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Discussion Starter #1
Shell Helix Ultra 5W-40 also meets the MS-12991 certification. I run shell rotella T6 in all my motorcycles and have never had a motor problem after 300,000.
Keep in mind that Shell Rotella T6 comes in two formulation, one for diesel engines, and one for gasoline engines. The diesel one has additives that may harm the catalytic converter on a gasoline engine car, i.e, Fiat 124 Spider. I have yet to find the gasoline formulation of the the Shell Rotella T6 in a 5W-40 weight formulation.
 

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Keep in mind that Shell Rotella T6 comes in two formulation, one for diesel engines, and one for gasoline engines. The diesel one has additives that may harm the catalytic converter on a gasoline engine car, i.e, Fiat 124 Spider. I have yet to find the gasoline formulation of the the Shell Rotella T6 in a 5W-40 weight formulation.
I mentioned the Shell Helix for those that just have to have an oil that meets MS-12991. Rotella T6 in the 5w-40 is listed for diesels but it is a "dual fleet" oil perfectly OK for use with gasoline engines since it meets gasoline engine oil specs like API SH and SM which are passenger car specifications. Catalytic converters will not be harmed. PS. It also carries the JASO MA certification which means it is fine for motorcycles as well, even with wet clutches.
From the Rotella website
Shell ROTELLA® T6 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Engine Oil

Introducing an engine oil that performs extremely well in diesel and gasoline engines, meeting API CK-4 and SM performance standards." Key benefits include; compatibility with exhaust emissions control systems, protection in extreme operating temperatures and fuel economy performance.
 

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I mentioned the Shell Helix for those that just have to have an oil that meets MS-12991. Rotella T6 in the 5w-40 is listed for diesels but it is a "dual fleet" oil perfectly OK for use with gasoline engines since it meets gasoline engine oil specs like API SH and SM which are passenger car specifications. Catalytic converters will not be harmed. PS. It also carries the JASO MA certification which means it is fine for motorcycles as well, even with wet clutches.
From the Rotella website
Shell ROTELLA® T6 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Engine Oil

Introducing an engine oil that performs extremely well in diesel and gasoline engines, meeting API CK-4 and SM performance standards." Key benefits include; compatibility with exhaust emissions control systems, protection in extreme operating temperatures and fuel economy performance.
For the sake of discussion around this particular oil, there are a few things that are worth considering.

T6 5W-40 Diesel is a synthetic group 3 oil. The shear stability is not very good, and the viscosity quickly shears to a 30 weight oil in many applications. Brand new, the NOACK volatility comes in at a rather high 12.8%, compared to the ~10% of most synthetic labeled 5W-30 products (this is caused by the need for more VI additives to achieve the larger multigrade viscosity gap). To put this into perspective, GM's last Dexos1 specification, which uses a semi-synthetic based oil, allowed (they've updated it for 2017) for at most a 13% NOACK volatility in a 5W-30. I'm not yet sure how the ZDDP levels will change once they move to a CK-4 formulation, but they were at ~1200ppm previously, which is 1.5x that of API SN rated oils. If we are to assume that high ZDDP levels damage catalytic converters, this oil certainly falls under that category. The TEOST 33C performance is about what you'd expect from a group 3 oil, coming in the mid 20mg range (I'd have to look it up again to find the exact number).

Those metrics may change once CK-4 formulation is released (which it may have been already, I just haven't come across any new data for it). Due to the high volatility, I would not recommend it for this engine, even for people who are not concerned with following the manufacturer specifications. I only say that for the benefit of lurkers that will inevitably come across this thread.
 

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For the sake of discussion around this particular oil, there are a few things that are worth considering.

T6 5W-40 Diesel is a synthetic group 3 oil. The shear stability is not very good, and the viscosity quickly shears to a 30 weight oil in many applications. Brand new, the NOACK volatility comes in at a rather high 12.8%, compared to the ~10% of most synthetic labeled 5W-30 products (this is caused by the need for more VI additives to achieve the larger multigrade viscosity gap). To put this into perspective, GM's last Dexos1 specification, which uses a semi-synthetic based oil, allowed (they've updated it for 2017) for at most a 13% NOACK volatility in a 5W-30. I'm not yet sure how the ZDDP levels will change once they move to a CK-4 formulation, but they were at ~1200ppm previously, which is 1.5x that of API SN rated oils. If we are to assume that high ZDDP levels damage catalytic converters, this oil certainly falls under that category. The TEOST 33C performance is about what you'd expect from a group 3 oil, coming in the mid 20mg range (I'd have to look it up again to find the exact number).

Those metrics may change once CK-4 formulation is released (which it may have been already, I just haven't come across any new data for it). Due to the high volatility, I would not recommend it for this engine, even for people who are not concerned with following the manufacturer specifications. I only say that for the benefit of lurkers that will inevitably come across this thread.
Again, use the Shell Helix if you are worried about it. T6 also surpassed all major competitors for Shear Stability with a 2% Viscosity Loss on a 90 pass test. I also fail to see the point of comparing to oils with 5W-30 ratings when our cars require 5W-40/. It is rated for API SM, so it won't damage catalytic converters since SM covered cars are equipped with Cats.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Again, use the Shell Helix if you are worried about it. T6 also surpassed all major competitors for Shear Stability with a 2% Viscosity Loss on a 90 pass test. I also fail to see the point of comparing to oils with 5W-30 ratings when our cars require 5W-40/. It is rated for API SM, so it won't damage catalytic converters since SM covered cars are equipped with Cats.
Stelvio,

I hope that no one on this forum heeds your advice as it is incorrect. While some may agree with you, they are not in the majority. Your statement that it won't damage catalytic converters is correct only as it relates to the catalytic converters on diesel engines. Catalytic converters on diesel engines are different from those on gasoline engines. Oils designed for diesel engines can harm the catalytic converters on gasoline engines. I have done the research on this and even asked the Shell Rotella people about it. Their response: "We do not recommend Rotella T6 Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oil for gasoline engines with catalytic converters." Shell Rotella Heavy Duty Diesel oil is not an "SF" oil, and is therefore not approved for gasoline engines with catalytic converters. Here are some articles covering this issue (there are more):

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1986-11-05/features/8603080352_1_diesel-oil-engine-deposits-gasoline
https://community.cartalk.com/t/use-of-diesel-oil-in-gas-engines-good-idea-or-not/80005
http://www.truckinginfo.com/blog/lubricants/story/2014/04/q-can-i-use-the-same-engine-oil-in-my-gasoline-and-diesel-powered-vehicles.aspx

If you don't agree, after reading these articles, ask youself this question, "Why does Shell Rotella offer a T6 oil formulated for gasoline engines, separate from that offered for the diesel engines?"

Shell Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle Oil does not come in a 5w-40 variant. it is only offered in 5w-30 and 15w-40.
 

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Stelvio,

I hope that no one on this forum heeds your advice as it is incorrect. While some may agree with you, they are not in the majority. Your statement that it won't damage catalytic converters is correct only as it relates to the catalytic converters on diesel engines. Catalytic converters on diesel engines are different from those on gasoline engines. Oils designed for diesel engines can harm the catalytic converters on gasoline engines. I have done the research on this and even asked the Shell Rotella people about it. Their response: "We do not recommend Rotella T6 Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oil for gasoline engines with catalytic converters." Shell Rotella Heavy Duty Diesel oil is not an "SF" oil, and is therefore not approved for gasoline engines with catalytic converters. Here are some articles covering this issue (there are more):

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1986-11-05/features/8603080352_1_diesel-oil-engine-deposits-gasoline
https://community.cartalk.com/t/use-of-diesel-oil-in-gas-engines-good-idea-or-not/80005
http://www.truckinginfo.com/blog/lubricants/story/2014/04/q-can-i-use-the-same-engine-oil-in-my-gasoline-and-diesel-powered-vehicles.aspx

If you don't agree, after reading these articles, ask youself this question, "Why does Shell Rotella offer a T6 oil formulated for gasoline engines, separate from that offered for the diesel engines?"

Shell Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle Oil does not come in a 5w-40 variant. it is only offered in 5w-30 and 15w-40.
The Shell Rotella T 5w-40 variant data sheets say that it meets API SM specs which is a gasoline automotive oil spec. (All API S series specs are for gasoline engines, fyi SF is an obsolete variant) It will not hurt catalytic converters. Of course shell's technical team is going to point you to a more expensive variant. It has nothing to do with concerns for your engine. Oil companies label different oils for different applications with mildly different formulas for marketing reasons. The same reason Colgate has twelve different kinds of toothpaste.
P.S. It also meets the JASO MA spec which is for gasoline powered motorcycles, many with catalytic converters.
It is like the Amsol people are telling you - it isn't about meeting the spec, it is about spending the money to test it. If the market for MS12991 was big enough, they would spend the money to get the cert.
http://www.api.org/products-and-services/engine-oil/eolcs-categories-and-documents/oil-categories#tab_gasoline
 

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The Shell Rotella T 5w-40 variant data sheets say that it meets API SM specs which is a gasoline automotive oil spec. (All API S series specs are for gasoline engines, fyi SF is an obsolete variant) It will not hurt catalytic converters. Of course shell's technical team is going to point you to a more expensive variant. It has nothing to do with concerns for your engine. Oil companies label different oils for different applications with mildly different formulas for marketing reasons. The same reason Colgate has twelve different kinds of toothpaste.
P.S. It also meets the JASO MA spec which is for gasoline powered motorcycles, many with catalytic converters.
It is like the Amsol people are telling you - it isn't about meeting the spec, it is about spending the money to test it. If the market for MS12991 was big enough, they would spend the money to get the cert.
I would be willing to bet money that Rotella T6 5W-40 Diesel oil would fail the specification for MS12991 if it is in any way similar to Mercedes-Benz 229.5, Porsche A40, or VW 502.00/505.00 on the basis of its high volatility and possibly even its mediocre thermo-oxidation performance. Last I checked, MB 229.5 requires a NOACK volatility no higher than 10%, and Rotella T6 comes in at a high 12.8%. This will directly increase oil consumption in this engine. Remember, Pennzoil, owned by Shell, is already advertising their 5W-40 euro spec oil for this specification, so they (or rather their customers) have already paid for the certification. That extra expense for the 5W-40 Euro spec is not just marketing and certification.

Furthermore, the ZDDP levels are, as an undeniable fact, higher than API SM or SN rated oils at 1200ppm of Zinc. This is 1.5x the allowable API SN/SM limit, and it is also a heavily researched and industry-wide accepted fact that elevated levels of ZDDP are poisonous to catalytic converters. The higher NOACK volatility resulting in increased oil consumption, combined with the increased levels of ZDDP, are a very bad combination for a catalytic converter-equipped engine with documented oil consumption concerns.

Again, this is all for the benefit of any readers coming across this thread. I'm not paying your car payments or buying your oil for you, so do what you wish with your own money.
 

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Furthermore, the ZDDP levels are, as an undeniable fact, higher than API SM or SN rated oils at 1200ppm of Zinc. This is 1.5x the allowable API SN/SM limit, and it is also a heavily researched and industry-wide accepted fact that elevated levels of ZDDP are poisonous to catalytic converters.
And yet the oil is certified to the API SM specification and the JASO MA specification as well which includes motorcycles with catalytic converters. I have to admit, I love to argue. I also have to admit I am no expert on oil. But I also have to tell you, I don't get paid to be either one. But I can read.
And Shell puts their Penzoil 5W-40 euro spec oil into Shell Helix Ultra 5W-40 bottles. Now we can argue about which one is better.
 

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And yet the oil is certified to the API SM specification and the JASO MA specification as well which includes motorcycles with catalytic converters. I have to admit, I love to argue. I also have to admit I am no expert on oil. But I also have to tell you, I don't get paid to be either one. But I can read.
I prefer to avoid arguments and stick to technical debates. Facts are neutral.

API SM oils are limited to 800ppm of Zinc. Therefore, it is impossible for Rotella T6 5W-40 to be API SM complaint. They can probably get away with listing it as "suitable for" applications requiring API SM specifications (such as in off-road applications) as long as they don't advertise it for gasoline engine use. I dug up the phone number for Shell's technical services department and gave them a call.

I asked the question, and the representative (who was very courteous) said DO NOT use this in a gasoline engine unless it's old and has flat tappet cams like back in the 80s, and he proceeded to tell me about the hot rods and muscle cars he and his coworkers owned. I asked again to get clarification, since it says API SM on it, and he said yeah, I know, but if you bought a car in the last few years, do not put this engine oil in that car because it has the higher levels of Zinc and could damage the catalytic converter.

Regardless of all this, API SM was phased out ~7 years ago.

If you really like arguing, call this number and talk to a Shell technical support representative: 1-800-237-8645
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
And yet the oil is certified to the API SM specification and the JASO MA specification as well which includes motorcycles with catalytic converters. I have to admit, I love to argue. I also have to admit I am no expert on oil. But I also have to tell you, I don't get paid to be either one. But I can read.
And Shell puts their Penzoil 5W-40 euro spec oil into Shell Helix Ultra 5W-40 bottles. Now we can argue about which one is better.
I am also not paid to talk about oil, only about regulatory matters in the energy industry. However, I also read and am concerned that when people on this forum read your post declaring definitively that the oil will not harm their catalytic converters, they might rely on that declaration and end up having to replace the cat when it fails an emissions test in a few years. As I said above there are some, not most, who believe as you do. The majority however, do not believe as you do.

Here are some facts to consider: 1) diesel engines with catalytic converters have a different kind of cat from what the Fiat has. 2) Shell Rotella T6 Heavy Duty Diesel engine oil is not formulated with your Fiat cat in mind. 3) Shell Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle engine oil is formulated with your Fiat cat in mind. 4) Shell Rotella people say not to use their diesel engine oil in your gasoline engine car.

Readers don't have to accept your declaration. They have other options, listed from most conservative to most aggressive: 1) Don't use anything not certified FCA MS-12991. 2) Use an oil that meets every standard but MS-12991, i.e., 5w40 synthetic gasoline engine oil. 3) Use whatever gasoline engine oil they want, or 4) Follow your recommendation.

For those specifically concerned about violating your warranty, be assured that if your catalytic converter fails after using an oil not specified for gasoline engines, you will be paying for a new catalytic converter.
 

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I prefer to avoid arguments and stick to technical debates. Facts are neutral.

API SM oils are limited to 800ppm of Zinc. Therefore, it is impossible for Rotella T6 5W-40 to be API SM complaint. They can probably get away with listing it as "suitable for" applications requiring API SM specifications (such as in off-road applications) as long as they don't advertise it for gasoline engine use. I dug up the phone number for Shell's technical services department and gave them a call.

I asked the question, and the representative (who was very courteous) said DO NOT use this in a gasoline engine unless it's old and has flat tappet cams like back in the 80s, and he proceeded to tell me about the hot rods and muscle cars he and his coworkers owned. I asked again to get clarification, since it says API SM on it, and he said yeah, I know, but if you bought a car in the last few years, do not put this engine oil in that car because it has the higher levels of Zinc and could damage the catalytic converter.

Regardless of all this, API SM was phased out ~7 years ago.

If you really like arguing, call this number and talk to a Shell technical support representative: 1-800-237-8645
And here is the link to Rotella T6 5W-40 oil showing the SM certification. http://rotella.shell.com/products/t6-full-synthetic/_jcr_content/par/textimage_1335213348.stream/1388525673850/2c4570ceb0dcc96c0e045d7d6f3c7796f77a84ed6a3d6752bb50d245468c48b2/rotella-t6-brochure.pdf
And the new version Rotella T6 Heavy Duty Engine Oil is SN certified which is specifically for cars after 2010 with new style cams, latest pollution controls, Turbochargers and E85 compliant.

I am going to use the Shell Ultra Helix because it is one of the few oils that meets the FCA specification (rather then they think it might pass) and is ultra pure since it is made from processed natural gas and I can get it for less than the Penzoil version.
 

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Again, irrelevant since that spec is ~7 years old and Shell explicitly recommends against this oil's use in any vehicles equipped with a catalytic converter.

What relevance does a new version have to this application? The FA-4 oils are lower viscosity 5W-30 and 10W-30 oils. Please address the points I've brought up regarding volatility and thermo-oxidation.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I am going to use the Shell Ultra Helix because it meets the FCA specification and is ultra pure since it is made from processed natural gas and I can get it for less than the Penzoil version. .
If you had left it at this you may have avoided some more Xtreme vetting. :D

Look, I like Shell Rotella oils also, I even use it in my bike, but when I found that it was not for use in gasoline engines, from the most reliable sources, I admitted I was wrong.
 

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If you had left it at this you may have avoided some more Xtreme vetting. :D

Look, I like Shell Rotella oils also, I even use it in my bike, but when I found that it was not for use in gasoline engines, from the most reliable sources, I admitted I was wrong.
Maybe we should ask them why they are spending all that money on certifying their oils to gasoline automotive specifications specifically written with modern catalytic converters in mind, and then recommending to their customers that they not use it in their cars with catalytic convertors? Could it be that the market commands a higher price for gasoline specific motor oils? I will continue to use Rotella T6 in all my other vehicles and sleep very well. I am using Helix in the FIAT because of the MS specification and warranty concerns, not because of worries about the catalytic converter.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Maybe we should ask them why they are spending all that money on certifying their oils to gasoline automotive specifications specifically written with modern catalytic converters in mind, and then recommending to their customers that they not use it in their cars with catalytic convertors? Could it be that the market commands a higher price for gasoline specific motor oils? I will continue to use Rotella T6 in all my other vehicles and sleep very well. I am using Helix in the FIAT because of the MS specification and warranty concerns, not because of worries about the catalytic converter.
You must have missed the recent technological advances in diesel engine technology. They now have catalytic converters. T6 Heavy Duty Diesel engine oil is compatible with modern diesel catalytic converters. The catalytic converters are not the same between diesel and gasoline engines. They are different because they are handling a different mix of hydrocarbons and other emissions.
 

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Again, irrelevant since that spec is ~7 years old and Shell explicitly recommends against this oil's use in any vehicles equipped with a catalytic converter.

What relevance does a new version have to this application? The FA-4 oils are lower viscosity 5W-30 and 10W-30 oils. Please address the points I've brought up regarding volatility and thermo-oxidation.
The new FA-4 heavy duty engine will be offered in 5W-40 viscosity and they are API SN certified. API SN specification was specifically developed for new gasoline powered engines with the latest emission controls, catalytic converters and E85 fuel use. But I am sure Shell will tell you not to use it in your car because they have oils labeled specifically for cars that cost more. But I will happily put the T6 in all my vehicles except the FIAT since T6 does not carry the FCA MS certification.
 

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The new FA-4 heavy duty engine will be offered in 5W-40 viscosity and they are API SN certified. API SN specification was specifically developed for new gasoline powered engines with the latest emission controls, catalytic converters and E85 fuel use. But I am sure Shell will tell you not to use it in your car because they have oils labeled specifically for cars that cost more. But I will happily put the T6 in all my vehicles except the FIAT since T6 does not carry the FCA MS certification.
Why do you assume they do this just so they can charge more for purpose-built lubricants? I've explained the formulation differences at least twice now, and asked you to address those. NOACK volatility (one of many metrics used for API certification) measures oil vaporization loss under heat. It is a standardized test; ASTM D5800. An oil must have no higher than 15% to become API certified or compliant.

Mercedes-Benz specification 229.5, from what I have seen, requires a NOACK volatility to be no greater than 10%. All of the oils meeting that specification have a NOACK volatility of 10% or less. This includes Pennzoil Platinum Ultra 5W-40.

If an oil does not pass that test, such as Rotella T6 5W-40 with its 12.8% NOACK volatility, then how can you suggest that they are telling you not to use it in a Mercedes-Benz (again, an example since we don't know the limits for MS-12991) simply so they can charge you more for the better performing oil?

The API FA-4 diesel specification only applies to XW-30 oils specifically for the purpose of reducing fuel consumption in modern diesels. I think you have it confused with CK-4 oils, which will be available in a 5W-40 but due to backwards compatibility requirements with older diesels, may not be rated API SN. Their technical data sheet still doesn't include the CK-4 rating, even though it's on their website, so it's too soon to make that conclusion.

Please let me know if you'd like me to elaborate on any of this.
 

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You must have missed the recent technological advances in diesel engine technology. They now have catalytic converters. T6 Heavy Duty Diesel engine oil is compatible with modern diesel catalytic converters. The catalytic converters are not the same between diesel and gasoline engines. They are different because they are handling a different mix of hydrocarbons and other emissions.
The SN specification has nothing to do with diesel engines. The question remains, why spend the money testing to a strictly gasoline automotive spec specifically designed in recognize new pollution controls, auto turbo chargers and e85 gasoline if you don't want or expect people to put it in their gasoline engines.
 

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Not elaborate, just clarify. First you said the Rotella T 5W-40 would never pass the API SM or SN specifications because of its levels of ZDDP. You also stated that the levels of ZDDP in the Rotella Oil could damage your catalytic converter. In fact the current offering does meet SM and the planned version meets SN which means API doesn't believe the ZDDP levels in the Rotella T oil are high enough to cause problems with catalytic converters.
I never argued that the Shell Rotella would meet the FCA MS-12991 specification. Shell doesn't say that it does and no one can say if it would or wouldn't since no one can say what exactly the MS-12991 specifications calls for. You say the Rotella won't because of NOACK volatility but that is pure speculation because you don't know what the limits of NOACK volatility are in the MS-12991 spec.
What we do know -
1. Amsoil is not certified to MS-12991
2. Rotella T is not certified to MS-12991
3. Rotella T 5W-40 is certified to API-SM
4. API-SM and SN are oil specifications designed to test oils specifically for use in gasoline automotive, catalytic converter equipped, engines.
5. If you are concerned about warranty battles with FIAT than you should not use Rotella T, Amsoil or any other oil that has not been certified to the MS-12991. You should use something like Shell Ultra Helix or Penzoil Euro Spec that are certified to MS-12991
 

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Not elaborate, just clarify. First you said the Rotella T 5W-40 would never pass the API SM or SN specifications because of its levels of ZDDP. You also stated that the levels of ZDDP in the Rotella Oil could damage your catalytic converter. In fact the current offering does meet SM and the planned version meets SN which means API doesn't believe the ZDDP levels in the Rotella T oil are high enough to cause problems with catalytic converters.
I never argued that the Shell Rotella would meet the FCA MS-12991 specification. Shell doesn't say that it does and no one can say if it would or wouldn't since no one can say what exactly the MS-12991 specifications calls for. You say the Rotella won't because of NOACK volatility but that is pure speculation because you don't know what the limits of NOACK volatility are in the MS-12991 spec.
What we do know -
1. Amsoil is not certified to MS-12991
2. Rotella T is not certified to MS-12991
3. Rotella T 5W-40 is certified to API-SM
4. API-SM and SN are oil specifications designed to test oils specifically for use in gasoline automotive, catalytic converter equipped, engines.
5. If you are concerned about warranty battles with FIAT than you should not use Rotella T, Amsoil or any other oil that has not been certified to the MS-12991. You should use something like Shell Ultra Helix or Penzoil Euro Spec that are certified to MS-12991
Yes, I said Rotella T6 5W-40 Diesel oil would never pass the API SM or SN specification. I did a bit more digging and discovered that if an engine oil is a 40 or 50 weight viscosity, it can be API SM compliant while having up to 1200ppm of Zinc, which Rotella T6 has. That does not mean that the elevated ZDDP levels will not harm an engine that requires an API SM compliant SAE-30 oil that has at most 800ppm of Zinc/Phosphorous; it simply means that there are gasoline engine applications out there that require a 40 weight or 50 weight oil that still require high levels of ZDDP. Farm tractors come to mind. Any engine oil requiring API SM 30 weight oils cannot use Rotella T6 due to the elevated ZDDP levels.

I'll be watching the ZDDP levels on the Rotella T6 "Heavy Duty Engine Oil" once someone posts the virgin oil analysis. If it is true, you can also expect it to be significantly different than previous Rotella T6 formulations and therefore cannot ride on the reputation of its predecessor.

One can draw a great deal of speculation based on the other surrounding approvals/specifications of oils that meet the MS-12991 specification regarding the performance metrics of that specification. Obviously, since we don't know, it cannot be concretely verified.

Certification of an engine oil is not required for warranty compliance per the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. That would be a violation of US federal law. The oil must, however, be compliant, and AMSOIL has stated, on the record, that the oil is compliant. Given the surrounding specifications that it has either approval for or has listed it is compliant with, logic would dictate that they're not telling lies.
 
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