Ford will approve new Shell Rotella CK-4 oil, but not FA-4

Updated Jan 27, 2017

Shell Rotella announced today that its new American Petroleum Institute (API) CK-4 motor oil formulations, which will be licensed on Dec. 1, will soon be approved by Ford.

Ford Material Engineering Specification WSS-M2C171-F1, which also goes into effect on Dec. 1, recommends that all diesel engine oils meet this specification prior to being used in Ford diesel engines. Some oils will not make the cut.

“Ford has not approved the use of API FA-4 oils in its vehicles due to the low viscosity nature of these fluids,” states a Shell Rotella press release. “Ford will approve API CK-4 heavy duty engine oils that meet its new specification. A list of all approved oils will appear on their website. We are confident we will gain these approvals and will communicate accordingly.  Ford currently approves the use of API CJ-4 licensed oils.”

The Shell Rotella technology team has been working closely with Ford throughout the development of the new API PC-11 category, which is comprised of the CK-4 and FA-4 specifications.

“We believe, and our testing demonstrates, that the new Shell Rotella CK-4 formulations provide superior wear protection compared to Shell ROTELLA legacy CJ-4 formulations,” Shell Rotella reports.

Both CK-4 and FA-4 oils are designed to offer greater sheer stability, aeration control and oxidation resistance.

On its website, API states that CK-4 oils will offer better protection for diesel engines while being “especially effective at sustaining emission control system durability where particulate filters and other advanced aftertreatment systems are used.”

API CK-4 oils are designed to meet 2017 and earlier model year on-highway and Tier 4 non-road exhaust emission standards.

“These oils are formulated for use in all applications with diesel fuels ranging in sulfur content up to 500 ppm,” API states on its website. “However, the use of these oils with greater than 15 ppm sulfur fuel may impact exhaust aftertreatment system durability and/or oil drain interval.”

API FA-4 oils are designed for use in select, late-model diesel engines and in most cases should not be used to replace older formulations, such as CJ-4. API FA-4 is noted for its fuel efficiency and emissions enhancements. API FA-4 is designed to meet 2017 model year on-highway greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards.