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Old 11-07-2021, 06:28 PM   #1
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Adding Rotella to Valvoline

Sorry if this has been asked before, had service work done to our 2008 ISL 425HP, cummins shop changed the oil and used Valvoline 15 40 regular oil.

I have two full gallons of Rotella T4 15 40 as spare to top off as needed from previous oil change

Can we use the the Rotella as needed? About every 2000 miles we add about 2 quarts or so during travels

Thanks for any comments
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Old 11-07-2021, 06:31 PM   #2
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Mixing brands is fine just as long as the oil weight is the same and SAE rating for your engine match.
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Old 11-07-2021, 06:32 PM   #3
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Thanks Ray, makes sense to us!
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Old 11-07-2021, 06:44 PM   #4
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2 quarts every 2000 miles...it'll be mostly rotella by the time you use up the 2 gallons any way.

Yes...same 15/40
same/same
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Old 11-07-2021, 08:54 PM   #5
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I've mixed different viscosities many times and different mfgrs. I won't hurt. Going on 60+ years.
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Old 11-07-2021, 09:34 PM   #6
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Back when I was still teaching we had the opportunity to have a visit from a retired master blender from Valvoline oil company out of OK. His wife was giving a talk at our school and he was just going to set in the Motel. His name was Norm Hudeckie (SP). If you've ever seen any older films by Valvoline he might be in them.

I asked Norm that same question and his response was. "You can mix oil brands with absolutely no adverse results." Just know & understand if the SAE and API ratings are different it will effect your overall SAE and API ratings required by your manufacturer. Of course that's also based on how much you are adding.

Another story about oils I often heard but never believed was. If you break in your engine using one brand of oil it's not good or smart to change brands. Some even said if you changed brands it would ruin your engine. Again I asked Norm that question and got the answer I thought which was "absolutely not an issue." Also had a good laugh.

He was very high on synthetic oils as well!!. There really are a number of myths concerning oils and oil changes that I was told as a kid and again told by many of my students. Some of those beliefs are very difficult to change. It was like the myth that storing a 12 volt car battery on a concrete floor over night will suck all the juice out of it.
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Old 11-07-2021, 10:22 PM   #7
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About oil consumption you mentioned. You need to run the engine hard at times, like floorboard it when climbing grades and get the engine revving. Also when the engine is not used often, sometimes the piston rings will stick. Using the engine hard will usually correct that condition too.
A Cummins diesel engine is not considered "broken-in" until it nears the 50,000 mile mark.
Then again, it is not unusual to read about the dipstick being mismarked, the result is overfilling the engine with oil, which is expelled from the engine through the crankcase breather, and/or the oil gets past the rings and is burned as fuel.



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It was like the myth that storing a 12 volt car battery on a concrete floor over night will suck all the juice out of it.
That was true ~80 years ago when battery cases were wood with a tar coating.
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Old 11-07-2021, 10:53 PM   #8
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Yes those old battery's did exist and I figured somebody would bring it up and that's OK!!! I started teaching in 1971 so my students didn't see or know about those really old and poorly made battery's. However knowing that technology has improved things the old stories still persisted year after year after year. Most of the students were just repeating what their Dad's, friends or Uncles had told them.
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Old 11-08-2021, 07:01 AM   #9
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As far as adding oil at 2000 miles, could this be one of those engines with a mismarked dipstick ?

They lead to overfilling the oil and excessive oil consumption.

Next time it's 2 quarts low, don't add any, and see if it remains at the 2 quart low reading.
You can also do an oil change and only add what the specs call for and not up to the full mark on the dipstick.
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Old 11-08-2021, 12:39 PM   #10
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Let me the Refinery Operations Manager opine. Mixing engine oils from various manufacturers is generally NOT RECOMMENDED at the viscosity improver, detergents, dispersants, anti-wear, corrosion inhibitors, etc. additives used in a 15W-40 engine oil may not be compatible with each other which could reduce the effectiveness of the mixed engine oils. The suppliers of additives for engine oil blending (Chevron, Lanxess, Afton, Dover, etc.) all produce proprietary additives. The Refiners who manufacture engine oils find the most cost effective (i.e. lowest cost) mix of additives that assure the engine oil to meets current API CK-4 requirements. Again mixing different engine oil with different additives could reduce the effectiveness of the mixed oil.

Having provided this disclaimer, if you are a "typical" motorhome owner who drives their coach less than 5,000 miles per year, mixing brands of Convetional 15W-40 engine oils should be OK as long as you stay with the "change oil every 12 months" recommendation from Cummins and other engine manufactures. If you drive your coach more than 5,000 miles per year I'd recommend NOT mixing engine oils and keep your two gallons of Shell Rotella for the next oil change, and purchase some Valvoline oil to "top off" as needed.

I am curious about your comment "add 2 quarts of oil every 2,000 miles". Based on my experience that oil usage seems high. For my coach, I change oil & filter each August before the start of the LSU football season. With trips to/from Baton Rouge for seven home games plus trips to the Texas Hill Country or Gulf Coast during Spring and Summer, my annual mileage is ~6,000 miles. I do not have to add engine oil during each 12 month period. I'm just one data point for engine oil usage and would like to understand your 2 quarts every two months oil use.
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Old 11-08-2021, 12:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
As far as adding oil at 2000 miles, could this be one of those engines with a mismarked dipstick ?

They lead to overfilling the oil and excessive oil consumption.

Next time it's 2 quarts low, don't add any, and see if it remains at the 2 quart low reading.
You can also do an oil change and only add what the specs call for and not up to the full mark on the dipstick.
Twinboat --

Regarding your "dip stick" comment, the first time I looked at my dip stick I had an "oh sh**" moment when I saw the oil level significantly below the notch on the stick as shown in this image --> https://www.raneystruckparts.com/cum...ent=Big%20Rigs

After closely looking at the dip stick, I found the "hash mark" oil level area on the bottom 3/4" of the 39" long dip stick. So yes, if a person presumed the "notch" on the dip stick was the "full" level, the engine could be overfilled by several quarts!
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Old 11-08-2021, 03:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
Back when I was still teaching we had the opportunity to have a visit from a retired master blender from Valvoline oil company out of OK. His wife was giving a talk at our school and he was just going to set in the Motel. His name was Norm Hudeckie (SP). If you've ever seen any older films by Valvoline he might be in them.

I asked Norm that same question and his response was. "You can mix oil brands with absolutely no adverse results." Just know & understand if the SAE and API ratings are different it will effect your overall SAE and API ratings required by your manufacturer. Of course that's also based on how much you are adding.

Another story about oils I often heard but never believed was. If you break in your engine using one brand of oil it's not good or smart to change brands. Some even said if you changed brands it would ruin your engine. Again I asked Norm that question and got the answer I thought which was "absolutely not an issue." Also had a good laugh.

He was very high on synthetic oils as well!!. There really are a number of myths concerning oils and oil changes that I was told as a kid and again told by many of my students. Some of those beliefs are very difficult to change. It was like the myth that storing a 12 volt car battery on a concrete floor over night will suck all the juice out of it.
Great answer, I too have mixed oils both dino and synthetic oils. Only had one issue when I changed a older Master Craft with a 351 Ford from dino to synthetic oil the main split seal started leaking, changed back to dino and the leak stopped.
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Old 11-10-2021, 09:53 AM   #13
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Twinboat beat me to answer about dipstick it's been discussed and reported as a problem several times. As well as recalibrating dipstick. I remember reading old thread of certain owner manuals also having over reported oil amounts .Several members figured it out as it completely stopped at a few quarts low and with better cummins info , plus cooler capacity .
Also if oil is blowing out of slobber tube or leaking it can be building up radiator stack. The longer it stays in there the stickier, dirtier and worse it will get. Overheating is more dangerous than big ole oil pan two quarts low or if even at all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fagnaml View Post
Twinboat --

Regarding your "dip stick" comment, the first time I looked at my dip stick I had an "oh sh**" moment when I saw the oil level significantly below the notch on the stick as shown in this image --> https://www.raneystruckparts.com/cum...ent=Big%20Rigs

After closely looking at the dip stick, I found the "hash mark" oil level area on the bottom 3/4" of the 39" long dip stick. So yes, if a person presumed the "notch" on the dip stick was the "full" level, the engine could be overfilled by several quarts!
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Old 11-10-2021, 10:06 AM   #14
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No question, everyone with a diesel pusher should CALIBRATE THEIR ENGINE OIL DIPSTICK at the next oil change.


The engine manufacturer does NOT supply the dipstick or dipstick tube. The one supplied by your chassis maker may or may not be accurate.


Calibration costs zero $$.


At the next oil change, drain oil, remove old filter (as usual).

Then install the drain plug and new oil filter and add the engine's correct oil capacity
LESS THE NUMBER OF QUARTS you want between the "ADD" and "FULL" marks
(let's say 2 quarts). So for an engine with 20 quart capacity you would add 18 quarts.

Run the engine a few minutes, shut off and wait until oil has descended into the pan
(at least 30 minutes and an hour is safer).

Pull the dip stick and use a file or dremel tool to mark the oil level "ADD".

Add the remaining two quarts, let the oil settle in the pan, pull the dipstick and mark
this the "FULL" mark.
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