Battling Sulphur

J.G.
Update by J.G. Pasterjak to the Volkswagen Beetle TDi project car
Aug 28, 2013

We leave for the SCCA Solo National Championships later this week, so our RTF-class VW Beetle TDI is seeing bait of rack time. Since we’re running in a basically unmodified class, the most important thing we had to prep for was the butt-numbing 1600+ mile drive to Lincoln, Nebraska from our Daytona-area headquarters. This meant an oil change, and changing the oil in a diesel vehicle requires a little extra knowledge.

Diesel vehicles put a lot of additional strain on the oil in the form sulphur as a byproduct of diesel combustion. Diesel oils are specially formulated to contain this sulphur, using chemical technology that we don’t fully understand yet. We hope to before we write a longer story on this subject.

Long story short, for the consumer, this means choosing a diesel-rated oil, which is identifiable on the shelf by the service specifications CH-4, CI-4 and CJ-4. CI-4 is for lower-sulphur fuels while CJ-4 is specified for high-sulphur diesel fuels. CH-4 is an older spec, but is still in service. In general, though, most stuff you see at the retailers is going to carry all three of those current specifications. We chose a synthetic Shell Rotella-T, because it was on sale at Wal-Mart. Hey, we still have to turn in receipts for this stuff.

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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
8/28/13 6:38 p.m.

How many quarts?

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