Battling Sulphur

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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