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Grease and engine oils: The perfect combination for your fleet's needs

April 3, 2024
The right combination of engine oil and grease helps guarantee your fleet’s engine longevity and maximize performance.

When it comes to your heavy-duty fleet, you know the importance of servicing each truck to keep them running smoothly and efficiently. You know that engine oil and grease play a crucial role in performance and longevity of these vital machines. The challenge is choosing the right products for your fleet’s engine and components needs. Understanding the basics of grease and heavy-duty oils will help you choose the right combination for you and your fleet.

Heavy-duty engine oil: The lifeblood of your engines

Engine oil is the unsung hero that keeps heavy-duty trucks running smoothly and efficiently. To understand heavy-duty engine oils, you must know their multifunctional capabilities, the significance of viscosity grades, the importance of API designations, and indispensable maintenance best practices for preserving engine health.

Engine oil acts as a lubricant and protects the engine by reducing friction and preventing metal-to-metal contact. Its lubricity prolongs the life of critical components and, most importantly, enhances fuel efficiency. Engine oil helps with cooling, absorbing, and dispersing heat. By keeping the engine at an optimal temperature, HDEOs prevent overheating and damage to sensitive parts. Moreover, by transporting contaminants and debris to the oil filter for removal, oil helps maintain engine cleanliness and prevent potential blockages. 

Viscosity grades and what they mean

It is important to understand the significance of engine oil viscosity grades for selecting the right oil to match your engine needs and federal requirements. The "W" in the grade stands for "winter," indicating the oil's cold flow performance. A 15W-40 oil boasts high-temperature stability, making it an ideal choice for heavy-duty engines operating under intense heat or heavy loads. A 10W-30 oil is formulated to flow more easily in colder temperatures, making it suitable for engines in regions with colder winters. The lower viscosity at low temperatures ensures the engine is well-lubricated during cold starts, reducing wear and ensuring smooth operation. Lower viscosity use in heavy-duty applications is now an option due to advancements in additives.

The American Petroleum Institute assigns distinct designations to engine oils, indicating their compatibility with specific engine types. For diesel engines, the API designations usually begin with "C," followed by a number, such as "CK-4." This designation signifies that the oil meets the rigorous demands of diesel engines, providing superior wear protection and performance under heavy loads and extreme conditions. In addition to CK-4, API also introduced FA-4 in December 2016. These standards are eco-friendly while delivering improved engine’s aeration performance, wear, deposit protection, oxidation control, and shear stability over API CJ-4.

Lastly, by working with your oil supplier and using oil analysis, you may be able to extend your oil drains and still protect your engine.

The basics of grease

There are a few basic steps to take before purchasing a grease:

  • Check your owner's manual. You must look for the recommended regreasing intervals, and the recommended greases or required specifications from the OEM.
  • Take into consideration machinery temperature and environment. The temperature will let you know how the grease will flow and pump. Some greases have been formulated to be more cold-resistant. The lower numbers (000 to 1) are softer and easier to pump over longer distances. Number 2 greases are recommended in many cases by manufacturers due to their ability to stay in place over wider and more normal temperature ranges.

Types of grease

Grease plays a vital role in the performance and longevity of any fleet. Your fleet trucks are constantly competing against the harsh environment of the road, from fluctuating temperatures to heavy loads, and varying weather conditions. A heavy-duty or quality multipurpose grease can effectively protect your equipment against wear, contamination, and environmental factors while prolonging the life of bearings, and other components. 

When choosing a grease for your heavy-duty needs, consider the following important factors:   

  • The grease’s ability to handle extreme pressures. This directly leads to longer component life and reduced downtime.
  • Its overall mobility and pumpability to ensure that your components are protected in fluctuating temperatures and environmental changes.
  • Its ability to resist corrosion both from freshwater and saltwater sources. When exposed to moisture and oxygen, the metal components will form an oxide, causing pitting. Extensive pitting can lead to weakened parts, disintegration, and eventually full failure.
  • Its water washout resistance, for environmental conditions and truck washdowns. This will prevent failures and damage and will increase the component’s overall service life.

Finally, to make the best grease selection, you must always keep in mind:

  • The overall age and health of the equipment.
  • Environmental factors and conditions.
  • Your preferred method of grease application.
  • Your desired greasing intervals.

A quality, heavy-duty grease can make a strong impact on the overall health and lifespan of your fleet, yielding greater returns, and a safer working environment.

The best combination for your heavy-duty fleet

As you and your fleets continue to work to optimize and extend your engine oil drain intervals, you need a grease that can hold up to those requirements. Having the best combination of engine oil and grease may guarantee longevity and maximize the performance of your fleet’s trucks.

Contact your supplier about choosing the right combination of heavy-duty engine oils and greases that will work together, such as CITGO’s premium line of CITGARD HDEOs and Mystik  Heavy Duty Grease, for your optimized fleet operation.