Delo 400 LE SAE 15W-40 Exposes the Semi-Synthetic Myth

Chevron’s flagship heavy-duty diesel motor oil provides equal or better protection versus major oil company semis-synthetics in industry recognized bench tests

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Chevron Lubricants, maker of the Delo brand of technologically advanced engine oils, lubricants and coolants, today announced that it recently conducted benchmark testing to determine how its premium conventional heavy-duty motor oil, Delo 400 LE SAE 15W-40, performed against major oil companies' semi-synthetics. Test results showed that Delo 400 LE with ISOSYN Technology was equal to, if not better than, leading semi-synthetics in industry recognized tests in the areas of wear control, oxidation and deposit control.


“Most heavy-duty semi-synthetics are touted as having superior performance over conventional oils, but that’s largely a marketing effort to persuade customers that the addition of synthetic base oil to an engine oil formulation will deliver a higher level of protection to critical components, thus justifying the extra price,” says Len Badal, Commercial Sector Manager, Chevron Lubricants. “The notion that a semi-synthetic or synthetic blend provides significant benefits over a product like our Delo 400 LE 15W-40 is a myth. This misperception, coupled with a fleet’s desire to extend drain intervals, has resulted in many fleets switching to semi-synthetics without fully researching the facts. Based on our research and general information provided by several large heavy-duty OEMs, the performance benefits of semi-synthetics versus premium formulated heavy duty engine oils are marginal at best, and typically don’t justify the additional price a customer must pay for them.”


Through bench testing, Chevron documented examples of the competitive semi-synthetic performance myths in multiple areas versus its premium formulated Delo 400 LE 15W-40. In these tests, the Delo 400 LE with ISOSYN Technology performed equal to or better than many leading semi-synthetics. In one test designed to look at soot related wear protection, Delo 400 LE significantly outperformed 3 of the 4 semi-synthetics tested, showing between 16 to 41% better wear protection in this test. Tests for oxidation and deposit control also showed very good performance results of Delo 400 LE versus the four major oil companies’ semi-synthetic products.


Because Chevron acknowledges that bench tests by themselves are not always an indicator of performance in the field, the company also conducted extended drain field tests. In these tests, Delo 400 LE 15W-40 showed that it can provide superb extended drain protection and performance – an area the semi-synthetics tout as their strength. In recent over-the-road field tests using 12 Detroit Diesel 15 (DD15) engines, Delo 400 LE 15W-40 with ISOSYN Technology was able to extend drains out to 70,000 miles for the customer without filter changes. In this testing, both wear protection and oxidation control were validated from the Delo bench tests.


Following the test, one of the DD15 engines was torn down and inspected. Even at 70,000 mile oil drains, inspection of the engine at 400,000 miles of service life indicated excellent engine durability—with low wear, low deposits and clean engine – impressing the customer and the OEM dealer that performed the engine teardown.


While Chevron recommends customers adhere to OEM specifications based on their situation, this field test is further proof the extra protection sought by customers can be obtained in a premium heavy-duty engine oil – like Delo 400 LE 15W-40.


Badal continues, “We’re concerned that some fleets are unnecessarily purchasing semi-synthetic engine oils without understanding if there are any real benefits. They need to determine what they are getting for the premium price. Customers may be very surprised at the answer.”


The strong performance of Delo 400 LE 15W-40 is a result of Chevron’s proprietary ISOSYN Technology which combines premium base oils with advanced additives to create optimal products that rival synthetic performance at an excellent value.