine oil. Model-years 2007-2009 Ford and GM applications also show higher levels of fuel dilution, which may increase in 2010 emission-compliant models if similar technology is adopted.

Although model-year 2007-2009 light-duty diesels are experiencing higher fuel dilution than previous model years, DPF regeneration cycles vary based on service (engines operating in severe service conditions do not actively regenerate as often as engines operating in normal service conditions), and some applications are affected more than others. While not all 2007-2009 light-duty diesel vehicles develop this problem, fuel contamination can reduce oil viscosity and decrease film thickness. Other concerns include significantly reduced fuel economy, accelerated engine oil oxidation, increased volatility and overfilling of the oil sump.

AMSOIL Maintains Drain Interval Recommendations for Premium Diesel Oils

AMSOIL Premium Diesel Oils have shown the ability to maintain integrity in the face of fuel dilution in 2007-2009 light-duty diesel applications and continue to be recommended for three times the vehicle manufacturer recommendation, not to exceed 50,000 miles/600 hours or one year. However, it is recommended that owners of 2007-2009 Dodge, Ford and GM light-duty diesel vehicles perform regular oil analysis as a precautionary measure.

If oil analysis reveals greater than 5% fuel dilution, AMSOIL recommends changing the oil. The company will continue to closely monitor this situation, and if deemed necessary, will adjust recommended drain intervals in these applications.

New Simplified Diesel Oil Drain Recommendations

In order to simplify recommendations and streamline business for Dealers, AMSOIL Series 3000 Synthetic 5W-30 Heavy Duty Diesel Oil (HDD), Synthetic 15W-40 Heavy Duty Diesel and Marine Oil (AME) and Synthetic 10W-30/SAE 30 Heavy Duty Diesel Oil (ACD) now carry a three times the OEM recommendation similar to the recommendation for AMSOIL Premium Diesel Oils.

All in One Logistics, LLC (AIOL) Comments

AIOL recommends oil analysis with each oil change for the 2007 and new diesel applications to ensure used oil quality and fuel dilution. Furthermore, while the AMSOIL BMK27, bypass filter system cannot trap fuel or water contamination, by keeping your oil as clean as possible and removing as much soot as filters will allow, will help keep valves and pistons rings seated properly and minimize potential fuel dilution.

If you would like information about obtaining the BMK27 Bypass system, a bypass system for a different application or anything else AMSOIL offers, to include oil analysis, contact: mrmanners, bigdaddydiesel or chevy*tough via PM.
 

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I still think this is a protective measure more than anything just in case someone uses a biodiesel blend and isn't aware of it's affect on oil dilution. If someone were to keep careful tabs on oil level I don't see there being to much issue IMO.
 

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I am not sure about that. I know AMSOIL had asked in the update about this for any Dealer with a 2007 or newer light duty diesel, with the DPF, to participate in a field study to monitor this for a while. Unfortunately, I don't have a newer one or I would have volunteered.
 

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Maximum Viscosity Protection

Hard-working diesel engines present a serious challenge to the lubricants that protect them. Tight clearances and intense pressures can generate enough force to tear apart the molecular structure of the oil, causing permanent viscosity loss. Permanent viscosity loss is termed “shear” and leads to accelerated equipment wear, oil consumption and deposit formation.

Shear stability measures a lubricant’s ability to withstand shearing forces without degrading to a lower viscosity. To meet CJ-4 requirements for shear stability, the American Petroleum Institute (API) requires diesel oils to pass the Kurt Orbahn 90-Cycle Shear Stability Test.

Resisting shear and maintaining protective viscosity in the harsh operating conditions of diesel engines is challenge enough for many diesel oils, but maintaining viscosity in the face of fuel dilution is another challenge altogether. Factors such as frequent starts, excessive engine idling, short trips and cold weather have contributed to moderate levels of fuel dilution in diesel applications for years, while recent issues with emission systems have brought the fuel dilution problem to a whole new level.

For example, AMSOIL has documented increasing fuel dilution levels in 2007-2009 Caterpillar C13 and C15 on-highway engines. There are many possible causes, including problems with a unit injector or leaking seals. Another cause of fuel dilution is new emission systems using in-cylinder post-fuel injection, a process most 2007-2010 light-duty GM, Ford and Dodge diesel pickups use to regenerate the diesel particulate filter.

Because diesel fuel is a natural solvent, it causes a multitude of problems when it contaminates the oil, including reduced oil viscosity, reduced oil film strength, increased engine wear (particularly in the cylinder/ring area), increased volatility, weakened lubricant detergency, accelerated lubricant oxidation, varnish formation, acid formation/ corrosion and low oil pressure.

The most notable problem associated with increased fuel contamination is reduced viscosity and the corresponding effect it has on oil performance. When combined with shearing conditions, as little as 4 percent fuel dilution is generally enough to reduce an oil’s viscosity to less than
the specified viscosity grade.

AMSOIL sent five competitive synthetic CJ-4 5W-40 diesel oils to an independent laboratory for shear stability testing. Knowing the tough environment that diesels present to lubricating oils, AMSOIL doubled the standard Kurt Orbahn 90-cycle test and had the oils tested for 180 cycles. Samples were then contaminated with 2 and 4 percent ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel. As the graph shows, even after being shear tested for twice the industry standard and contaminated with 4 percent fuel dilution, AMSOIL maintained viscosity and was the only oil to stay within an SAE 40 viscosity rating. As other oils lost viscosity due to shearing forces and fuel dilution, their ability to protect against wear was jeopardized.

AMSOIL Premium Diesel Oils are formulated with an ultra shear stable polymer system that maintains viscosity better than inferior products. Testing proves that AMSOIL provides unsurpassed shear stability, offering better viscosity control than competitive oils.

Even though recent fuel dilution issues forced AMSOIL to adjust its Premium API CJ-4 Synthetic Diesel Oil drain interval recommendations in 2007-2010 Dodge 6.7L, Ford 6.4L and GM 6.6L light-duty turbo-diesel pickups and 2007-2009 on-highway Caterpillar C13 and C15 engines to the manufacturer recommended drain intervals, AMSOIL Premium Diesel Oils remain the premium choice for diesel applications. AMSOIL Premium Diesel Oils resist viscosity loss from both shearing forces and fuel dilution to maintain their protective film strengths, providing superior protection to all diesel engines.

 

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The thin g to remember about fuel dilution issues and the 07.5-2010 LMM's is the fact that, ALL oils are effected by this issue. Amsoil has been more vocal about it than other companies, some of which have not mentioned this issue in any form, mainly because they want to make sure their customers understand what is going on with their oil.

This is NOT just an issue with Amsoil and if you own an LMM and have not removed the DPF, I highly recommend that no matter what oil you use, you test a sample of that oil within 5K miles of changing to get a baseline on how your particular brand of oil is holding up. This testing will tell you whether you can go extended intervals with your oil, and if it is holding it's viscosity and shear stability in the face of said fuel dilution issues.
 

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AMSOIL has recently updated the technical bulletin regarding Fuel Dilution in the 2008 to present light duty diesel engines with a DPF still installed. The bottom line up front is fuel dilution does exist in the in these year models and while OEM drain intervals are still recommended, you can extend your drain intervals by doing oil analysis. You can read the full tech bulletin here. While we in the GM world understand the LML has a 9th injector which is supposed to remove it from the dilution issues found in the LMM. AMSOIL can not yet remove it from this bulletin until more information is gathered about how the new regeneration system works and to get some field test results to verify their thoughts.

As noted above, AMSOIL products held up the best with fuel dilution. If you are interested in using AMSOIL in your LMM or LML engine, you have two options. The first is the new OED 15W-40 Diesel Oil which is an OEM drain interval oil. It is a full synthetic motor oil that meets or exceeds CI-4+ and CJ4 standards and provides similar benefits to the extended drain oil at a much lower price. Your other option with oil analysis is either CJ4 5W-40 or CJ4 15W-40 Premium Diesel Oil. With oil analysis you can run either of these products beyond OEM recommendations based on fuel dilution results.

I have been talking with the AMSOIL HD specialist and am trying to put together some more information for you from my conversation with him. AMSOIL conducted a field study over the last yr on the 2008-2010 light duty trucks. Of the three GM fared the best but did have fuel dilution issues as indicated in the bulletin. When I can take a few minutes and put together my notes into an article I will do so and share with everyone.

In the meantime if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Take care,
 
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