Once the oil is out of the manufacturers' hands, the testing regimen shouldn't end. With the availability of increasingly sophisticated oil analysis procedures, many lubricant companies are stressing the critical role it should play in your overall engine maintenance program.
"Especially with the '07 product line, it's important that you go back and make sure you're using good analysis," Petro Canada's Flanagan says. " We have a program, Lubri-Test, and it uses viscosity, inductively coupled plasma emissions, titration, and infra-red analyses to determine the condition of your oil. Not only would someone want to use oil analysis to help determine their extended drain capabilities, it also helps overall when minor mechanical problem coming up can be fixed early on to prevent them from becoming more serious."
Adds Conoco's Dias, " Because we are dealing with a new technology, it is important to monitor your oil; to determine an oil 'fingerprint,'" he says. " With Conoco, it's a hand in hand program so the customer can monitor the quality of the oil."
And for the question on every maintenance manager's mind: " It will have the same oil drain intervals as the CI-4 lubricant," Conoco's Dias says. Dias and others have continued to stress the fact that this new lubricant will require little or no change in maintenance, however, there could be big problems if you don't use it on '07 trucks.
"Mainly it's going to affect the life of the DPF," says Shell's Arcy. " On the other side, you're not going to be getting the best wear protection that's available because CI-4 Plus doesn't have the wear protection of CJ-4. If it's a matter of running low on oil, versus running CJ-4 Plus, run CI-4 Plus. Don't run low, but get it changed as soon as you can afterwards."
Adds Citgo's Betner, " You can get away with (topping off an '07 with non-compliant oil) for an undefined period of time, but at the end of the day, you're going to lead yourself into a path where you're going to have to maintain that filter more often," he says. " If you totally violated this and said 'I'm not going to pay a penny more for oil; the oil I've got worked fine in the past,' you could get into a warranty issue."