You know the phrase, “In it for the long haul”? Diesel trucks fit that description to a T, and they have to. On long drives and in all kinds of conditions, they’re expected to perform well, and Hot Shot’s Secret made that mission even more apparent when we installed one of their Frantz oil filtration systems, designed with long-range and reliability in mind.
Recently, it came time to bring our 2018 Chevrolet 2500HD in for an oil change. Quickly, we realized we had a unique opportunity on our hands. You might recall that we installed a Frantz oil filtration system on this truck and poured in Blue Diamond PAO oil, which is a fully synthetic oil that’s touted as some of the longest-lasting on the market.
Let’s go into some more detail, first by examining the oil more closely. To help us learn more about Blue Diamond PAO oil, we spoke with Hot Shot’s Secret’s Technical Director, Aaron Darnell. “Blue Diamond is a high-quality oil meant for applications that have a need for high longevity,” he says.
“Blue Diamond is made from Group IV base oils, which are known as polyalphaolefins, or PAOs for short,” he continues. “Compared to Group I, II, and III base oils, PAOs possess superior characteristics concerning oxidation, volatility, and shear. They are pure, true synthetics, and are well-suited to dealing with extreme temperature changes when both hot and cold.”
Going into more detail on these traits, Darnell shared what makes Blue Diamond oil some of the most resilient out there when it comes to oxidation. “As a PAO, Blue Diamond oil has superior oxidation resistance over mineral oils and Group III synthetics,” he states. “This is due to their linear arrangement and lack of aromatic compounds. They’re also fully saturated and therefore protected from oxidation, whereas mineral-based and Group III synthetic oils have points on the hydrocarbon chains that are prone to oxidation.”
Another important factor in Blue Diamond oil’s favor is its purity. “Thanks to its high purity levels, Blue Diamond oil has a lower volatility and can work better with additives,” says Darnell. “Lower volatility also means fewer emissions. They also don’t form crystalline structures thanks to their polymer backbone. In a nutshell, Blue Diamond oil provides longer drain intervals, less wear, less maintenance cost, and cleaner operation.”
Starting Point: Replacing The Oil And Putting On Miles
Changing the oil on the truck was pretty straightforward. Underneath, we removed the drain plug and let the oil pour out for several minutes. Once it appeared to be trickling, we went ahead and removed the stock and Frantz filters. We replaced these with their respective filter elements, filled the truck up with Blue Diamond 15W40 oil, and started the truck.
This part of the journey is just the starting point. As of now, the truck is putting on miles as the owner goes about his daily routine. We’ll provide another update once the truck reaches 5,000 miles, where we’ll do another oil analysis test. This will give us a clear picture of how the oil is doing. These tests provide a wide amount of data, showcasing things like Total Base Number, which measures alkaline concentration between the acidic runoff of combustion against the basic properties of the oil. Put simply, the higher the TBN, the better the oil.
As far as predictions go, Darnell offered some interesting thoughts. “The Total Base Number [TBN] will decrease, but it will be hard to guess,” he says. “Heavy pulling, racing, or spirited driving lowers the TBN faster than just cruising. Probably the most compelling part of the story is that the viscosity will drop very little, and it will still be in grade since it’s a PAO.”
However, Darnell cautions that we may find a false flag in the results regarding oxidation. “Depending on how the lab decides to quantify the results, it’s possible the results will flag for oxidation, but that will be a false reading since our oil has a high ester content for the sake of additives,” he explains. “The part of the spectrum that tests for oxidation also reads esters. So don’t worry if you get results indicating high oxidation. The baseline for oxidation on our Blue Diamond 15W-40 is just above 50.”
Be sure to visit Hot Shot’s Secret to learn more about Blue Diamond oil and what it can do for your diesel workhorse.