The importance of oil filtration

The importance of oil filtration

Lube oil is one of those crucial aspects of truck engine life. It keeps the engine running by reducing friction, removes heat from the engine, and carries debris to the filters. Thus it makes sense that the engine’s filtration system would be similarly important. The filter prevents dirt, carbon, and metal particles from doing damage to the engine. It’s an important job, which is why fleets need the best lubricants for the job and need to stay current on emerging technology.


CumminsPC-11 lubricants are coming, and with them some significant changes for engine oils. However, it is likely that engine filtration will largely remain the same, with some additional benefits.

Donald Chilton, Wix’s vice president of product management, says that PC-11 will bring “only good things” to oil filtration. “PC-11 will prevent oil breakdown better then CJ-4,” he explains. “Oil breakdown is the primary contaminant source in modern diesel engines. Fewer breakdowns mean longer filter life and more uptime for the operator.”

“We expect to see some changes in the oil and additive compositions,” says Eric Miller, Donaldson’s product manager of engine liquid filtration. “For example, it is our understanding that the New Category Development Team is looking at PC-11 to feature two oil categories, one of which will exhibit lower high temperature and high shear viscosity. While lower viscosity can help with lower pressure drop and longer filter life, other changes in the oil formulations can have different impacts on filtration. The impact on filtration is somewhat unknown but should be minimal.”

“If anything, PC-11 may help improve oil filter life,” says Jonathan Sheumaker, Cummins Filtration’s technical adviser for liquid filtration research and technology. “PC-11 oils promise better oxidation stability, shear stability, resistance to aeration, and greater overall durability at higher operating temperatures. Anything that helps oil last longer should help the filter last longer, too.”

“Due to the low viscosity, a more efficient filter may be needed to keep engine protection at the same level,” Donaldson’s Miller says. “In order to deliver the expected benefits from next heavy-duty diesel engine lube oil category, it is our expectation that high-performance engine lube oil filtration will be critical to its success. Efficiency levels similar to what is already found with Donaldson Blue lube filters will likely become more important.”

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