Last Updated on April 2, 2021
Diesel engines require good quality diesel oil in order for them to be properly lubricated. A motor oil made especially for diesel engines ensures that the components of the diesel motor run smoothly without any setbacks or problems. Many of these types of oil will not work in gasoline engines as they have different properties.
There are two basic types of diesel oils for engines; conventional and synthetic. Like with motor oil for gasoline vehicles, conventional is almost always cheaper cheaper but will not do as good a job of lubricating the components of the engine. You also need to change the oil more frequently too.
Synthetic oils are more expensive but will lubricate the components better and longer since they are specially formulated with additives which take longer to break down. That is generally why synthetics are a better choice for engines which see heavy duty usage such as most diesel trucks.
See Also: Best Oil Filters for Synthetic Motor Oil
Top 7 Synthetic Oils for Diesel Engines
Below are some of the best synthetic oils for diesel trucks and cars. Note that all of these come in either 1-gallon or 5-liter (1.32 gallon) containers and some are sold in multiple containers for the absolute best value.
Motul was the first to develop a 100% synthetic oil all the way back in 1971 and they continue to be innovators in synthetic motor oils. Motul 8100 X-cess is a unique synthetic in that it can be used in either diesel engines or gasoline engines.
The oil is specially formulated to be 100% synthetic and is ideal for high displacement engines both diesel and direct injection gasoline. This specific product is sold in cases of 4 jugs totaling 20 liters altogether. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive but whether your truck has a Duramax or Power Stroke engine, it’s hard to beat Motul 8100 X-cess.
Likely the most popular synthetic oil for diesel engines, Shell Rotella T6 is another excellent 100% synthetic oil that is suitable for diesel engines and arguably the best when you factor in its price. If the Motul is a bit out of your price range, Rotella T6 is a great alternative.
Shell Rotella T6 classifies itself as a heavy duty diesel engine oil and can handle multiple kinds of driving conditions. Whether you need low temperature protection or high temperature protection, this oil will satisfy both of these requirements.
Lucas Oil Products Inc. is another American company that makes excellent motor oil. This type of fully synthetic motor oil is formulated to perform well heavy duty diesel engines (from pickup trucks to semi trucks) as well as gasoline engines, no matter their age.
Like other premium brands, you’re going to pay a bit more up front for Lucas Oil synthetic motor oil but your engine will be well protected even after other synthetic oils start breaking down.
This synthetic diesel engine oil has many advanced features, such as resistance to oxidation, extra wear protection, and better handling of soot. It is best to use the Schaeffer SynShield in conjunction with diesel fuel that has very low sulphur levels.
Schaeffer synthetic motor oil for diesel vehicles meets and exceeds API CK-4 meaning that it reduces friction and wear in the most severe operating conditions. When you want the best and don’t mind paying a bit more, Schaeffer Manufacturing is hard to beat.
Made in Germany, Liqui Moly synthetic oil for diesel engines offers unsurpassed protection against friction and wear and has the ability to last thousands of miles longer than other diesel motor oils before losing effectiveness. You’ll likely gain a small increase in fuel economy when switching over.
For many years, Mobil 1 synthetic oil has been near the top of every list for gasoline powered vehicles and for good reason. While not as popular for diesel powered engines, Mobil 1 Synthetic for Turbo Diesel Trucks offers that same protection.
It’ll protect your engine in a huge temperature range to keep sludge and varnish buildup to a minimum. Mobil 1 will keep your engine cleaner are running cooler and more efficient whether you’re cruising on the highway or towing a trailer up a steep incline.
If you drive a Ford Power Stroke diesel, running genuine Motorcraft full synthetic diesel motor oil in your engine is a no brainer. It’s the only motor oil recommended by Ford Motor Company and the same one used at the service departments of Ford dealerships.
No matter if you drive an F150 or F350 diesel truck or other vehicle that requires CJ-4 guidelines, it’s hard to go wrong with Motorcraft oil. Your engine will stay cleaner, run cooler, get better fuel economy, and you’ll be able to go longer between oil changes.
Make sure you read your owner’s manual to see what viscosity oil you’ll need and the recommended oil change interval. If you are using one of these top-quality diesel oil types, you should be able to get 10,000 miles or more out of them before they need changing. Sometimes it will be more or less, depending on your driving conditions.