A repair shop that rebuilds and warrants automotive differentials asks about the capabilities of oil analysis.

A reader asks: Can oil analysis can pick out whether friction modifier additive has been added to gear oil in automotive differentials? We occasionally handle warranty claims on limited slip differential repair work. The biggest question is always whether or not friction modifier has been added to the gear oil. Can oil analysis determine whether limited slip differential additive has been added to the gear lube?

Our answer: We asked the Drive Train Product Specialist at Oil Analyzers Inc. for their thoughts on this question. Here’s their answer.

Unfortunately oil analysis would not be able to provide conclusive evidence of whether the proper amount of a friction modifier being used in a gear lube sample.

The presence of a friction modifier in a gear lube would not be indicated by a unique ingredient or chemical signature. Limited slip additives do contain a much higher level of phosphorous than the average gear lube. But the problem is that only a few ounces of friction modifier additive is used. So it would be impossible to determine whether the correct amount of additive was present in an oil sample. It becomes even more difficult once you begin to include various gear lubes and additives by different manufacturers. Also consider the residual amounts of previous lubricants and contaminants in the sample. When all of these factors are considered, oil analysis could not make a determination with any certainty.

AMSOIL V-Twin Oil Change KitAMSOIL now offers an “oil change in a box” for most modern Harley-Davidson models made since 1999. This handy kit includes everything you need to perform an engine oil change on Harley-Davidson models with the Twin Cam 88, 88B, 95, 96, 103 or 110 engines. This kit does not include oil for the primary or transmission.

The AMSOIL V-Twin Oil Change Kit includes four US quarts of the world-famous AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil, one AMSOIL EAOM134C Oil Filter (with chrome finish) and even includes a fresh O-ring for the oil drain plug.

See the product page for the complete list of suitable applications for the AMSOIL V-Twin Oil Change Kit.

Features And Benefits Of The AMSOIL V-Twin Oil Change Kit

  • Contains all of the parts needed for a Harley-Davidson Twin Cam engine oil change.
  • AMSOIL V-Twin Synthetic 20W-50 improves performance, provides cooler operation, reduces wear and oil consumption.
  • AMSOIL EaOM134C Oil Filter is built for long mileage, provides outstanding filtration and looks great too.
  • Suitable for several dozen Twin Cam models made from 1999 to 2016.

Questions? Contact us using the form on this page or call us at 1-800-748-5781.

WIX WL10060 Oil Filter For EcoDiesel Engines

Photo Credit: wixfilters.com

We can deliver this new EcoDiesel oil filter to any location in Canada or the USA.

We now sell an oil filter for the 3.0L EcoDiesel engine found on some Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee models. The WIX WL10060 oil filter fits the EcoDiesel-equipped 2014, 2015 and 2016 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee models. This WIX filter is a direct substitute for Chrysler’s Mopar 6822 9402AA oil filter.

Contact us for a wholesale price list using the form on this page and put “EcoDiesel” in the Questions or Comments section.

As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, Chrysler dealers have been charging a fortune for Ecodiesel oil changes and one of the biggest reasons was the outlandish price for the OEM Mopar oil filter. We can’t publish our price, but it is lower and WIX’s quality and reputation are beyond reproach.

When you couple our world-class API CJ-4 EcoDiesel engine oil with this new WIX oil filter, “do-it-yourselfers” can save hundreds of dollars per year over having their dealer perform the oil change.

Specifications For WIX WL10060 EcoDiesel Oil Filter

  • Style: Cartridge Lube Metal Free Filter
  • Service: Lube
  • Type: Full Flow
  • Media: Cellulose
  • Height: 4.893” (124mm)
  • Outer Diameter: 2.595” (66mm)
  • Inside Diameter Top: Closed
  • Inside Diameter Bottom: 0.7” (18mm)
  • Gasket Outer Diameter: 3.233” (82mm)
  • Inner Diameter: 2.947” (75mm)
  • Thickness: 0.143” (4mm)

Let’s compare some of the key performance attributes of Shell Rotella T6 Synthetic 5W-40 Engine Oil and AMSOIL Premium Diesel Synthetic 5W-40 Engine Oil.

AMSOIL Premium Diesel Synthetic 5W-40 Engine Oil vs. Shell Rotella T6 Synthetic 5W-40 Engine OilAs we mentioned in a recent post, Chrysler has just changed the engine oil recommendation for their EcoDiesel engine in some Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee models. Their previous suggestion of a European spec 5W-30 has been changed to API CJ-4 5W-40 diesel oil. As Chrysler seems to have an arrangement with Shell Oil, dealers are pushing Shell Rotella T6 5W-40. We would submit that AMSOIL Premium 5W-40 Synthetic Diesel Engine Oil would be an upgrade over Shell’s offering. Let’s examine some key distinctions between these two products.

Cold Pour Point

  • Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 -42°CComparing AMSOIL Premium Diesel 5W-40 TBN and viscosity.
  • AMSOIL Premium 5W-40 -46°C (8.69% improvement)

The cold pour point of an engine oil is measured by freezing the oil in a lab test. The temperature where the oil stops flowing is considered its cold pour point. AMSOIL 5W-40 Synthetic Diesel Engine Oil offers an 8.69% cold pour point advantage over Shell Rotella T6 5W-40. That may not seem like a huge margin, but in frigid winter temps, that extra measure of cold start protection can be critical.

TBN Loss After 400 Hours

  • Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 10.6 to 6.4 (-39.6%)
  • AMSOIL Premium 5W-40 10.4 to 8.8 (-15.6%)

An engine oil’s “TBN” (total base number) is the measurement of its reserve alkalinity. In simple terms, this is an engine oil’s capacity to neutralize acids and combustion by-products. A strong, long-lasting TBN is vital for diesel engines. It protects engine internals from corrosion and allows for longer service life. The chart on the right comes from real world testing conducted by AMSOIL against several popular competitors. We’ll focus on AMSOIL and Shell Rotella in this post.

Both Shell Rotella T6 and AMSOIL Premium 5W-40 start out at a TBN level that is typical of diesel oils in the API CJ-4 category. But after 400 hours of operation, the difference is quite stark. Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 lost 39.6% of its TBN capacity (from 10.6 to 6.4). AMSOIL Premium Diesel Synthetic 5W-40’s TBN went down by just 15.6% (10.4 to 8.8). Note in the chart that Rotella T6 5W-40’s TBN drops below 8.0 after just 175 hours.

Why is AMSOIL Premium Diesel 5W-40’s TBN retention superior to that of Shell Rotella T6 5W-40? This illustrates how AMSOIL used superior additive chemistry. The detergent additives required to maintain robust TBN levels are expensive, so obviously AMSOIL pulled out all the stops when formulating DEO 5W-40. This factor alone means that AMSOIL Premium Diesel Synthetic 5W-40 will deliver a high level of acid, sulfur and combustion by-product neutralization from the beginning to the end of its service life. It also suggests that AMSOIL Premium Diesel 5W-40 is capable of a much longer service life than Shell Rotella T6 5W-40

Viscosity Loss After 400 Hours

  • Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 14.2 to 12.0 (-15.49%)
  • AMSOIL Premium 5W-40 14.5 to 12.6 (-13.10%)

After 400 hours of operation, the overall viscosity loss of both AMSOIL Premium Diesel 5W-40 and Shell T6 5W-40 was quite similar. Shell T6’s viscosity dropped much earlier on in the testing.  AMSOIL 5W-40’s viscosity went down by 13.10%, while Shell T6 5W-40 lost 15.49% of its original viscosity. Note in the chart that the Shell product drops into the 30-weight category after only 200 hours, while AMSOIL 5W-40 stays in the 40-weight range for the full 400 hours.


You get what you pay for when it comes to diesel engine oils. AMSOIL Premium Diesel Synthetic 5W-40 has proven itself to be superior to Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 in these three important benchmarks.

We can sell AMSOIL Premium Diesel Synthetic 5W-40 Engine Oil at wholesale prices in Canada or the United States. Contact us for prices using the form on this page.

Dodge Ram EcoDiesel Logo

(photo credit: trucktrend.com)

EcoDiesel engines are being switched from 5W-30 motor oil to 5W-40 and apparently there is a good mechanical reason for it.

Update August 2016: We now offer an aftermarket oil filter for the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee with the EcoDiesel engine

There’s an online commotion brewing regarding a technical service bulletin (TSB) released by Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) on July 20, 2016. The bulletin pertains to an engine oil upgrade from 5W-30 to 5W-40 for the 2016 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee models with the EcoDiesel engine. This bulletin directs Chrysler-Jeep dealers to drain the factory-fill 5W-30 motor oil and replace it with 5W-40 motor oil. You can view the official service bulletin here.

Addendum cards have also been shipped to dealers which are to be added to owner’s manuals. These cards recommend the use of synthetic 5W-40 engine oil that meets the FCA Material Standard MS-10902 and API CJ-4 specifications.

Some Dodge dealers we spoke to seem to think that this recommendation applies only to 2016 EcoDiesel models. Based on the language in the bulletin, it’s easy to arrive at that conclusion. But there is more to this story.

Why Is 5W-40 Now Recommended For The EcoDiesel Engine?

It took some digging, but we think we may have found the answer. We spoke to several Dodge dealers and also FCA Customer Care. Few had even heard of the engine oil changeover or they simply read back the bulletin. But a service manager at a Salt Lake City Dodge dealership had heard all about the reason for this oil switch from an FCA warranty official. Apparently the 3.0L EcoDiesel engine is experiencing an unsettling number of main bearing failures. FCA is laying the blame on the thin viscosity of 5W-30 engine oil. They believe that the thicker viscosity of 5W-40 engine oil will cure this issue. This service manager suggested that all model years will have a 5W-40 recommendation and that 5W-30 engine oil will be obsolete for the EcoDiesel engine.

Will 2014 And 2015 EcoDiesel Engines Require 5W-40 Motor Oil?

This seems to be all but official, but you wouldn’t know it if you called your local Jeep or Ram dealer. The latest revisions of the 2014 and 2015 owner’s models now suggest “SAE 5W-40 Synthetic, API CJ-4”. You can download a copy at this page. Pick a model year of the 1500 model and then click on download of the “Diesel Supplement”. See page 120 for the 2014 model and page 122 of the 2015 model.

If you own a 2014 or 2105 EcoDiesel model, press your dealer for a definitive engine oil viscosity recommendation before your next oil change.

An Updated AMSOIL EcoDiesel Motor Oil Recommendation

AMSOIL Synthetic 5W-40 API CJ-4 Diesel OilDue to the vague disclosure of this oil recommendation change by FCA, the AMSOIL application guide is not completely up to date (as of publication of this post). They are still showing the AMSOIL European Car Formula Improved ESP Synthetic 5W-30 for the 2014 and 2015 EcoDiesel Ram 1500 and Grand Cherokee. For 2016 EcoDiesel models, the application guide now suggests AMSOIL Premium 5W-40 Synthetic Diesel Oil. AMSOIL Premium Diesel 5W-40 meets the API CJ-4 and Chrysler MS-10902 specs. We can offer this synthetic diesel 5W-40 oil at wholesale prices shipped right to your door in Canada or the United States.

Questions? Contact us using the form on this page or call us at 1-800-748-5781.