API Lubricants Group Approves PC-12 Diesel Engine Oil Grade


API Lubricants Group announced that it has voted to establish a new category development team to begin the test development phase of the PC-12 diesel engine oil category.

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The Engine Manufacturers Association applied to the Diesel Engine Oil Advisory Panel (DEOAP) in March, which established a new Category Assessment Team (NCET) to assess the demand. NCET voted this week to recommend DEOAP to continue developing the proposed category – PC-12. During the ASTM D2 meetings in Anaheim, Calif., DEOAP approved the recommendation to establish a New Category Development Team (NCDT). API Lubricants Group reviewed this request and voted to establish the NCDT, officially launching the test development phase of the PC-12.

The new category is requested with the following improvements:

  • Increased oxidation performance
  • New wear test capability
  • Addition of lower viscosities
  • Improved post-processing capacity
  • Extension of elastomer compatibility

Obsolescence of engine tests (test material becoming unavailable) will also be considered. The T-11 and T-12 tests are probably not available for PC-12. The Category Life Oversight Group (CLOG) will continue to assist with technical assessment and statistical support for correlations, where applicable. NCDT will develop a T-11 replacement as needed.

The first API license application date is January 1, 2027 at the latest. This coincides with the planned implementation date in 2027 for the EPA and CARB HD road regulations. The recommendation calls for considering December 1, 2026 as the date of the first permit. This is similar to the PC-11 licensing timeline that culminated in the CK-4 and FA-4 APIs.

The potential advantages of diesel engines are as follows:

  • Enables new engine technologies expected to experience higher average effective braking pressure (BMEP) and customer demands, as well as meet anticipated regulatory requirements of extended service life and warranty periods.
  • Supports fuel economy requirements for certain engine models.
  • Supports new elastomers used in modern engines.

Fleets and drivers alike should expect improved performance from oils that support increased engine durability and help comply with regulations. This can lead to a reduction in the cost of ownership.

Potential environmental benefits include limited SAPS (sulfated ash, phosphorus, sulfur) that will support engines that meet more stringent environmental regulations on lower emissions. Longer oil change intervals may be possible, which supports sustainability goals.

The current C subcompatibility will retain its backward compatibility and the new F subcategory is intended to replace FA-4 and does not need to retain backward compatibility. The possibility that testing of existing engines will become obsolete will be addressed as necessary.

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