Valvoline Claims 100,000-mile Drain Interval


The Valvoline Co. has introduced a heavy-duty engine oil that can extend drain intervals, it claims, as high as 100,000 miles.

Officials acknowledge, however, that intervals for new low-emissions engines will probably be far shorter.

A March 1 news release announcing Premium Blue Extreme states that it is capable of six-figure intervals in select engines under certain operating conditions. Asked to specify those conditions, Director of Commercial Brands and Technical Services Bill Runkle said they were achieved by a 5W-40 oil in long-haul, coast-to-coast trips in Caterpillar C-15 and Cummins ISX engines.

The tests were performed with synthetic media filters that were not changed between drain intervals.

Runkle insisted that fleets could expect similar performance under similar conditions in the field, though he added that most would probably not push intervals so far.

We were testing to see the maximum capability of the oil, he said. The same results could be expected by people operating their vehicles under similar conditions, but most people use a 30-percent cushion, so we would probably have people backing down to around 70,000.

Valvoline said the oil, formulated with a blend of polyalphaolefin and hydrocracked base stocks, was developed especially for use in engines equipped with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), a technology used to meet 2002 emissions limits. EGR systems stress motor oil by adding soot and by raising operating temperatures. Premium Blue Extreme uses polymer additives to disperse soot. It is also formulated for effective heat transfer, in order to avoid carbon buildup, Valvoline said.

Still, Runkle acknowledged that Valvolines new engine oil wont deliver intervals even close to 100,000 miles in EGR-equipped engines.

We think this oil will allow operators to at least keep intervals where they were before EGR, he said. I expect the intervals in EGR-equipped engines will be less than in those without EGR. How much less, I dont know.

Valvoline worked closely with Cummins to develop Premium Blue Extreme and has already garnered an endorsement from the engine maker. Smaller engine oil producers often complain about such relationships, saying they give participants an advantage in developing products anda head start to market.

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