Warning - Shell Rotella no longer has gasolene engine designation

skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 314 Crazy Baller
After buying oil for my 25 hour oil change on my '17, I noticed that the graphics on the 1 Gallon bottles of Rotella conventional 15W40 had changed. I did a detailed read of the label and found that they have replaced Rotella T with Rotella T4 as their conventional (dino) oil. The T4 does NOT have the S designation that is required for gasolene engines. (as in SN). Since I always run conventional oil until the 75 hour oil change, it looks like I can no longer use Rotella (unless I can find some of the older Rotella T) I know Rotella has been a popular oil for use in our boats due to the 15W40 requirement and thought some of you may be interested in this,
savaiusinioldjeepsantangelodancin
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Comments

  • Lieutenant DanLieutenant Dan Posts: 159 Baller
    @skiinxs This is going to be a really interesting thread I predict! A quick "google" and perusal of resulting threads seems to indicate that the US Gov't has regulated that Zinc additives (ZDDP) not be used in oils for gasoline engines, only diesel and off-road racing. Therefore, it could just be that they cannot any longer get the "S" specification because of this. Probably is the same oil as ever but who knows. Also, I read that the zinc is bad for catalytic converters but some wags say that is only if you are burning a bunch of oil. Again, I can't wait to hear others chime in on this.
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 522 Crazy Baller
    I did hear a few weeks ago that Shell lowered the zddp some. Curious as to why it's needed in the newer boats. I've always used high zinc formulas for my older flat tappet motors. I believe Valvoline VR1 20w50 to be amongst highest in ZDDP numbers which is what I use.
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  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 294 Solid Baller
    edited June 1
    I could understand this being an issue for newer motors with catalytic converters. However, I don't see the issue with older Chevy PCM engines. The 330 and such. Those engines don't have cats and they don't have a flat tappet cam, so really any 15w40 oil should work. Or am I totally wrong there?

    I ran Valvoline VR1 20w50 or 40w in my GT-40. On my new to me Excalibur 330 I was planning to run Shell Rotella T3 15w40
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,529 Mega Baller
    edited June 1
    Interesting thread here:
    BobIsTheOilGuy Thread

    And this picture from that thread explains how I have a bottle of T4 that actually has the SM rating on it. Back of Left bottle




    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,529 Mega Baller
    @BrennanKMN - T3 doesn't exist any more except as old stock
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 294 Solid Baller
    edited June 1
    @oldjeep That's why I said planning :p I haven't done an oil change on it yet.

    What's is the difference between the left and right bottle? They look the same to me but different ratings.
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 314 Crazy Baller
    @oldjeep Now that is really interesting. Both bottles I had were missing the SN. I found Chevron Delo in 15W40 that still has the SN rating. I almost went ahead and switched to synthetic early, but I really do like to get them to at least 75 hours on dino oil for a better break-in.
    oldjeep
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,529 Mega Baller
    edited June 1
    @skiinxs - the explanation in that thread is that they switched the name before switching the final formula? I'm not sure if that actually means that it still does meet the SN spec or not. Right now I've still got enough of the old T3 and old T4 sitting around for a couple more oil changes.

    Good call on the Delo 15W40 - looks like that is readily available at O'Reilly and Amazon
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • fu_manfu_man Posts: 304 Baller
    edited June 1
    .
  • fu_manfu_man Posts: 304 Baller
    edited June 1
    .
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,529 Mega Baller
    @fu_man - that is the old document that still lists SN rating - few lines down from where you highlighted. The current spec page for the T4 oil no longer lists SN
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • dbutcherdbutcher Posts: 193 Baller
    My 2015 PCM 5.7L owner's manual recommends using SAE 15W-40 with classification GF-4/SM. Is there a difference between the SM classification and the SN classification? The Rotella T4 I just bought does not have the SM classification (or SN). I'm going to return it. For what it's worth, I called Shell's number for technical assistance on the back of the bottle and was told I could use it in my gasoline engine. The gentleman with whom I spoke, however, did not instill in me any confidence that he knew what he was talking about.
  • JGrayJGray Posts: 62 Baller
    My wife works for Shell. I will write up the questions/concerns and see if she can get some answers for us.
    dbutcherskihartBrennanKMNBill22
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,034 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2
    Well, I just changed my oil with Rotella T4, not even thinking about it. So I certainly will be interested in what the answer is to see if I have to change out my oil again. PS, my boat is old.
  • DanEDanE Posts: 781 Crazy Baller
    In general, do not use an oil labeled as a diesel engine motor oil only in a gasoline engine. There are cleansing additives that could be harmful in the long run because of buildup of deposits on the pistons. There is a reason why an oil is labeled C ( diesel) only and zink additive has nothing to do with that.
    Bruce_Butterfield
  • oldmanskieroldmanskier Posts: 102 Baller
    I searched the web to see if I could find any old stock Shell Rotella T3 15W-40.
    I did not find much on T3 but got several hits on Shell Rotella T 15w-40.
    What is the difference between T and T3?
    Is it ok to use T 15w-40 in a 2014 pcm 5.7 catalytic converter engine?
    Thanks.
    Oldmanskier
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,529 Mega Baller
    edited June 2
    @oldmanskier the old T3 never said T3 on the bottle. It says Rotella T Triple protection. The main thing you are looking for is the SM rating on the label.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 2,142 Mega Baller
    edited June 2
    Link to FAQS
    LINK to API.org Oil Categories

    Sorry about the long link but the link button does not seem to want to work with Firefox!
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.


    RPT
  • MattPMattP Posts: 5,870 Moderator
  • skierjpskierjp Posts: 447 Solid Baller
    @skiinxs , curious why you don't use synthetic from the start? I always have and will continue. Every Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette, and Caddilac comes from the factory with Mobile 1 synthetic. In fact the Escalade and heavy duty pick ups have virtually the same engine as the Nautique 6.2.
    Shoot I remember back in the 90s synthetic was a no no in a Harley, now it's the standard. Now the new Ford Diesels come synthetic blend.
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,034 Crazy Baller

    Yep, sure enough. This is what I used on my '98. So, will have to read those links and see if I need to swap that out again. And now figure out what I will use now. I only ran the boat about an hour or so on it, so I doubt I caused any harm, but better get the cleansing additives that @DanE mentions out. Shoot. Oh well, I learned how to do my first oil change when I did it, so I will be faster now.
  • oldmanskieroldmanskier Posts: 102 Baller
    Oldjeep thanks for the clarification on the Rotella T Triple protection. I will be stopping by some auto parts stores this weekend to see if I can find any old stock Rotella T Triple protection with a SM rating.
    Oldmanskier
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 314 Crazy Baller
    @skierjp Good point. When I bought a new Vette it specified only Mobil 1 Synthetic from the start, same thing for the Current GTO (6.0). Actually I have always been baffled by the 15W40 oil that PCM specifies going into the exact same blocks (6.0 and 6.2) that GM specifies 5W30 Mobil 1 synthetic only on their performance cars. Whether it is GM for the cars or PCM for the boats, they provide the warranty and specify the lubricants and I never waiver from their requirements. I do know the boats really seem to wake up and get a lot stronger around 100 hours, so if I started them on synthetic, my guess is that it would simply take them a little longer to wake up. (my assumption is that reduced friction on synthetic means reduced wear which means slower break-in). I do know that PCM mentions in their manual that they ship with a "special break-in oil" and not to change it before 10 hours.
  • TELTEL Posts: 104 Baller
    Wow, you guys over think oil. Use what the manufacture says, viscosity is the most important thing. Do not change your oil the first time on a new engine till you reach the hours the manufacture says. They have special additives to help seat the rings, yes all engines now days are spun at the factory to seat the rings and to check vital engine tolerances before final assembly. T5 in Shell's Rotella is the new semi synthetic oil, the next generation in oil it is the way to go in all engines that recommend 15w40 not using full synthetic oil. One thing to remember if your engine leaks a little don't use synthetic oils it will leak more. Oh you Canadian's use Petro-Canada oil they have the newest plants and have the cleanest base 3 oils meaning they need less additives to achieve the same ratings for their oil (less break down more hours). As of this year they are owed by an American company.(I work for a distributor for several brands of oil)
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 314 Crazy Baller
    @TEL You don't want to steer people to not using an oil that is rated at least SM (the latest is SN which is fully backward compatible) in their engines that require that designation. (That is the PCM requirement for non-supercharged applications, not sure about Indmar or the others) No reason not to protect your warranty when the specified oil is available:)
  • DanEDanE Posts: 781 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2
    @skiinxs You can't really compare the specs for an inboard vs a car even if the engine block is the same. The inboard runs under a constant load vs the car that loads intermittently. Air cooling the oil pan can also be a differing factor in oil temp just as well as the lower amount of oil capacity in a boat. In theory a 5W40 should have the same viscosity as a 15W40 at operating temp but in reality a 15W40 can have a slightly higher viscosity when stressed. And obviously where a 5W40 would really shine (cold weather start) is of no concern for a boat. Granted a fully synthetic oil can stand longer service intervals but if you change oil every 50 hours there is no real benefit.
  • dbutcherdbutcher Posts: 193 Baller
    My post of June 1 had an error. The Rotella T4 I bought does have a SM classification on the bottle. However, it is CH-4/SM, not GF-4/SM. I think the C relates to diesel. There is no GF-4 anywhere on the bottle. GF-4 may be obsolete, replaced by GF-5. There is no GF-5 on the bottle either. Thus, I do not know if I can use this oil in my PCM gas engine or not. Anyone have thoughts? Does the "G" mean gasoline? Please forgive my ignorance.
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 507 Solid Baller
    According to the information in the API link that Jody Seal provided above, the "SM" is the gasoline engine designation, so it appears that it doesn't matter what diesel designation it has unless you're putting it in a diesel engine. For gas engines it is the "SM" that is important. At least that is what I got out of that API site.
  • oldmanskieroldmanskier Posts: 102 Baller
    I was able to find some old stock (SM rated) Rotella T Triple protection and Rotella T4 Triple protection 15w-40 (total around 6 gallons) this weekend at some auto part stores and Wallmart. This will give me close to 4 oil changes before I run out. Hopefully PCM will come out with a updated recomendation on oil for the 5.7 PCM in the future.
    Note: The T4 you have to check carefully. The jugs look a like but some have the SM rating and some do not.
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