What was the issue?
A Verification Request Form (VRF) was raised about a TO-4 transmission oil that had a technical judgement as causing ‘no harm’ when used in some low tier crankcase applications (API CF and below). This was supported by a statement on the PDS, testing data and experienced engineering judgement.
The PDS statement:
“Lubricants blended with this additive package demonstrate API CF performance, providing protection, in case of accidental use in diesel engines, provided the drain interval is shortened.”
What action was taken?
The ALA technical team investigated the engine oil specifications for the equipment and the supporting technical material. The additive manufacturer was also contacted for clarification around the claim on the PDS.
What was the outcome?
Whilst the claim was valid in specific applications, it was identified that these sorts of claims could potentially confuse end users and create a perception that TO-4 fluids in general are ok to use as crankcase fluids. Should confusion or misinterpretation result in an incorrect use of TO-4 fluids as crankcase fluids in equipment, there was potential for damage to the equipment and customer complaints. By working together, the ALA and the lubricant blender were able to identify potential unintended consequences of making a valid ‘no harm’ judgement which would be potentially detrimental not only to their own business, but other lubricant marketers and the broader industry.
The lubricant blender and the ALA worked together and jointly agreed that the best approach was to no longer market this product with any ‘no harm’ crankcase oil recommendations to avoid any misinterpretations and any future confusion. The lubricant blender has made changes to the way the TO-4 products are promoted and now lists a monograde SAE 30 heavy duty diesel engine oil as the most suitable product offer.