COS Blog
COS Blog

COS Blog

Information about Central Oil Supply and all of its divisions.

NELA Winter Storm Driving Tips

Jennie McRae - Monday, February 23, 2015


It's something we don't often think about, being based in Louisiana: Winter Weather. And in light of certain weather events, we thought it would be good to brush up on some winter weather driving techniques, quick tips, and tricks.


1. Take the time to make sure your tires are inflated.


This seems like a no-brainer, but it's something that is always necessary to do--especially when it's freezing out.


2. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freezing.


We posted about this on our facebook page a few months back, but we want to mention it again; don't let your gas line freeze up! Keep your gas tank as full as possible, and you will be good-to-go.


3. If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy, and snowy weather. 


Even though the emergency brake cable is housed in a protective sleeve, the cable can become corroded. This can result emergency brake failure--when you need it most! In freezing temperatures, the emergency brake cable can fail to release when the lever is disengaged due to the cable becoming frozen. According to USACE, the best option in freezing weather is to not use the emergency brake at all. (howstuffworks.com)


4. Accelerate and decelerate slowly.


This is the best method for avoiding skids. It takes much longer to slow down on icy roads. Also, don't stop your car if you can avoid it! If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.


5. Turn your steering wheel into a skid.


If you find yourself skidding, (without braking or accelerating,) turn your steering wheel in the direction that your back wheels are headed. This will be the safest way for you to stop your vehicle in icy conditions. Also, it is incredibly important to stay calm. If something scary like this happens, turning too much or braking too quickly can make matters worse.  


6. Give yourself plenty of time!


Do your best to not be in a hurry--give yourself ample time to make your appointments. Remember, staying calm is the way to be safe in icy weather! 




If you really don't have to go out, please don't. Even if you've mastered the art of driving in the sleet, ice, and snow, that doesn't mean that everyone else has!  

Logo Lowdown: Why a Shell?

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Have you ever found yourself wondering why Shell Oil Company uses a shell as their logo? Or why they're called "Shell" at all? 


...Us, too!


Legend has it that there was a small London business, Marcus Samuel and Company, that dealt in kerosene, antiques and oriental seashells. (Seashells were apparently a hot commodity in the Victorian era!--people used to decorate things like trinket boxes with them.) The company capitalized on this demand so much so that they changed their name to the the "Shell Transport and Trading Company" in 1897. Soon to follow was the first mussel shell logo in 1901. By 1904, a scallop shell or "pecten" emplem was introduced.  


There have been contradicting reports, however, that the reason why the shell actually stuck as the brand's image and name is because of Mr. Graham, or Graham Oil, who eventually became director of the Shell Oil Company. Mr. Graham's family's coat of arms included a shell emblem.


Whatever its origins, the shell logo was originally a faithful reproduction on the pecten or scallop shell. And when the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and Shell Transport and Trading merged in 1907, it was the "shell" brand name that was chosen to bring the company into a new era.


The form of the shell emblem has certainly changed over the years to keep in line with current graphic design trends of the time--to learn more about the history of Shell Oil Company and to see the evolution of their logo, visit their history page at http://www.shell.com/global/aboutshell/who-we-are/our-history/history-of-pecten.html.



History: Synthetics Edition

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, December 09, 2014

We've all heard of synthetic oils, but do you know where they came from? Or why we use them? In this installment of our History Blogs, we're giving you the low-down on all things man-made (oils, that is).


Synthetic oils are just lubricants made of chemical compounds that are artificially made (or synthesized).There are two main types of synthetic oils widely used today: Poly-alpha-olefin oils (PAOs) and Esters. PAOs are polymers that are made by polymerizing an alpha-olefin (an alkene that has a carbon-carbon double bond between the #1 and #2 carbons in the molecule). And esters are synthetic chemical compounds with the carbonyl adjacent to an ether linkage.1


The very first synthetic oil was actually made during WWII in Germany because the allied bombings destroyed most refineries and cut oil supplies off. The first synthetic oil to be API certified is said to be Amsol, in 1972. And finally, the first large-scale, commercially available synthetic was Mobil 1, which actually came on the market for commercial use in 1976.


Since the '70's, synthetic oils have come a long way--Pennzoil just released their Platinum synthetic oil with Pure Plus technology, made from natural gas instead of crude oil (Learn more here.), and Castrol's Edge Extended Performance guarantees a whopping 15,000 miles between oil changes (Learn more here.)


Whatever your motor oil needs are, COS is equipped to help. To find out what synthetic oil is best for your car, call 1-800-883-8081 to speak with our experts.


1. SynLube Incorporated. [1] All About Synthetic Oil

All About Brake Fluid

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, December 02, 2014

We probably all agree that "braking" is one of the most important functions of our cars, and although adding brake fluid is not a part of routine vehicle maintenance, it's important to know when, and why, a brake fluid flush is necessary.


But first: what is brake fluid, actually?--


--It's a type of hydraulic fluid used in hydraulic brake and hydraulic clutch applications in automobiles, motorcycles, light trucks, and even in some bicycles.1 It transfers force into pressure, and amplifies braking force. Most brake fluids used are either glycol-ether based, mineral oil based, or silicone based.


And have you ever wondered what the DOT numbers mean?


DOT actually stands for the U.S. Department of Transportation, and DOT 3, DOT 4, etc., are just broad classifications that reflect concerns addressed by the SAE's specs, but with local details based on temperature and humidity ranges considered when making regulations.2


Specifically, DOT 3, 4, and 5.1 are polyethylene glycol-based fluids. These fluids are hygroscopic and will absorb water from the atmosphere. DOT 5 is silicone-based and is actually hydrophobic, so DOT 5 brake fluids have a more stable viscosity index over a wide temperature range.3


Basically, it's important to know which brake fluid your system requires. And just like you wouldn't skimp out on regular oil changes for your vehicles, it's important that you don't let your brake fluid get contaminated by particles, either. It's typically a good rule of thumb to have your brakes flushed about every 30,000 miles. It is also important to note that brake flushing and brake bleeding are two different procedures. Brake flushing could be compared to an oil change--it involves removing all the brake fluid from the system, and replacing it with brand new brake fluid. Brake bleeding is when just enough brake fluid is removed to get air bubbles out of the brake lines.4


If you ever notice your that your brakes aren't performing like they should, have them inspected immediately. For more information on what brake fluid is right for your car or your fleet's engines, give us a call at 1-800-883-8081.



1. ^ "Standard No. 116; Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids". U.S. Department of Transportation. 12 Apr 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013

2.  "MSDS for DOT 3 brake fluid". Retrieved 2012-06-04.

3. ^ Standard No. 116; Motor vehicle brake fluids Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49 - Transportation, Chapter V - Part 571 - Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (49CFR571), Subpart B, Sec. 571.116 Standard No. 116; Motor vehicle brake fluids

4. http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-parts/brakes/brake-tests/is-brake-flushing-necessary.htm

Industrial Best Practices: Safety

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Central Oil & Supply is very proud to have two D-FLTS certified account managers (there are only approximately 30 in the country!). So when it comes to workplace safety and industrial best practices, we have you covered. Safety is something that we feel very strongly about at COS; after all, an unsafe work environment has the potential to harm your most valuable resource--your employees. And, it's important to note that often, shortcuts are made in efforts to save money and time, but the safety hazards that could result might end up costing you much more in the long-run. 

Here are a few tips from Nicole Morgan, our North Louisiana/Arkansas D-FLTS Account Manager:

1. Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

-Hard Hats (to protect from falling objects/walking into sharp objects)

-Safety Glasses/Goggles (to protect eyes from debris, dust, and contaminants to eyes)

-Steel Toe Footwear (to protect against heavy items dropped on feet)

-Light-Colored, Cotton Clothing (to reflect light and protect against heat exposure)

-Gloves (to protect from chemical burns, hot surfaces, and dirt contamination)

2. Take Time Out to Hydrate:

-Exposure to excessive heat and enclosed places promotes over-exertion and sweating, which leads to dehydration.

-Re-fueling with room temperature water or Gatorade is essential to keeping your body cooled down 

3. Take 5:

-Create small teams that meet for 5 minutes to discuss surroundings and potential hazards/check for safety equipment and safety performance issues. 

-Use these teams to evaluate any changes since the last huddle in order to promote awareness and accountability.

4. Lock out/Tag out:

-Lock out/tag out is the proper way to shut down equipment: lock the machine/power source to it cannot be turned on

-Tag the machine so it is not tampered with until the tag is removed, showing that the power source can be turned back to on position

5. Don't be Tempted by Shortcuts:

-Shortcuts reduce safety, and guidelines are put in place to take the time to do it right the first time

-Report any unsafe conditions/guideline negligence--after all, it's your safety on the line

-Always have a watchful eye for yourself and others! (If everyone is watching, everyone is safe.)


For more advice on how to create a safe work environment at your facility or plant, please call one of our nationally certified D-FLTS (2) trained account managers at 1-800-883-8081.


Non-Detergent Oils: Why Use Them?

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, November 18, 2014

When it comes to choosing the right oil for your engine, there are many things to consider. Not only do you have to think about the weight of your oil and the brand you should use, there is also the issue of whether or not you will use an oil with a detergent.


One of the benefits of using a main-line, conventional or synthetic oil is that there are detergents added to help keep your engine clean--they fight sludge and trap particles that would settle on the internal surfaces of your engine. Basically, the detergents suspend harmful particles in the oil until the oil is changed. Detergents can also assist in the deterring of oxidation and rust in your engine.


So, why would anyone ever not want to use an oil with a detergent?


Believe it or not, using a non-detergent may not be so bad for your engine! They still provide excellent lubrication and ensure that your engine will run at a cooler temperature. It is important to note, however, that oil analyses should be conducted regularly because non-detergent oils do not protect against sludge and contaminants. Your non-detergent oil will need to be changed at regular intervals in order for your engine to remain healthy and running efficiently.


There are also many applications where the use of a non-detergent is prevalent. Appliances that require gasoline, aquatic motors, and motorcycle engines often use non-detergents.


For more information on non-detergent oils and whether they are right for your engine, please contact one of our lubricant experts at 1-800-883-8081.

Coolants/Antifreeze 101

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Engines are hot. Even engines with maximum efficiency will produce an excess amount of heat that could expand and seize parts of your engine. And since your business depends on the effectiveness of your equipment, it is imperative you use the right antifreeze to keep your engine healthy.


Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is used to lower the freezing point of a solvent. Typically, antifreeze is added to the water in your engine's cooling system--it causes that water to be cooled below the freezing point of pure water without freezing. And if you want to get really technical, ethylene glycol, methanol, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, and propylene glycol are all used as the 'cooling agents' in popular brands of antifreeze. There will also most likely involve substances that inhibit corrosion in this mix, as well as antifoaming agents.


The two main types of antifreeze are standard and ELC (extended life coolants). Standard antifreeze will be either yellow or green in color, and is usually a mixture of ethylene glycol and water. ELC antifreeze will appear red in color and uses OAT (organic-acid technology) to provide superior protection. All antifreeze is offered in a 50/50 diluted mix or as a straight concentrate.


At COS, we offer a wide variety of antifreezes, such as:


ELC Antifreeze: ELC stands for Extended Life Coolant; these coolants appear red. Shell Rotella® ELC offers excellent heat transfer, corrosion inhibitor technology, and money-saving technology that will prolong the life of seals, hoses, and other cooling system components.


 Castrol HD Antifreeze with SCA: Castrol Heavy Duty Antifreeze with Supplemental Coolant Additive is designed to provide superior engine protection for heavy-duty cooling systems. This is a universal formula antifreeze, with advantages of low total dissolved solids, low silicate, and nitrite to provide superior wet sleeve liner cavitation protection.


 Shellzone Antifreeze: Shellzone is a superior quality, single phase, ethylene glycol based antifreeze. It is low silicate, all-purpose, and designed for use in both automotive and heavy duty diesel engines (with the use of SCAs).


To learn more about which antifreeze is right for your equipment, call one of our experts at 1-800-883-8081.







Not Your Dad's Truck: DEF, SCR, and the EPA

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, November 04, 2014

        Diesel engines sure have come a long way, haven’t they? They have a very bright future in light of recent technological, political, and economical developments. With the help of DEF and SCR technology, the reputation of diesel engines has shifted from being harmful to the environment to being an appealing alternative for its fuel efficiency.1


         In January 2010, the EPA brought in new emissions standards requiring medium to heavy duty vehicles to reduce engine emissions significantly. To help meet these demands put forth by the EPA, vehicle manufacturers are now equipping diesel engines with SCR (selective catalytic reduction) capabilities. With SCR technology, DEF (diesel exhaust fluid—a solution of urea and de-ionized water) is sprayed in the exhaust, breaking down hazardous nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, turning it into a harmless mixture of nitrogen and water. And by 2016, all newly manufactured OTR and off-road vehicles and equipment must be fitted with SCR technology and DEF.


         Even if it weren’t required by the EPA, DEF would be a valuable addition to your fleet; it is biodegradable, is much better for the environment, and will allow you to extend oil drain



         As a customer of Central Oil & Supply, you can be sure that your diesel fleet will be EPA compliant with Victory Blue DEF. Please feel free to contact your account manager today about the future of diesel engines, SCR, DEF, and what it all means for your business at


Curious about what your DEF consumption would be for your fleet? Visit http://www.govictoryblue.com/def-calculator/ today.


1. http://www.govictoryblue.com/environment/

Debunking Myths: Sythetics Edition

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

        Been thinking about converting from a conventional oil to a synthetic? You’re not alone. Ever heard of some possible negatives to making that switch? You’re not alone on that one, either! Some claims you have heard may be warranted, but others are down-right, plain and simple just not true. Let’s debunk some of the myths you might have heard about synthetic oils:


Myth #1: Once you switch to a synthetic, you will always have to use one.


         Normally, myths are at least rooted in truth—this one, however, is not. Most all synthetic oils use a base oil that is derived from crude oil. (We use the word "most" because Pennzoil is challenging the standards on that one lately… click here for more information!) There are also a variety of synthetic blend oils out there to choose from if that is what suits your needs. Our point is this: you should not be scared to mix synthetic with conventional because it’s already being done by every brand you may have used. As long as the synthetic oil is meeting the OEM requirements set out in your owner’s manual and your seals are in decent shape, you can switch back and forth to your heart’s content.


Myth #2: A synthetic oil will cause leaks.


         We’re going to give it to you straight: this myth is based in fact. Early synthetics were made from esters which were hard on neoprene seals. However, synthetic oils have come a long way since the 1970’s—of many improvements made to synthetics over the years, a huge one is that they are much easier on seals. And, while synthetic oils will not create any leaks, you can be sure that they will find one. Because synthetics are so streamlined molecularly, they have no mercy for cracked seals. Synthetic oils may even clean gunk and deposits from your engine which is a very good thing—unless those deposits are acting as spackle on some questionable seals.1 If your vehicle has over 75,000 miles, you should be using a high mileage engine oil. 2


Myth #3: You should break in a new engine with conventional before you start using a synthetic oil.



        False. There is no manufacturer, that Central Oil & Supply is aware of, that makes this claim. Corvette, Cadillac, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and many other manufacturers’ cars come from the factory with synthetic oil.3


        If you have a question about something you’ve heard about synthetics versus conventional oils, please feel free to reach our lubricant and fuel experts at Central Oil & Supply at 1-800-883-8081.


1. http://auto.howstuffworks.com/switch-to-synthetic-oil3.htm

2. http://www.pennzoil.com/motor-oil/pennzoil-high-mileage-vehicle/

3. http://www.pennzoil.com/learn-about-motor-oil/synthetic-oil/


How to Achieve Better Equipment Performance Today

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

        The performance of your equipment means everything for your business; it will directly affect how profitable and efficient your operation is. Here are three easy steps to help you achieve better performance and have healthier and more reliable engines to operate with:

1. Get the right fuel and lubricants.

        We've all been told that fuel and lubricants have a huge effect on how well a vehicle runs. (That's because they do!) It's imperative that you take the time to determine which fuel and lubricant products are right for your equipment. Double check the recommendation made by your equipment manufacturer. Even if it means spending more money up-front on premium products, you will absolutely reap the benefits later on--your ROI will dramatically increase as maintenance costs decrease.

2. Have your used oil analyzed.

        Regular oil analysis will help you determine what a proper life for your engine oil is, what problems might be occurring in your equipment that you might not know about, and will also help you determine if what you are using currently is working for your equipment. Not only will your equipment performance increase, but your maintenance budget will be more wisely spent when you have so much knowledge about what is going on in your equipment.

3. Talk to your fuel and lubricants account manager.

        As a business that works closely with a fuel and lubricants distributor, you have unlimited access to a wealth of knowledge. Central Oil & Supply's fuel and lubricant account managers are readily available to help you; they know what your equipment needs in order for it to function properly and remain reliable.

        Call to reach your account manager at 1-800-883-8081, and you can start learning about how to achieve better equipment performance today.





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