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Information about Central Oil Supply and all of its divisions.

6 (Yes, Six) Summer Driving Maintenance Tips

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Everyone at COS and Central Station wants to wish you a very happy summer! We hope it’s off to a good start, and today’s blog is all about what you need to do before you enjoy that vacation you’ve been planning for months! Nobody wants to start off his or her family vacation with a breakdown! Tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks, and tire rotations will go a long way in making sure you don’t start your vacation off on a bad foot.

 

Here are 6 (yes, six) maintenance checks to remember before you hit the road:

 

1.     Check your Tires

 

We suggest you check your tire pressure, tread wear, and your spare tire. It’s completely normal for your tires to lose air over time—tires do not need to be punctured to lose air. It’s also important to remember that the number listed on the tire itself is not the correct pressure for your vehicle. Under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure, so don’t forget to check your air!

 

When you’re checking the air in your tires, also be sure to look for wear on the tread. If the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace those tires.

 

How do you tell, you ask? Just use the penny test!

 

Place a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see top of his head, your vehicle needs new tires! And, if you find uneven tread wear, it means that your tires need to be rotated and/or your wheels need aligning.

 

2.     Check your Wiper Blades

 

After all that ice and snow (yes, SNOW in Louisiana!) we had this winter, it’ll be necessary for you to check the wear and tear on your wiper blades. If your wipers look like they need some TLC, just toss ‘em. That means it’s time for new ones, anyway!

 

3.     Look at your Cooling System (Antifreeze)

 

Your radiator needs water and antifreeze to keep your engine functioning properly, especially in the hotter months. When your car is cold (meaning, it hasn’t been running recently), carefully check the coolant level to make sure that the reservoir is full.

 

Also please note that if your coolant looks clear (it should be bright neon yellow or red, depending on your vehicle), it is time to have the cooling system flushed and refilled. The big red flag here is if your coolant looks sludgy—immediately take your vehicle to a mechanic if this is the case.

 

(For more information on coolant and which one you need for your car, please see our blog dedicated completely to antifreeze!)

 

4.     Look at your Fluid Levels

 

By fluids, we mean: look at your oil, transmission, power steering, and windshield washer fluids!

 

Make sure your reservoirs are full! And if there is any sign of leakage, its probably better to go ahead and take your vehicle in the be serviced.

 

5.     Check your Lights!

 

Don’t forget to make sure all your lights are working properly! Check your turn signals, headlights, brake lights, emergency flashers, and interior lights! Also, if you’re towing a trailer, don’t forget to look at the brake lights and turn signals on those, as well.

 

6.     Look at Belts and Hoses

 

Be sure to inspect your belts and hoses to make sure there are no bulges, cracks, blisters, or cuts in the rubber. If you see signs of these things starting, it’s better to get those replaced now because hot temperatures will only exacerbate these problems.

 

And there you have it! Six important maintenance checks to do before you burn rubber! For more information, please call 1-800-883-8081.

 

Sources: safecar.gov/summerdrivingtips

Oil Viscosities 101

Jennie McRae - Monday, May 18, 2015


 

 

Ever wondered what those numbers mean on your oil can? And have you ever wanted to know what the “W” stands for, anyway?

You’re in the right place!

 

Today, we’re talking about oil viscosities and what they mean to you.

 

On every bottle of motor oil, there is a seal that gives you three pieces of information: The API service rating, the viscosity rating, and the “Energy Conserving” indicator.

 

The API Service rating is going to tell you the type of engine the oil is meant for (gasoline or diesel). It will also tell you the quality level.

The viscosity grade (for example, 5w30), tells you the oil’s thickness, or viscosity. A thin oil has a lower number, and therefore will flow more easily, whereas a thicker oil has a higher number. Think of the difference between water and honey. Honey has a higher viscosity than water. 10w30 oil is thicker than 5w20.

So how is viscosity measured?


Viscosity is measured in centistokes, and according to the Automotive and Industrial Lubricants Glossary of Terms:

 

Viscosity is ordinarily expressed in terms of the time required for a standard quantity of the fluid at a certain temperature to flow through a standard orifice. The higher the value, the more viscous the fluid. Since viscosity varies inversely with temperature, its value is meaningless unless accompanied by the temperature at which it is determined. With petroleum oils, viscosity is now commonly reported in centistokes (cSt), measured at either 40 degrees Celsius or 100 degrees Celsius.

 

This centistoke rating is then converted into the SAE weight designation. (visit: superiorlubricants.com/classtable.html to see this chart).

 

Multi-weight oils (such as 5w30, 15w40, etc.) are a new invention made possible by adding polymers to oil. The polymers allow the oil to have different weights at different temperatures. The first number indicates the viscosity at a cold temperature, and the second number indicates the viscosity at operating temperature.

Ever wonder what the “W” stands for?

 

It stands for winter! 

 

This is used in the weight classification of the oil to indicate that the first number gives a picture of what the viscosity will be in the winter.

So how do you know what weight of oil to use in your vehicle? Always use what your OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) recommends.

 

For more information on different oil weights, and what is best for you, please call one of our lubricant experts at 1-800-883-8081.

 

Sources: shell.com; auto.howstuffworks.com

Passion for Our Products: Schaeffer Brand History

Jennie McRae - Monday, May 11, 2015

 

 


 

 

Schaeffer Manufacturing Company was founded in 1839 by Nicholas Schaeffer, a German-born, soap and candle maker. Schaeffer Manufacturing Company is the oldest lubricants manufacturer in America and is known today for their premium quality of oils. And although Schaeffer is known today for their PCMO lubricants, Schaeffer Manufacturing mainly sold axle greases in their early days in the mid-1800s.

 

We were actually very impressed to learn that wagon wheels of many travelers to the California gold fields were greased with Schaeffer axle grease! It was this application that catapulted the company as a full-fledged lubricant manufacturer and marketer.

 

Schaeffer also found itself as an important part of history in the mid-19th century; it had become the main supplier of lubricants for the steam engines and steam cylinders that were so instrumental in steamboat-traded goods and imports in the 1800s.

 

Finally, with the rise of industrial plants in America in the late-1800s, Schaeffer was there to keep this new industry running. By this time, Schaeffer had their original line of lubricants for sale: Red Engine Oil, made of animal fats, was used by steamboats that piled the Mississippi , Missouri, and Ohio Rivers, and Black Beauty, a grease that lubricated the wheels of buggies and wagon trains rolling west.

 

Perhaps the most impressive part of this company’s rich history is the fact that through World War 1, the Roaring ‘20’s, the Great Depression, and World War 2, Schaeffer Manufacturing Company still managed to thrive.

 

“Don’t let our 170 years fool you—we are a very progressive company,” says John Schaeffer Shields. The company offers a line of semi-synthetic oils that gives customers the benefits of a synthetic at a price just above conventional products. Schaeffer also provides additives, oil analysis, in-house seminars, and offers a partnership, not just products, to their customers.

 

Source: schaefferoil.com

All About Hydraulic Fluid

Jennie McRae - Monday, May 04, 2015

 

 

Are you a faithful user of our Delta Pride Tractor Hydraulic? Or do you prefer our Premium Tractor Hydraulic? Well, we're here to teach you about both today!

 

The primary function of hydraulic fluid is to convey power. In use, however, one of the main functions that affects so many at their job is to protect the hydraulic machine components in their equipment. Whether that means protection for a tractor’s hydraulic components or for the hydraulics systems at an industrial plant, many people’s jobs depend on how well their equipment runs!

 

And here’s an interesting fact: the original hydraulic fluid, which dates back to the time of ancient Egypt, was water. Yes, you heard us right! Beginning in the 1920s, mineral oil became the primary hydraulic lubrication method. Even today, most hydraulic fluids are based of mineral oil base stocks.

Other base stocks commonly used in hydraulic oils include canola oil (used for biodegradability), glycol, esters polyalphaolefins, propylene glycol, and silicone oils (all used for fire resistance and extreme temperature applications).

 

On top of all the different base stocks there are to choose from, there are also detergent/non detergent, antiwear/non antiwear hydraulic fluids, and different viscosities to choose from. So how do you choose the right one for your equipment, you ask?

 

There are two main criteria to keep in mind when choosing the hydraulic fluid for your equipment. The first is the pump design type and their required viscosity grades. The three major design types of pumps used in hydraulic systems are vane, piston, and gear. Each type is used for a certain task, and each pump type requires different specifications. Vane pumps are the most expensive to maintain because of the vanes can become worn due to the internal contact between two surfaces. Piston pumps are your typical hydraulic pump, and they are more durable in design. Finally gear pumps are typically the most inefficient of the three types of pumps, but are the most agreeable to larger amounts of contamination. It is important to know what type of pump your hydraulic system uses to determine the hydraulic fluid needed.

 

Also, it is important to know your application. Are you operating a dump truck? Or do you have a clean, critical, and highly loaded system? Clean, critical applications require premium hydraulic fluids (an AW—Anti Wear, or an R&O—Rust & Oxidation might be the right fit). Be sure to check the operating temperature of the pump to see if it falls between the lubricant in question.

 

Finding your perfect hydraulic is not hard, but it does require time and research. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! At Central Oil, we have experts waiting to help you with all of your lubrication needs. Don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-883-8081.

 

Sources: machinerylubrication.com; Givens W. and Michael P. Fuels and Lubricants Handbook. G. Totten ed. ASTM International 2003 p. 373; Placek, D. Synthetics, Mineral Oils & Bio-Based Lubricants, L. Rudnick ed. CRC Press, 2006. P. 519. 

Making the Switch: Reasons you should be Using T6

Jennie McRae - Monday, April 27, 2015


There’s a new Rotella in town, and we’re not talking about TTP.


You read us right—Shell has a newer version of Rotella that is a full synthetic heavy duty oil with advanced multi-functional, low-ash additive technology to help add protection that will continually adapt to your driving conditions.

 

Rotella T6 delivers 34% better wear performance on average compared to the previous API CI-PLUS 5w40 formulation. In seven out of seven industry-standard, diesel wear test measurements, Shell Rotella T6 outperformed the previous formulation.

 

A problem you probably don’t realize you’re having in your HD engine is blocked particulate filters. This can increase fuel consumption. T6 is formulated to help maintain the efficiency of the latest vehicle-emissions technologies. Not to mention—the use of low-viscosity synthetic base oils further energize the oil’s protective capability that promotes fuel-economy performance with absolutely no compromise in durability. This new Rotella is also:

  •  
  • Extended-drain capable

  • Energy saving –fuel economy performance

  • Excellent engine cleanliness and wear protection

  • Excellent extreme high/low temperature protection

  • Improved low-temperature flow
  •  

At Central Oil & Supply, it is our mission to help you operate smoothly. We carry the full line of Rotella products to better serve you in your industry. For more information on Rotella T6, and what it can do for you (including how much money it can save your business!), call one of our sales specialists at 1-800-883-8081.

 

Sources: http://www.shell.com/rotella/products/t6.html

PC11: What It Is and What It Means to You

Jennie McRae - Monday, April 20, 2015


 

In 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced some major changes that would come our way to help us reduce the levels of greenhouse gas emission of trucking fleets around the country. This new PC (Proposed Category) 11 regulation is being driven by changes to fuel economy and emissions regulations that have been set forth by the EPA. You’ve been hearing about PC11 because this is to be phased in between 2014 and 2018, and these new regulations will impose different fuel-efficiency targets based on the size and weight of vehicle types. The vehicles impacted by PC11 are: ON-Road vehicles, including combination tractor & trailers, pickup trucks, buses, vans, and vocational service vehicles.

 

There will be two categories of HDMO oils to meet these specs. PC11A will be backward compatible with API CJ-4 and API CJ-4 PLUS oils, and PC11B will define new low temperature oils in the HDMO sector. These will NOT be backward compatible with API CJ-4 and API CJ-4 PLUS oils. These new oils will most likely be recommended by OEMs for use in 2017 model diesel engines to take advantage of improved fuel economy. We can most likely expect to see this new category of API in March of 2017.

 

Rather than seeing PC11 as another regulation you have to begrudgingly follow, we see it as opportunity for some positives in the Heavy Duty Motor Oil Space. Here are a few:


    • PC11 will provide improvements in shear stability, aeration, adhesive wear, oxidation stability, and fuel economy for your heavy duty engine or fleet.

  • PC11 will protect while also strive to improve fuel economy though the progression to lighter viscosity oils

  • These new PC11 oils will not only help to protect us from harmful emissions, but they will also be designed for unmatched engine protection and performance
  •  

If you have any questions about PC-11 and what that means for you, please contact one of our expert sales specialists at 1-800-883-8081. Central Oil & Supply is dedicated to keeping you in-the-know. We will keep you informed as more information comes out on PC11 and how that will affect you and your business.

 

Sources: http://www.shell.com/rotella/products/proposed-category-11-updates.html; http://www.delolubematters.com/2014/11/05/explaining-the-new-pc-11-oil-categories/#sthash.RsvH3JVH.dpbs; http://www.deloperformance.com/expert-knowledge/proposed-category-11.aspx

Passion for our Products: Castrol Brand History

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

 Castrol is a leading manufacturer of premium lubricating oils, greases, and related services to automotive, industrial, marine, aviation, oil exploration, and production customers across the world. Headquartered in the UK, the company operates directly in over 40 countries and employs approximately 7,000 staff worldwide. And, in nearly 100 other markets, Castrol is represented by third party distributors who market and sell their products locally.

 

Castrol was founded by Charles “Cheers” Wakefield under the name of CC Wakefield & Company in 1899, when he was 39. Wakefield had just left his job at Vacuum Oil to start this new business in Cheapside, London. Wakefield had a particular passion for motorcycles and airplanes, so this new company started manufacturing oil specifically for these types of engines that needed oils that were runny enough to work from a cold start-up. The trick was that they also needed to be thick enough to keep working at very high temperatures. Wakefield researchers eventually found that adding a small amount of castor oil made from castor beans to the oils did the trick nicely. They called this new product “Castrol.”

 

By 1960, after many sponsorships and attempts to break the land speed record with his new type of oil, it became apparent that the “Castrol” name had eclipsed the company’s original founding name. It was then that CC Wakefield & Co became Castrol Ltd.

 

Over the years, the Castrol brand has helped some of the most powerful and iconic engines across the world. The QEII (Queen Elizabeth II), the world’s largest ocean-going passenger liner in 1967, was powered by Castrol Lubricants. And more recently, when NASA’s curiosity rover began its exciting mission on Mars in 2012, a Castrol industrial grease played a central role in the smooth operation of the mission.

 

Castrol attributes the success of its company over the years to its founder, Charles Wakefield. On their website, they state that “he drew on the help and encouragement of his customers in developing his new Castrol Oils, because he had the foresight to see that working in partnership was the best way to achieve success for both parties.” For more information on what Castrol products we carry, and which are best for you, please call 1-800-883-8081 to speak with a regional sales specialist. For more information on the Castrol brand, please visit: http://www.castrol.com/en_us/united-states/about-us/history.html.

All About Transmission Fluid

Jennie McRae - Monday, April 06, 2015

 

As vehicle owners, we all know that transmission fluid, or ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid--specifically used in self-shifting automatic transmissions), is important to our vehicles. And not only is it important to be mindful of our transmission fluid, but choosing the correct one is imperative to the health of our engine.

 

But first: what exactly is transmission fluid, anyway?


Put simply, transmission fluid is oil for the transmission of your vehicle. Pistons and bearings aren’t the only parts of your engine that need TLC: since the transmission in your engine is responsible for controlled application of power, it needs special attention, too!

 

There are two main types of transmission fluid: Dexron and Mercon. Dexron is the trade name for a group of technical specifications of ATF created by GM. The original Dexron transmission fluid was introduced in 1968, and over the years, newerversions of the fluid have been released. (This explains the numbers that always follow the name i.e. Dexron III.) Mercon is the ATF that was created by Ford Motor Company in the 1990s, and similarly to Dexron, the number that follows the name of the product indicates when that fluid was released.

 

Your vehicle owner’s manual will tell you which one to use, and it is very important that you follow the instructions set forth by your OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). Within each type of transmission fluid, be it Dexron or Mercon, you will have the option of using a synthetic or conventional fluid type. And just like synthetic oils are better for your engine in higher temperatures and in overall performance, the same goes for your transmission fluid. However, in some cases where the engine is much older, it is better to stick with a conventional fluid type.

 

Something else to note is that the transmission fluid in your vehicle should be changed at (about) every 24,000 miles to 36,000 miles (source: autos.com). This translates to about every 2 to 3 years. But just as your owner’s manual should have information on what type of fluid to use, it should also tell you how often to change the transmission fluid. When it is appropriate to have your transmission fluid changed, be sure to get a transmission flush and don’t skimp on getting a new transmission filter.

 

At Central Oil & Supply, we offer several different brands of transmission fluid, including Castrol, Shell, Motorcraft, Pure Guard, and even our house brand, Delta Pride. For a quote on what it would cost you to purchase this for your shop, or to get more information on what type of ATF is right for you, please contact one of our Sales Support Specialists at 1-800-883-8081.

NELA Winter Storm Driving Tips

Jennie McRae - Monday, February 23, 2015


 

It's something we don't often think about, being based in Louisiana: Winter Weather. And in light of certain weather events, we thought it would be good to brush up on some winter weather driving techniques, quick tips, and tricks.

 

1. Take the time to make sure your tires are inflated.

 

This seems like a no-brainer, but it's something that is always necessary to do--especially when it's freezing out.

 

2. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freezing.

 

We posted about this on our facebook page a few months back, but we want to mention it again; don't let your gas line freeze up! Keep your gas tank as full as possible, and you will be good-to-go.

 

3. If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy, and snowy weather. 

 

Even though the emergency brake cable is housed in a protective sleeve, the cable can become corroded. This can result emergency brake failure--when you need it most! In freezing temperatures, the emergency brake cable can fail to release when the lever is disengaged due to the cable becoming frozen. According to USACE, the best option in freezing weather is to not use the emergency brake at all. (howstuffworks.com)

 

4. Accelerate and decelerate slowly.

 

This is the best method for avoiding skids. It takes much longer to slow down on icy roads. Also, don't stop your car if you can avoid it! If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.

 

5. Turn your steering wheel into a skid.

 

If you find yourself skidding, (without braking or accelerating,) turn your steering wheel in the direction that your back wheels are headed. This will be the safest way for you to stop your vehicle in icy conditions. Also, it is incredibly important to stay calm. If something scary like this happens, turning too much or braking too quickly can make matters worse.  

 

6. Give yourself plenty of time!

 

Do your best to not be in a hurry--give yourself ample time to make your appointments. Remember, staying calm is the way to be safe in icy weather! 

 

7. STAY HOME!

 

If you really don't have to go out, please don't. Even if you've mastered the art of driving in the sleet, ice, and snow, that doesn't mean that everyone else has!  

Logo Lowdown: Why a Shell?

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Have you ever found yourself wondering why Shell Oil Company uses a shell as their logo? Or why they're called "Shell" at all? 

 

...Us, too!

 

Legend has it that there was a small London business, Marcus Samuel and Company, that dealt in kerosene, antiques and oriental seashells. (Seashells were apparently a hot commodity in the Victorian era!--people used to decorate things like trinket boxes with them.) The company capitalized on this demand so much so that they changed their name to the the "Shell Transport and Trading Company" in 1897. Soon to follow was the first mussel shell logo in 1901. By 1904, a scallop shell or "pecten" emplem was introduced.  

 

There have been contradicting reports, however, that the reason why the shell actually stuck as the brand's image and name is because of Mr. Graham, or Graham Oil, who eventually became director of the Shell Oil Company. Mr. Graham's family's coat of arms included a shell emblem.

 

Whatever its origins, the shell logo was originally a faithful reproduction on the pecten or scallop shell. And when the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and Shell Transport and Trading merged in 1907, it was the "shell" brand name that was chosen to bring the company into a new era.

 

The form of the shell emblem has certainly changed over the years to keep in line with current graphic design trends of the time--to learn more about the history of Shell Oil Company and to see the evolution of their logo, visit their history page at http://www.shell.com/global/aboutshell/who-we-are/our-history/history-of-pecten.html.

 

 


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