Five Tips to Optimize Oil Drains

Are you short on lubricants? Do you want to save on costs or just simply keep equipment running? Look no further than the lubricants you already have on hand.

The lubricant that flows through the component is critical to its operation and key to optimizing overall equipment performance. While OEMs suggest drain intervals based on hours or miles, it is a general recommendation and not always specific to your application. Your lubricants can actually be safely extended past the recommended oil drain. This would require lubricant testing to verify its physical properties and to evaluate its ability to continue properly protecting the equipment. A routine Fluid Analysis program can help determine any unusual wear pattern in the equipment, identify and control any contamination and determine if the lubricant is suitable for continued use.

So, if you follow the guidelines and participate in fluid analysis, you can get a little more from your lubricants during these challenging times. Optimizing oil drains can decrease waste, increase equipment reliability, reduce costs of purchasing new lubricants, and lower maintenance costs.

Here are five helpful tips to start optimizing your oil drains:

  1. Take a look at the oil and check with the OEM. Check with the manufacturer to determine what lubricant formulations are approved for extending drain intervals.
  2. Participate in oil testing and analysis. Accounts for operating conditions, maintenance practices, oil quality, longevity and other variables that are important to equipment reliability. Participating in comprehensive laboratory testing and analysis can determine the ideal lubricant drain interval.
  3. Run data management reports. Within Polaris Laboratories data management system, HORIZON, users can download sample data using the Problem Summary Report. Key Performance Indicators can be identified in this report.
  4. Identify key performance indicators (KPIs). Common KPIs for extending lubricant drain intervals include:
  5. Acid Number: By measuring the amount of acid in the lubricant, the levels of oxidation and contamination can be indicated. If the acid number level is under both the OEM and the lubricant manufacturer’s recommendation, it can be safe to continue the use of the lubricant.
    Base Number: This test indicates the level of additives in your oil, specifically detergents and dispersants that neutralize the acidic byproducts of combustion. If the lubricant’s base number levels are above the lubricant manufacturer’s condemning limits, the oil may be safely extended.
    Oxidation: If oxidation levels are below the condemning limit suggested by manufacturer, this may mean the oil can still be used and drain extended.
    Nitration: Critical to monitor in Natural Gas Engines.
    Viscosity: If the lubricant’s viscosity falls within the lubricant manufacturer's range, this can determine if the oil can be extended and utilized longer.

  6. Take action on sample reports. Everything from metal levels, contamination, sample history and recommended actions are included in every sample report. It’s important to review reports as soon as they are received so appropriate actions can be taken.

Its time you got more out of your lubricants! For questions on how you can move from a preventative maintenance to a condition-based monitoring program, contact us today!

Peak Performance Comes Naturally with Chevron’s NEW Renewable Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Have you heard the news? Chevron has released Havoline PRO-RS Renewable Full Synthetic Motor Oil that includes 25% sustainably soured plant-based oils. This top-tier product has all the performance benefits of a premium full synthetic motor oil, including excellent cleaning power and wear protection but also provides environmental benefits like outstanding fuel economy, emission control, lower carbon and is a USDA Certified Biobased Product. Hands down, this product is better for cars, better for the environment, and better for your business!

Havoline PRO-RS is designed with a proprietary cleaning booster to provide ultimate protection, especially under harsh stop-and-go driving conditions, extreme temperatures, and heavy loads. It exceeds the latest and most demanding industry standards, delivering all the performance benefits of a premium full synthetic motor oil, PLUS key environmental benefits:

  • Lower carbon intensity on a lifecycle basis – up to 37% lower carbon intensity than similar full synthetic oils
  • Top fuel economy retention
  • USDA Certified Biobased Product
  • Outstanding Emission Control

Feel confident offering your customers a new innovative product from a trusted, industry-leading brand developed by Chevron’s top-notch chemists, engineers, and scientists. Not only does Havoline PRO-RS stand out from the rest as a more environmentally responsible option, but it also provides superior engine performance and helps save on fuel costs. Keep innovating to continue moving your business forward! If you have any questions regarding the new Havoline PRO-RS, please contact your Greg’s Petroleum Service sales rep today!

Do you have varnish questions?

Do you hate washing the dishes? Most of us do. It’s why we have dishwashers! But there are some messes even the dishwasher can’t clean, like when you burn something at the bottom of a pot or pan. A burn stain on your favorite pot or pan isn’t an easy fix. You have to let the stain soak or use strong cleaners to remove it, and you’re still probably going to need to do some extra hard scrubbing to restore your pan to its former glory.

What is varnish?
Cleaning a dirty pot or pan, especially one with a burn stain, is like dealing with varnish issues in an engine. There are a lot of complicated explanations for varnish, but it’s essentially lubricant degradation. The deposits that form in an engine or piece of machinery, known as varnish, are the signs of the lubricant breaking down and separating as the oil works through the machine. As a result, varnish deposits form on the surfaces of the equipment, eventually slowing things down or leading to equipment failure.

What is causing your lubricant degradation?
There are plenty of reasons your lubricants may begin to break down. The most popular reason is oxidation, which is when a chemical reaction between the air and the oil alters the makeup of the lubricant. But oxidation is a slow process and leads to more rigid deposit formations that are usually easy to remove with abrasives.

The deposits typically recognized as varnish are often caused by thermal stress. Thermal stress occurs when a heat source alters the lubricant quickly, just like when you burn food in your favorite pan. These deposits are much harder to clean and remove compared to oxidation.
Of course, oxidation and thermal stress are not the only reasons your lubricants may begin degrading. Contamination, system cleanliness, excess water, additive breakdown, poor base oils, and other chemical reactions may also contribute to the problem. Therefore, you must take appropriate preventive maintenance measures to stop your lubricants from degrading.

How can you avoid lubricant degradation?
You can choose the highest quality lubricants for your equipment, but as soon as you put them into your equipment or machinery, their chemical makeup will change. That’s just a fact. No matter how well maintained or clean your equipment is, dirt, grime, contaminants, and other chemicals are always left behind. That’s why regular oil analysis is so essential.

Here at Greg’s Petro, we offer an oil analysis program to help you stay on top of your equipment needs. We can teach you how to collect and send samples to our laboratory partner when you sign up. The lab will analyze your samples and look for signs of distress, degradation, or contamination. Based on their findings, they will offer personalized maintenance or lubricant recommendations based on your equipment’s needs. These recommendations are incredibly valuable because they consider how you use your machinery. If you are interested in this program and want to keep your fleet or equipment in optimal working condition, call your Greg’s Petroleum representative today!

How are varnish issues detected?
Several different specialized tests are used to detect varnish issues. These procedures aren’t always included in standardized testing protocols. However, they can provide valuable data that can help guide your maintenance programs. The two top tests for varnish are:

  • Membrane Patch Colorimetric Method (MPC): MPC testing involves diluting an oil sample with a solvent and then filtering that sample through an ultra-fine white membrane. The color left behind on the membrane indicates potential issues and is measured on the CIELAB color scale. The remaining color saturation on the filter indicates the presence of varnish.
  • Enhanced MPC method (iMPC): This test is a step above the MPC method, which is often criticized for not considering the temperature of the oil sample and repeatability issues. The iMPC method doesn’t involve diluting the oil sample with a solvent. Instead, the sample is passed through the membrane filter unaltered and allowed to dry. The color left behind is then measured on the same CIELAB color scale, which offers a more accurate representation of the total amount of varnish present in the sample since it wasn’t diluted.

Testing for varnish is a complicated process. These are just two testing procedures that may detect varnish levels in your equipment. Different techniques and testing methods may still provide valuable insights that can help guide your lubricant and maintenance programs.

How can I keep varnish deposits from forming?
We believe the best way to prevent varnish issues is to be proactive. While plenty of varnish removal tools and solutions exist, they are costly, time-consuming, and require significant equipment downtime. That’s not what’s best for your business. Being proactive about varnish issues starts with ordering the right lubricants and fuel supplies. Top-quality lubricants, like those from Chevron, work right out of the container.

Ideally, the lubricants you use should be derived from high-quality base oils with suitable additives to meet your equipment needs. Our team can work with you to find the right product. Our recommendations are always based on how you use your equipment and your needs. Ordering the right supplies and performing regular maintenance and oil analysis are the best ways to prevent varnish issues from occurring in the first place.

A recent survey from Machinery Lubrication found that 81% of lubrication professionals experience oil degradation problems due to varnish and oxidation. So, know that you’re not alone in dealing with these issues. Our team has the experience and knowledge to help you avoid varnish problems and deal with them as they come up. So, call us today, and let’s talk about how we can keep your equipment varnish-free!

Delo 600 LubeWatch Offer Extended Thru 2022

Good news, the Delo® 600 ADF LubeWatch® Promotional Offer has been extended through the end of 2022. That’s right, another full year!

The updated promotion description is available here.

LubeWatch performance reviews provide detailed technical trending analysis and consultations by a Chevron lubes expert. In developing Delo 600 ADF, Chevron’s focus has been on the diesel particulate filter (DPF), which collects up to 98% of particulate matter emissions in the form of ash and soot, leading to a significant amount of clogging. Delo 600 ADF is the first ultra low-ash, heavy duty engine oil that reduces the sulfate ash content of a typical CK-4 oil by 60%. The all-encompassing protection helps drastically reduce the rate of DPF clogging to deliver extended DPF service life and industry-redefining fuel economy retention.

Delo 600 ADF is quickly becoming a new standard in engine and after-treatment system protection. Be sure to take advantage of this offer and see how this new product can extend DPF service life.

As your lubricants supplier, we take pride in providing quality lubricating solutions designed to fit your needs! We’re here to help, and happy to answer any questions. Contact us today!

The rollercoaster ride of fuel pricing will continue in 2022!

As a fuel and lubricant supplier, we are well aware of the rollercoaster that fuel prices ride, but it’s gotten especially intense over the course of the last few years. The COVID-19 pandemic upended the industry in 2020 as shutdowns, restrictions and lockdowns slowed travel and movement to a halt. The economy flatlined as many industries took massive hits, including most fuel companies.

But life goes on, and now two years into the pandemic, we’re slowly adjusting to the new normal of COVID-19. The new normal, of course, is the constant ups and downs of ever-changing circumstances. Overall, the past year was wild for the fuel industry, but it was still mainly a year of recovery. Prices rose to record highs by the end of the year, and demand crept back up as businesses and industries continued to reopen.

2021 Recap
As we face 2022, it’s time to look back at this past year and the trends and developments that shook the fuel industry. Here are a few of the big moments that shaped the past year from GasBuddy’s 2021 Year in Review.

  • Spring 2021: The year started well as prices slowly rose and fuel demand increased. However, in May, a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline created shortages. The pipeline, which starts in Houston, affected supply for much of the Southeastern part of the country and left many businesses and consumers unable to find fuel until the situation was resolved.
  • Summer 2021: The price of gasoline rose to over $3 a gallon for the first time since 2014, fueled by increased consumer demand. As vaccines became widely available and restrictions eased, people began to travel more. However, in August, hurricane season struck. Hurricane Ida stranded many people without fuel in Louisiana.
  • Fall 2021: Things began to pick up. Gasoline prices climbed to record highs and signaled a growing recovery for many fuel companies, including our partner Chevron. The company reported a substantial profit after severe losses in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Dec 2021: The most dramatic moment of the year came on Christmas Day when gas prices hit their highest recorded price ever, averaging $3.26 a gallon!

Chevron Recovery
As a Chevron fuel and lubricant supplier, we want to provide our customers with a more in-depth explanation of Chevron’s recovery this past year. First, we must explore the losses of 2020. The effects of COVID-19 severely affected the company, causing losses of more than $5.5 billion. As CEO Mike Wirth says, “2020 was a year like no other.” Recovering from that significant loss was a considerable challenge. But the company held firm during the struggles of 2020 and early 2021. By November of 2021, when the company announced its third-quarter results, it reported a profit of $6 billion. In the same quarter of 2020, the company lost $207 million. That’s a pretty significant improvement!

Where does Chevron go from here?
It remains to be seen how the spread of the Omicron variant will affect fuel demand and prices, even as COVID-19 cases reach record highs. Fuel prices remain high and are expected to stay there. However, producers are reluctant to invest in new drilling projects based on the experiences of the last few years with low investment returns and increasing climate change concerns.

In addition, many companies are facing fines, restrictions, or shareholder unrest. According to Chevron CEO, Mike Wirth, “You’ve got some real new dynamics, whether it’s government policy, efforts to constrain capital into the industry, that make it harder for the industry to access capital markets that in the short term could create some risk for the global economy.” Despite the risks that many oil and gas companies face right now, Chevron is in a good place. As the second-largest western oil company, they have a robust financial portfolio. Chevron slashed capital spending by ⅓ last year and plans to stick to low spending at least through 2025. The company is also planning significant investments into clean energy and energy transition technologies by investing $10 billion in hydrogen, natural gas, and carbon capture projects. The goal of these projects is to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 20%.

So what can your business expect this year?
As a fuel and lubricant supplier, we know that rising fuel prices will hurt small businesses and our customers. Unfortunately, we cannot control the market, but we can help mitigate the pain of rising fuel costs. We offer initiatives to reduce your fuel costs, like bulk fuel orders and a card lock fuel program. So, even if fuel prices remain high, you can plan your budget to absorb the cost.

The good news about rising fuel prices is that it signals economic recovery, which many businesses are still struggling to achieve after COVID-19. Of course, no one can predict the future, but many analysts predict more substantial economic gains this coming year. So, what do we recommend you do? Follow these three suggestions.

  1. Plan for higher fuel prices this coming year. Give our team a call, and we can talk through your options to lower your fuel costs or enhance monitoring of how much fuel you use.
  2. Continue trusting in Chevron products and supplies. Chevron rode the wave that fuel prices took the last few years and remained strong. Their fuel and lubricant supplies are a testament to the company’s strength. We know that Chevron products will keep your equipment in good working order. Chevron’s continued stability also means that the lubricant and fuels you know work for your business will be around for a long time to come.
  3. Implement preventive maintenance. Regular preventive maintenance is the key to keeping your equipment in good working order. Taking action now could save you from costly repairs in the future.

We know that the last few years haven’t been easy, and we’re here to help. Our team constantly monitors the fuel and lubricant industry to see the upcoming curves and dips of oil prices and production. We hope you will continue to trust us for all your high quality fuel and lubricants!