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COS Blog

Information about Central Oil Supply and all of its divisions.

Shell's Claims Against Mobil Delvac - What You Need to Know

Jennie McRae - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Shell released a statement on June 14, 2018, that Mobil Delvac 1300 Super 15w40 does not pass the stringent CK-4 Volvo T-13 test it claims to pass. 

Background on CK-4 and the Volvo T-13 Engine Test: 

What is CK-4? 

CK-4 is the API’s (American Petroleum Institute) newest diesel engine oil standard. New engine oil standards are developed every few years to protect new and current engine technologies, meet government regulations, and ensure overall quality in the motor oil industry. API CK-4 oils were designed specifically to meet stricter emission standards. They’re also overall superior to CJ-4 oils in protecting engines from oil oxidation, viscosity loss, and oil aeration. 

What is the Volvo T-13 Test? 

The Volvo T-13 Engine Test is a very severe 360-hour duration, high-temperature oxidation test – it is one of several tests used to determine if an oil is CK-4 compliant. Because the industry is responding to stricter emission standards, smaller engines are being built with increased turbo-charging; and in other cases, engines are being created to run at higher temperatures. Both scenarios create a very challenging environment for an oil to protect your engine. The Volvo T-13 Engine Test is used to determine if an oil will remain resilient in these severe, yet fuel efficient, engines. 

What It Means for You: 

What does it mean when an engine oil doesn’t pass CK-4 requirements? 

When an oil doesn’t pass all CK-4 requirements, you risk deposit build-up, corrosive wear on engine parts, and viscosity thickening of the oil. This all can lead to reduced oil drain intervals, shorter engine life, and reduced energy efficiency and fuel economy. 

Does Shell Rotella Pass the Volvo T-13 Test? 

Yes! When you use Shell Rotella, you can be confident that not only does it pass the CK-4 requirements with flying colors – it goes above and beyond to meet the stringent requirements set by Volvo, MACK, and Cummins. Demonstrating robust performance in the Volvo T-13 Test is evidence that Shell Rotella T4 Triple Protection 15w40 engine oil can enable OEMs to deliver the promise of fuel efficiency and can help customers protect their equipment.

5 Common Lubrication Problems and How to Fix Them (Part 2)

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Happy Tuesday, everyone! We are back with the second half of our blog from last week. If you are new and want to catch up before you delve into this blog, check out last week's blog post here.

Here is the rest of the list West Cash wrote about at Machinery Lubrication Magazine:

3. Overgreasing

Most plants I visit do not recognize that grease guns are precision instruments. They also fail to see the problems that can be caused by the misuse of grease guns. Overgreasing is a very common problem and can result in higher operating temperatures, premature bearing failure, and an increased risk of contaminant ingression.

Bearings require a set volume of grease to be properly lubricated. A popular formula used to determine the volume of grease needed is the outside diameter (in inches) multiplied by the width (in inches) multiplied by 0.114. This will provide the volume of grease in ounces that the bearing requires.

Once you have calculated the volume of grease for the bearing, you need to know how much grease the grease gun is dispelling per stroke. To do this, simply pump 10 shots of grease onto a plate and weigh it on a digital scale. Next, divide the weight of the grease by 10. This will give you the amount per stroke of output. Remember, certain grease guns can product pressures up to 15,000 psi and can cause numerous problems if not properly managed.

The Fix?

While calculating the regrease requirements for all bearings onsite and determining the output of grease guns are a great place to start, there are other concerns that must be addressed as well. For instance, the output of grease can vary between guns. The best way to counteract this problem is to standardize with a singe type of grease gun so the output will be similar for each one. Grease guns should also be dedicated to a single type of grease and checked at least once a year.

If possible, bearings should be outfitted with grease purge fittings that allow excess grease to be expelled without compromising the integrity of the seal. In addition, all professionals who operate a grease gun should be trained on their operation and the proper way to regrease a bearing.

4. Lack of a Labeling System

Labeling is a key part of any world-class lube program. Not only does it reduce the chance for cross-contamination by minimizing confusion as to which lubricants go where, it also allows individuals who may not be as familiar with the lube program to top-up with the correct oil or grease.

The Fix?

Developing a labeling scheme takes time, but when done properly, it can provide a variety of information not only about the lubricant, but also about lubrication intervals as well. The best label design incorporates a color/shape scheme for each lubricant used. This offers a quick visual reference as to which lubricant is inside the machine. Noria has developed the Lubricant Identification System, which includes all basic information for a machine type such as base oil, application, and viscosity. As mentioned previously, once a labeling system has been established, that labels should be applied to all lubricant storage containers and application devices.

5. Use of OEM Breathers and Dust Caps

Most OEM accessories like breathers do little to restrict the ingression of tiny particles into oil and critical spaces, which can damage machine surfaces. Some of these breathers are simply a cap filled with steel wool or a mesh screen that serves as a block for larger particles. Considering the lubricant film in a journal bearing is approx. 5 to 10 microns, any particles of this size contaminating the oil will greatly increase the likelihood of wear and subsequent machine failure. These tolerance-sized particles do the greatest damage and have the highest probability of causing machine wear.

Not only do many OEM breathers allow particles into the oil, they also do nothing to restrict moisture from entering the oil. Oil is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture from ambient air. In areas with high humidity or steam, moisture will pass through these types of breathers and be absorbed into the oil, casing rust, increased oxidation and hydrolysis rates, and a higher corrosive potential of acids formed by oxidation and hydrolysis.

The fix?

OEM breathers should be replaced with higher quality versions to restrict particulate and moisture ingression. With several breather manufacturers on the market, the key is to get the breather that is right for your particular environment and operating conditions. In very dry environments, a spin-on particulate filter may work fine provided that ambient humidity is low. In more moist environments, a hybrid-style breather may be the best choice. This type of breather employs a particulate filter to trap hard particles followed by a desiccating phase to strip moisture from the incoming air. All of these breathers can be threaded into the current breather port for quick and easy installation.

For questions regarding the state of your industrial plant, please do not hesitate to call one of our nationally-certified DFLT-S account managers at 318-388-2602.


5 Common Lubrication Problems and How to Fix Them (Part 1)

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Happy #HowToTuesday, everyone!

Today, we are excited to feature half of an article by Machinery Lubrication on the Blog. (The second half to come in a week!) This article deals with the most common lubrication issues Wes Cash sees on visits to power plants, food-processing plants, refineries, and manufacturing facilities. As a Shell Distributor with two Nationally Certified DFLT-S Account Managers, our team has seen many of these problems, too!

The following is not only a list of the most common industrial lubrication problems, but also gives advice on how these issues can be resolved.

1. Lack of Procedures

Great lubrication problems are only as good as the people who do the work, just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In many of my most recent projects, the retirement of technicians has been the problem of greatest concern. As Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age and subsequently retiring, they are taking with them a great deal of personal experience and knowledge of how they do their jobs. For some plants, the lube-tech position may have been held by a single person for decades. These professionals are the masters of their domains and know every sight, sound, and smell of their machines. It is imperative to pass down this type of dedication and understanding to the next generation of professionals. Unfortunately, all of this knowledge usually is not passed down. This results in problems and steep learning curve.

The Fix?

Documented procedures can lessen the blow and help new personnel understand the proper way a task should be performed. While countless articles and books have been published on the best way to write procedures, once written, the procedures must be implemented for their full effect to be realized. Thorough documentation of every task performed in the lubrication program offers the best method for creating procedures. You want to write a procedure not only for the application of lubricants but also for how lubricants are handled in storage, decontaminated upon arrival and even disposed of after use.

 Improper Sampling Points and Hardware

If used correctly, oil analysis can be an extremely valuable tool. It allows you to monitor not only the health of the oil, but also the health of the machine, as well as catch failures before they become catastrophic. In order to obtain all the benefits of oil analysis, you first must have the correct sample points and hardware. Many plants regard oil sampling as a secondary function and simply take samples from a drain port of with the inconsistent drop-tube method. When sampling from drain ports, you may obtain a sample that is full of historic data (e.g., layers of sediment and sludge). Wear debris trends can also be hard to establish, as these samples often contain a high concentration of contaminants.

In addition to being inconsistent, drop-tube sampling frequently requires the machine to be taken out of service. This can result in particles settling at the bottom of the sump, which may prevent a good, relative sample from being taken from the system.

Proper sampling ports can be achieved by modifying the machine. This will allow good samples to be taken consistently from "live" zones or areas inside the system where oil is experiencing turbulent flow.

The remedy?

All machines to be included in the oil analysis program should be evaluated for the proper sampling hardware. Splash-bathed components such as bearings and gearboxes can be equipped with minimess sampling valves with pilot tube extensions. These extenders can be bent up into the "live" zone next to the bearing or gear teeth.

Circulating systems should be examined for the best possible sampling points as well. These systems typically require several points.

A primary point is where routine samples are drawn from to provide a snapshot of the entire system. The best place for a primary sample is on the main return-line manifold, before any return-line filters and in an area of turbulent flow (most often an elbow).

Secondary points should be installed in the oil return line after each lubricated component. Secondary points allow you to pinpoint problems in the system after an alarm has been triggered by the primary point.

In conjunction with sampling hardware installation, all technicians should be trained in the proper way to pull samples. All sample tubing should be flushed with five to 10 times the volume introduced into the sample during the entire process.

(Central Oil provides oil analysis and sampling as a service to our customers.) Please stay tuned to the blog for Part 2, which will be coming in a week! If you have any questions about oil analysis, please do not hesitate to contact an account manager at 318-388-2602.



PC-11 Gets Green Light

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, December 29, 2015





PC-11 Gets Green Light

By Steve Swedberg • December 16, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas – PC-11, the next heavy-duty engine oil upgrade, received the go-ahead from both ASTM and the American Petroleum Institute here last week. The new category – which API officially will call CK-4 along with its fuel economy version, FA-4 – now is assured of being available for licensing on Dec. 1, 2016.

Products meeting API CK-4 will continue to be backwards compatible with earlier categories, such as CJ-4 and CI-4PLUS. However, API FA-4 may have only limited backwards compatibility due to the fact that its minimum high-temperature, high-shear viscosity falls below that specified in prior category requirements.

The PC-11 approvals came in a flurry of meetings on Dec. 8, 9 and 10 during the half-yearly gathering of ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants. First, ASTM’s Heavy Duty Engine Oil Classification Panel, chaired by Shawn Whitacre of Chevron, had to review and accept all of PC-11’s tests and limits, which it did Dec. 8.

Immediately following, two other stakeholder groups chimed their agreement: the Diesel Engine Oil Advisory Panel, which represents engine builders and oil and additive companies and is jointly chaired by Steve Kennedy of ExxonMobil and Greg Shank of Volvo Powertrain; and the New Category Development Team, led by Dan Arcy of Shell, which began working on PC-11 back in December 2011 and adroitly steered it to completion.

On Dec. 9, ASTM D02 Technical Committee B moved to ballot the new standard, a simple formality now that all hurdles have been cleared. Joe Franklin of Intertek is this committee’s chairman.

That left API’s Lubricants Group, chaired by Scott Lindholm of Shell, to write PC-11 into Document 1509, which governs the institute’s engine oil licensing system. Thanks to the group’s unanimous vote on Dec. 10, oil marketers can now lay plans to roll out CK-4 and FA-4 products next Dec. 1. That will be the first date licensees may display these designations in the trademarked API “donut” on their labels.

There are still several issues API will need to clean up in the coming months. First, the VGRA-BOI work is ongoing, with matrix testing unfinished yet.

VGRA, viscosity grade read-across, is allowed under API 1509 as a means of reducing engine sequence test costs, by comparing certain engine test results across multiple viscosity grades. Often, for example, lower viscosity oils have more difficulty in successfully passing certain procedures; if an SAE 10W-30 oil earns a passing grade, its results can be read across to a heavier grade such as SAE 15W-40, eliminating the need to run additional tests.

The same holds true for BOI, or base oil interchange. API has grouped base oils according to specific properties, such as sulfur content, saturates content and viscosity index. If a company with an approved engine oil formulation wants to change base oils, BOI guidelines may allow the blender to replace at least some of the original base oil without entirely re-testing the formulation.

So far, enough supporting data has been generated to establish BOI between Group II base oils for PC-11, but not for switching between Group II and Group III, nor for switching within the pool of Group III base oils.

Another and more provocative issue is how marketers will label the new oils – CK-4 and FA-4 – and how they’ll communicate the differences effectively to end users.

API commissioned a study to determine what users value and believe to be descriptive of oil performance. The first results from this study showed that brand name and viscosity grade are the only information that participants consistently said they recognize! The API donut trademark and other terminology are mysteries to most users.

Given that, API has decided to develop an educational piece to communicate the benefits of engine oils with API category designations, which will include information about the importance of viscosity grade and its impact on fuel economy.

During the PC-11 development process, several ideas were tested and discarded regarding public awareness efforts. One proposal was to create an exotic viscosity grade, “SAE 26,” which presumably would identify heavy duty engine oils meeting the FA-4 definition for the SAE XW-30 grade, which has a high-temperature, high-shear viscosity limit of 2.9 to 3.2 centiPoise.

However, there is also room in CK-4 for an SAE XW-30 with HTHS of 3.5 minimum cP. It’s recognized that this could create confusion for oil customers trying to select the correct product.

Another idea put forth was to label the viscosity grade as “SAE XW-30 L” or “SAE XW-30 H.” This was deemed just as confusing as the SAE 26 concept. In the end, the viscosity identification system was left unchanged.

While it will not affect first-licensing date, the documents that define engine oil categories are going to be revised to align with each other. API 1509 and ASTM D4485 are the two documents which identify the necessary tests and results to describe each oil category. Over the years, differences in terminologies and language conventions have resulted in some tortuous definitions and awkward footnotes. This is being addressed by a ta

Companies to Begin Charging for Used Oil Pickup

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Rerefining's shift from paying generators for their used oil is starting to gain momentum--which has been reinforced by some of the biggest names in the industry. The November 2015 issue of Lubes n' Greases announced that many used oil service companies are to begin charging to pick up used oil from all non-contract generators; there were also announcements of service-call surcharges.

"The recent decline in crude oil pricing, along with associated decreases in fuel and base oil pricing, have materially affected the values of recycled fuel oil and rerefined products," (Lubes n' Greases pg. 50) Given the impact of these falling oil prices, it has been a necessary change to many of the major players in the used oil market: service providers are starting to charge disposal rates in order to lessen the pressure on their margins." Unfortunately, Central Oil & Supply is no exception to the volatile market--as of December 3, 2015, we will begin charging $125.00 per used oil pickup and $25.00 per drum pickup.

According to Lubes n' Greases, the sharp decline in petroleum prices, along with its ripple effects, "[are] the key factor." "It's more the crude markets, and it is the result of this imbalance of supply and demand that has pushed down pricing on just about all the products, from base lube to refinery fuels," the magazine wrote in their November interview. "Over the past 12 months, the price of bent crude oil has fallen from $105 per barrel to under $45 per barrel." "During that same period, the price paid by used oil collectors has fallen by around 80 cents a gallon (51)." 

As always, your best interest it is Central Oil & Supply's first priority. The decision to charge for used oil pickups did not come lightly, and we will continue to monitor the Platt's pricing and adjust as the market changes. 

If you have any questions at all regarding used oil pickups, please do not hesitate to contact your account manager or our inside sales department at 318-388-2602. 

5 Safety Tips for "Second Severe Season"

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, November 17, 2015

According to The Weather Channel, we are in our "Second Severe Season," which means that Fall is notorious for severe storms and tornadoes in the south. Not only are we faced with this every Fall, but this year is exceptional in the fact that we are in an El Nino year. 

In hopes that all our readers stay safe out there this season, here are some tornado safety tips if you're caught in your car.

1. Do not try to outrun a tornado. 

Trying to outrun a tornado is a bad idea because tornadoes have the potential to travel over 60 mph and they don't follow road patterns. If you MUST keep driving, do so on a 90 degree angle away from the tornado. This is a good strategy to follow in order to distance yourself from the severe weather.

2. Do pull over and evacuate your vehicle.

If you see a tornado developing where you are driving, the best thing to do is to pull over and evacuate your vehicle. Seek shelter in the nearest sturdy building or storm shelter; do not hide under your car--the wind could potentially roll your car over. If there is no available shelter, find the nearest ditch or low-lying area and crouch low to the ground while covering your head with your arms.

3. Do try to find a sturdy structure for shelter.

The more walls between you and the tornado, the better off you are. Potentially sturdy structures to look for while driving are fast food restaurants and banks. Fast food restaurants usually will have a cooler that could withstand a tornado, similar to a safe in a bank.

4. Do not try to seek shelter in an underpass.

Underpasses seem like a safe place to hide during a tornado; this is actually a commonly known myth. Simply because they are above ground, underpasses can actually be a dangerous place to get caught during a tornado. Winds from a tornado can accelerate through the small spaces of an underpass, causing it to collapse or causing your car to be blown away.

5. Be aware.

This seems simple, but it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to know what parishes (or counties--depending on where you are from!) have watches and warnings issued for a tornado. Remember: a tornado watch means that there are conditions that point to tornado capabilities; a tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted somewhere near you.

Source: accuweather.com

How To: Read a Viscosity Correlation Chart

Jennie McRae - Monday, November 02, 2015

Whether you're in the DIFM business or you're a DIY kind of guy, you probably are familiar with (and absolutely can't live without) a Viscosity Correlation Chart. 

Still, it can be shocking to know that a lot of people in the industry don't utilize this valuable tool. 

Put simply, this chart is read horizontally. So, if you're trying to figure out what weight an AW 32 is, just find your blue ISO column and follow that all the way to the gray SAE Engine column. An AW 32 is closest to a 15 weight motor oil.

Pretty simple, huh? 

As someone who used to work in customer service at an oil distributorship, you can imagine how happy I was when this chart was first introduced to me! It made life a lot easier, and today we want to share that with you. So take this chart and use it to your heart's content!

If you have any further questions about how to read this chart, please contact our Regional Sales Support Specialists at 318-388-2602.

7 Things to Remember as You Hit the Road this Fall

Jennie McRae - Monday, October 19, 2015

When we think of the Fall season, many things come to mind: sweaters, beautiful foliage, and pumpkin spice everything. However, for drivers, Fall brings more dangers to the roads than one might think.

Here are 7 (yes, seven) things to look out for on the road in the next few months:

Back to School Traffic. 

Fall means back to school for kids, which means more cars and buses on the roads. Drivers also need to watch out for increased pedestrian traffic in the morning and afternoon as children walk to and from school and their neighborhood bus stops.


The first rain in a few weeks can be particularly dangerous, as water pools on top of dust and oil that haven't had a chance to wash away. This makes pavement especially slippery. They say that the most dangerous time to drive is within the first ten minutes of a rain shower.


Fall foliage is certainly beautiful, but as leaves begin to fall, they litter the roads. This makes streets slick while also obscuring traffic lines and other pavement markings. They can also hide potholes and other road hazards. When you add rain to the mix, driving on leaves can be as dangerous as driving on ice. 


Cold fall mornings often involve fog, which can greatly limit driving visibility and perception of distance. Fog tends to occur in low places or areas surrounded by hills, water, and trees. One common mistake drivers make in foggy weather is putting on high beams instead of low beams. High beams bounce off fog and create a glare--so always use your low beams! When driving in fog, slow down and try to stay well behind the car in front of you so you have adequate time to stop if needed.


During the fall, temperatures tend to drop dramatically during the night, which can lead to morning frost and icy spots on the road. Watch out for this on bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas of the road. We don't tend to worry about this too much in Louisiana, but this El Nino winter is forecasted to bring unprecedented cold weather.

Sun Glare. 

Ah, the infamous Sun Glare! This one is a personal pet-peeve of mine. With the time change, the sun is in places you're not used to it being. And sun glare can greatly impact your sight for seconds after exposure! This makes is very hard to see pedestrians, oncoming traffic, traffic lines, and the car in front of you. 


The fall season also brings an increase in deer activity (woohoo!). But deer on the road aren't quite as exciting as deer at the camp. If you are driving in a deer-heavy area, be sure to watch for darting deer, especially when driving at night.

So there you have it! 7 things to remember when you're driving this Fall season. We don't usually think of Fall as a season that's hard to drive in (Winter is a given, and Summer brings concerns of its own). So stay safe out there! 

If you have any questions on products that can make your Fall driving experiences easier, please do not hesitate to call us at 318-388-2602.

(source: esurance.com)

Brand History: Nippon Oil

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, June 30, 2015

You could say that today's blog is featuring an underdog-- let's shine the spotlight on a little-known oil company that has not been available in the United States until recent years.

The JX Nippon Oil & Energy Co. is a Japanese petroleum company established in 1888. The name "Eneos" was coined from the words "Energy" and "Neos," which means "New" in Greek. Their logo represents reliability and continuity with the globe in the center, and the spiral spreading outward symbolizes creativity and innovation. 

In 1999, the company merged with the well-known Mitsubishi Oil. The company was called Nippon Mitsubishi Oil until 2002 when they adopted their present name.

Nippon Oil & Energy's businesses include the exploration, importation, and refining of crude oil; the manufacture and sale of petroleum products, including fuels and lubricants; and other energy-related activities. Eneos products use advanced additive and base oil technology formulated after years of research with Japanese automotive manufacturers. These products provide exceptional performance, power, and protection for a wide variety of applications including race cars, motorcycles, and street automobiles.

Nippon products are sold under the brand name ENEOS, which is also the name used for the service stations in Japan. It is the largest oil company in Japan, and in recent years has expanded its operations to other countries. Central Oil & Supply offers packaged lubricant products from the company.

For more information on the Nippon Oil brand, visit: eneos.us. For more information on the brands we carry, please call one of our Regional Sales Support Specialists at 318-388-2602.

Finding the Marine Oil that is Right for You

Jennie McRae - Monday, June 15, 2015

2-cycle oils, gasoil, and bunker fuels, oh my!


There is always some confusion around the difference between conventional oils and marine oils, and which is appropriate for your marine vehicle.


First, let’s discuss the difference between 4-cycle engines and 2-cycle engines.


Most likely, you have worked with both types of engines. The engine that is in your car and other personal and/or heavy duty motor vehicles is going to be a 4-cycle engine, and 2-cycle engines are found in chainsaws, motorcycles, weed-wackers, and lawnmowers.


Both 2-cycle engines and 4-cycle engines are found in marine vehicles. 2-cycle engines are used for their lightweight and easy-to-repair nature. 4-cycle engines are used for their quiet, smooth, and trolling abilities.


2-cycle oils are meant to be mixed with the fuel in your 2-stroke engine. The fuel and oil mix, (usually ranges from 16:1 to 100:1), and they work together to keep your 2-cycle engine functioning properly because of how a 2-stroke engine runs.  


4-stroke engines, however, do not use an oil/gas mixture. Most people see this as an advantage to using a 4-stroke engine. Because of this, many people have the misconception that they can use conventional oil in their 4-stroke marine applications. Please note that 4-stroke marine oil is still necessary for its anti-corrosion properties.


The most important thing when choosing a marine oil is to know what application you are working with. At Central Oil & Supply we carry both 2-stroke and 4-stroke marine oils. It is essential to know what type of engine you have in your marine vehicle in order to choose the correct marine oil.


For more information on what type of marine oil best suits your summer activities, please call one of our Regional Sales Support Specialists at 1-800-883-8081.


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