The 10 Best Diesel Engine Oils to Buy 2020

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Driving a diesel-powered vehicle has its perks. Besides the sheer power of a diesel engine, the bragging rights attached to owning such a power horse is more than ample. But people buy vehicles for different reasons.

Research has shown one of the top criteria people use when deciding on a vehicle is the cost attached to it. That doesn’t include the initial capital outlay only but maintenance becomes a top consideration too. The more economical the upkeep of a vehicle, the more attractive it becomes to consumers.

Diesel engines have become the preferred selection for many consumers due to their fuel efficiency. Because diesel engines generate more power using less fuel they’re more economical than gasoline engines. Maintenance of diesel-powered vehicles is also less expensive than gasoline-powered vehicles due to their reliability and endurance.

It’s no wonder the number of diesel-powered vehicles is increasing substantially across the world. With more of these type of vehicles flooding the market the demand for superior diesel engine oils have also soared.

We’ll cover the fundamentals around diesel engine oils in this article. We highlight the key properties to look out for and reviewing the best engine oils on the market currently. Allow us to help you sift through the marketing noise to get to the core of what you need.

Features to Consider in Good Diesel Engine Oils

There’s a lot of publicity around what is best for your diesel engine. Finding the right product for your engine’s needs can be daunting when presented with endless options. Let’s cut through the fluff to get to the essentials which keep your diesel engine in top condition.

Everyone has their favorites when it comes to diesel engine oils, right? You select what works for you and you don’t look back. Wrong. It’s advisable to compare products and find what works even better & can give you more value for money.

Engine oil that worked perfectly fine a few months ago might be inferior now when compared with similar engine oils on the market. There are constant innovations in engine oil with new entrants entering the market rapidly.

Benefits of Diesel Engine Oil

We’ve briefly mentioned some of the benefits of owning a diesel-powered engine but what are the benefits of using diesel engine oil?

  • The viscosity performance of diesel engine oils are better than conventional oils
  • It offers improved stability in chemical and trim capabilities
  • It decreases evaporation
  • It offers better resistance to corrosion, thermal and sludge complications
  • It’s more environmentally friendly with less oil waste emitted
  • It offers longer intervals between drainage, saving you money
Now that we’ve explained the benefits attached to using diesel engine oil, let’s look at the best diesel engine oils currently available on the market.

Top 10 Best Diesel Engine Oils 2020

1. Castrol 03087 Edge Extended Performance 5W-30 Advanced Diesel Engine Oil

Why It’s Impressive: How many miles do you drive before you have to drain your engine oil? If you’re not getting the maximum amount of worry-free driving miles, perhaps it’s time to reconsider your engine oil.

Castril guarantees you can drive 20 000 miles before you’ll need to drain your oil. This advanced synthetic oil lasts longer and performs well under pressure. It extends performance when your car is under extreme pressure when towing or exposed to intense temperatures. Due to its composition with titanium fluid, it affords you extra strength.

This diesel oil meets the highest engine test standards and reduces any engine sediment configuration which assists in better engine responsiveness. The only downside of this engine oil is that it’s not compatible with all Volkswagen models. It’s compatible with all heavy-duty engines and trucks.

Editor’s rating

Why We Recommend It
Castril is three times tougher against thickness breakdown compared to some of its competitors. It’s one of the leading synthetic oils on the market at an affordable price. It provides superior protection against the wear and tear on your car due to its titanium stabilizer.

Castrol synthetic oil also decreases the friction caused by metal-on-metal contact irrespective of the various driving speeds. It’s ideal for use during multiple brief trips or when your engine is simply idling.

Special Features
This engine oil is good value for money if you’re interested in extending your time on the road. You have the assurance that your engine is getting top quality oil to keep it functioning optimally.

The cutting edge technology used with its fluid titanium unlocks unsurpassed performance. This oil is six times more resilient against wear compared against industry standards. It’s also three times better at combating thickness breakdown and is 10 times sturdier under high temperatures.

Pros
  • Reputable brand
  • Extra miles before drainage
  • Performs well under pressure
  • Surpasses industry standards
Cons
  • Not compatible with all models

2. Motul 007250 8100 X-cess Diesel Engine Oil

Why It’s Impressive: Motul diesel engine oil is one of the brands you should check out even if you have a favorite brand already. It’s a trusted brand that has partnered with racing teams to cultivate their oils.

It meets all the diesel engine oil standards and offers you total driving pleasure. Mogul is a trusted brand that has been at the forefront of synthetic lubricants for over 160 years. You have the backing of an experienced industry leader in this engine oil.

Editor’s rating

Why We Recommend It
Motul synthetic oil performs well under extreme temperatures. It gives you a stable drive with very little unpredictability.

Motul is a robust company driven by passion. They believe innovation and invention is the key to improving performance & it shows in their products as you’ll see they always implement fresh ideas.

Their performance lubricants are renowned for the following:

  • It reduces engine wear
  • It modifies friction giving you supreme power
  • It stabilizes oil pressure irrespective of driving conditions
  • It’s economical, significantly reducing oil usage

Special Features
Mogul was the first to develop a fully synthetic oil. The quest for better performance continues as seen with this specific diesel engine oil. It’s made from 100% synthetic oil which means no crude oil was used in formulating it.

It has an oil film protection to avoid damage or decreased performance when exposed to high temperatures. This diesel engine oil comes at a premium price which is understandable when considering the excellent results it guarantees.

Pros
  • Protective oil film against extreme temperatures
  • Decreases oil usage
  • Offers a stable drive under all conditions
  • Experienced industry leader
Cons
  • Increases consumption with certain car models
  • Pricey

3. Shell Rotella T6 Diesel Motor Oil

Why It’s Impressive: If decreasing your fuel consumption is at the top of your priorities when selecting diesel engine oils then the Shell Rotella engine oil is perfect for you. It promises to improve your fuel economy performance by 1.5%. That’s a massive saving when converted in monetary terms.

We all want to prolong our engine life, right? A healthy engine is the same as a healthy heart. It keeps things moving along nicely. Shell Rotella engine oil has designed triple protection plus formula that provides ultimate protection against engine wear.

Its specially formulated oil is armored with chemical technology that protects your engine against harmful contaminants.

Editor’s rating

Why We Recommend It
We appreciate the effort Shell has made to enable better emission maintenance. Their advanced formulation assists in obstructing the blocking of exhaust devices. Preventing poisonous effects from the exhaust after treatments.

Their economical approach to reducing fuel consumption doesn’t reduce engine performance or durability. This engine oil provides unceasing protection right through to your next servicing date.

Special Features
We appreciate the effort Shell has made to enable better emission maintenance. Their advanced formulation assists in obstructing the blocking of exhaust devices. Preventing poisonous effects from the exhaust after treatments.

Their economical approach to reducing fuel consumption doesn’t reduce engine performance or durability. This engine oil provides unceasing protection right through to your next servicing date.

Pros
  • Economical fuel consumption
  • Superior protection
  • Protects your exhaust system
  • Offers excellent stability on the road
Cons
  • Container not sturdy, prone to leak

4. Kendall 1077884-12PK Super-D XA 10W40 Diesel Engine Oil

Why It’s Impressive: We live in a world that is polluted with all kinds of emissions from our vehicles. Even though we can’t change the state of our environment overnight, we can take better care of our car’s engines. Kendall’s diesel engine oil is one solution for better engine care.

This diesel engine oil safeguards against low-emission diesel engines. It gives your engine complete protection against abrasive metal friction, keeping all the components lubricated. It’s formulated with liquid titanium offering advanced security against engine wear.

This top-class synthetic blend will give you extra miles before your next servicing appointment. It will also extend the drain intervals saving you some cash. It continues to perform well in any weather conditions, offering a smooth running engine.

Editor’s rating

Why We Recommend It
We’re especially fond of the advanced protection it gives against engine wear. It’s so easy to exert pressure on your engine when you hauling or towing objects. Ensure you use a premium oil that can act as a barrier for all the heavy duty work your engine does.

Kendal diesel engine oil prides itself in offering protection against all harmful elements that affect your engine’s performance. It’s specifically designed to guard your exhaust against after treatment properties that can be harmful.

Special Features
Protection is at the heart of engine care. Kendall liquid titanium oil focusses on offering the best kind of protection for your diesel engine. Its robust formulation decreases fuel consumption and offers more carefree miles.

It has all the components necessary for ultimate engine performance but lacks adaptability in extreme temperatures when overheating. It does shield your engine against erosion and abrasive friction.

Pros
  • It provides improved exhaust maintenance
  • Advantageous for older diesel engines
  • Guard against engine wear
Cons
  • Lacks adaptability in extreme temperatures

5. Royal Purple 04154 15W40 Diesel Engine Oil

Why It’s Impressive: Have you ever had to crank the engine in cold weather? Do you know the frustration of your engine that simply doesn’t want to start up? This is not unusual because engines usually start up easier in warmer temperatures than cold temperatures.

The ability of your battery to start your cold engine is called cold cranking and your diesel engine oil assist with increasing that probability. Mobil’s diesel engine oil increases your cold cranking abilities. It also increases your engine’s lifespan.

Its special formula has a high amount of additives that protect your engine. It’s also laced with detergents for a supreme clean engine. You’ll get optimal performance when using this diesel engine oil, as it’s designed for outstanding engine maintenance.

Editor’s rating

Why We Recommend It
Not all diesel engine oils can stretch your miles before your next oil drainage must be done. Royal Purple engine oil will run your engine smoothly up to 20 000 miles before you need an oil drain. A handy tip is to always make sure you change your oil filters to stretch your mileage even further.

This engine oil can adapt well to extreme temperatures whether hot or cold. Its high additive concentration breaks down the thickness of the oil and makes your engine run effortlessly. It offers unmatched durability and its good value for money.

Special Features
Royal Purple engine oil has become the preferred oil for truckers, SUV drivers and any diesel-powered vehicle. It’s the ultimate protection for your engine at a decent price.

The only drawback with this engine oil is it doesn’t have markings on the container to gauge how many liters you’ve used. Other than that, Royal Purple diesel engine oil will keep your engine in prime condition.

Pros
  • It protects against corrosion
  • Good value for money
  • It makes your engine run smoother
Cons
  • No markings on the container

6. Mobil Super 96819 15W-40 Delvac 1300 Diesel Engine Oil

Why It’s Impressive: Have you ever had to crank the engine in cold weather? Do you know the frustration of your engine that simply doesn’t want to start up? This is not unusual because engines usually start up easier in warmer temperatures than cold temperatures.

The ability of your battery to start your cold engine is called cold cranking and your diesel engine oil assist with increasing that probability. Mobil’s diesel engine oil increases your cold cranking abilities. It also increases your engine’s lifespan.

Its special formula has a high amount of additives that protect your engine. It’s also laced with detergents for a supreme clean engine. You’ll get optimal performance when using this diesel engine oil, as it’s designed for outstanding engine maintenance.

Editor’s rating

Why We Recommend It
Mobil is a reputable brand with more than 86 years of industry experience. They have formulated the ideal diesel engine oil to keep your truck, tractor or car running smoothly for longer. It protects your engine against slush build-up and blocks any residue from high temperatures.

This diesel oil is more economical in fuel consumption, saving you some running costs. It also has a longer endurance and will increase your engine lifespan.

Special Features
It’s economical in terms of expenses with a 30 000 mile drainage limit. It’s durable and adaptable in all weather conditions. The special formula can cool and clean your engine effectively.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • More versatile than synthetic oils
  • Better cold-cranking ability
Cons
  • Not suitable for all cars

7. Lucas Oil 10299-PK4 Synthetic 15W-40 CJ-4 Diesel Engine Oil

Why It’s Impressive: Lucas engine oil is primarily used for heavyweight diesel engines but is compatible for use in normal diesel or gasoline-powered vehicles also. It has been proven this engine oil can extend your truck fleet’s drain intervals to over 30 000 miles.

This special formula is a blend that combines the best of synthetic oils and conventional oils & meets industry requirements. It has a high concentration of detergents that provides superior cleansing power for your engine.

Editor’s rating

Why We Recommend It
It’s hard to find a blended engine oil that can still offer outstanding results. The reduction of engine wear is remarkable as well as its low oil consumption. It complies with all the standards for emission control and has significant additives levels for a strong engine.

We appreciate the flexibility this engine oil offers as it can be used by both gasoline & diesel engine vehicles. It functions well under pressure and resists breakdown in hot temperatures. This engine oil also assists with increasing your cold-cranking amps when driving in cold temperatures.

Special Features
This engine oil comes in various packages for convenient use. Whether you need a gallon, a pail or a drum it can all be made available to you. Lucas engine oil is economical, saving you frequent trips to the mechanic to service your car.

It keeps your engine in top condition, keeping all the essential parts well lubricated. It will protect your engine against harmful sludge build-up and resist thermal breakdown.

Pros
  • Versatile to use in gasoline and diesel engines
  • Protection against thermal breakdown
  • It lowers oil consumption
Cons
  • High zinc additives ratio

8. Pennzoil Platinum Euro-L Full Synthetic 5W-30 Diesel Engine Oil

Why It’s Impressive: Talk about exceeding expectations. Pennzoil diesel engine oil delivers with finesse. This highly concentrated base oil exceeds the requirements set for diesel engine oils. It has obtained approval for Fuel Economy Improvement (FEI) as determined by industry standards.

It offers outstanding protection against engine wear and delivers minimal oil flow during low temperatures. This diesel engine oil effectively sustains your engine’s horsepower ensuring an exhilarated drive every time.

Pennzoil’s PurePlus technology is formulated from a gas into a first-class synthetic oil. A high concentration of additives is found in this engine oil which gives your engine total protection.

Editor’s rating

Why We Recommend It
This engine oil has its origin in Europe and exceeds the industry standards. Pennzoil prides itself on bringing a superior engine oil to the market. Cleanliness is at the heart of their technology, promising the best clean for your engine.

We know cleaner engines increase performance, so that gets a thumbs up from us. You also want to make sure your engine can perform in high temperatures. This engine oil delivers on high performance during tremendous heat.

Sludge building up in your engine in low temperate is also a real threat, so selecting an engine oil that provides resistance to sludge build-up is good. Pennzoil engine oil protects against sludge build-up eliminating any harmful properties that can penetrate your engine.

Special Features
This engine oil meets and exceeds manufacturer requirements. It’s a solid engine oil capable of delivering the best protection for your engine. It’s also economical in terms of fuel consumption and offers long intervals between drainage.

This engine oil is compatible in both gasoline and diesel engines, offering the kind of versatility that makes an engine oil invaluable. It’s priced affordably giving you good value for money.

Pros
  • Offers superior clean
  • Exceeds manufacturer requirements
  • Can perform optimally in high temperatures
Cons
  • Packaging not secure

9. Total 184952-3PK Quartz 9000 Energy 5W-40 Diesel Engine Oil

Why It’s Impressive: We’re all traveling different routes, right? Some trips are short and others take a bit longer. Irrespective of the length of time on the road, protecting your engine against wear should always be prioritized. This diesel engine oil gives your engine total protection for all journeys.

It can withstand the impossible demands of intense urban traffic as well as high speeds on the highway. This synthetic engine oil is suitable for gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles. Always check your manufacturer’s requirements before selecting an engine oil to ensure compatibility.

It offers superior oxidation resistance prolonging the drain intervals significantly. The oil functions well under all temperatures, be it hot or cold temperatures.

Editor’s rating

Why We Recommend It
Total has met and exceeded international standards when formulating this technologically advanced engine oil. It offers instant lubrication when starting up your engine, even with the most vulnerable parts. Its fluidity for cold cranking your engine in cold temperatures is remarkable.

We’ve said it before, a clean engine is a high performing engine. Always check that your diesel engine oil is capable of keeping your engine spotless. The specially formulated engine oil has a combination of detergents and dispersive additives that keeps your engine super clean.

Special Features
Total’s engine oil gives you protection against engine wear focusing on the most sensitive parts of your engine. It also saves you money by extending your drain intervals.

You can expect a high performing engine in extreme conditions, with a resistance of sludge, build up in low temperatures. Its viscosity grade is higher than the industry standard and it offers denser lubrication.

Pros
  • Higher viscosity grade
  • Performs well in low temperatures
  • Causes no harmful health effects
Cons
  • Pricey

10. Valvoline 5W-40 Premium Blue Extreme Synthetic Diesel Engine Oil

Why It’s Impressive: If the world’s leading manufacturer in engines endorses your brand, you can be assured it can be trusted. Cummins the world’s most renowned manufacturer of diesel and gasoline engines have publicly declared Valvoline engine oil the best lubricant to use for your engine.

Valvoline has excellent synthetic stock properties that make your engine run smoothly in icy temperatures and hot temperatures. It improves your fuel consumption better than 15W-40 oils. This engine oil is designed to meet the high demands of contemporary diesel engines and older diesel engines.

It has improved protection against valve wear in engines and significantly reduce soot levels in your oil filter. This engine oil promises to keep your engine in a spotless condition for optimal performance.

Editor’s rating

Why We Recommend It
Valvoline has proven its dominance in the lubrication field, being tested against the highest industry standards. It has been put through laborious tests by Cummins before getting their stamp of approval.

All these rigorous testing has worked for the benefit of you as the consumer. It assures you this engine oil will deliver where it matters most. It can withstand extreme weather conditions and is affordable in terms of price & fuel economy.

Special Features
Valvoline engine oil is a trusted name in the industry. It’s used by commercial and ordinary consumers with impressive results. It offers superior protection against engine wear and functions well under all weather conditions.

This engine oil is 100% synthetic and offers resistance against soot build-up & uncleanliness in your engine. It improves your fuel consumption and delays drainage intervals for extended times. The formulation has a high intensity of additives which improves your engine’s performance.

Pros
  • Endorsed by leading diesel and gasoline engine manufacturer Cummins
  • Superior protection against soot levels
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Shear stability problematic
  • Seal on cap not solid

Guide to Buying the Best Diesel Engine Oils

Defining Diesel Engine Oil

Would it be safe to assume not everyone knows exactly what makes diesel engine oil different from conventional gasoline oil? If so, let’s quickly level the playing field and get everyone up to speed.

Diesel engine oil is slightly different from the gasoline oil. You’ll need to use the correct engine oil that’s compatible with your engine for optimal performance. Also, the lubrication properties between gasoline and diesel engines are different. The diversity of additives in the oil makes diesel engine oil very unique.

Further to this, gasoline engines soak up more moisture whereas diesel engines take in more carbon. Diesel engine oils also have a higher concentration of dispersants offering better protection against additives. Lastly, diesel engine oils need higher viscosity levels as they’re exposed to rougher conditions.

Key Properties to Consider When Selecting Your Diesel Engine Oil

Before you can select the best diesel engine oil you first have to ascertain what the key aspects are to consider. We understand navigating your way through all the terminology can become overwhelming so here’s a simple summary:

  • Viscosity: There are different viscosity grades for different vehicles. Check your vehicle’s specifications guide to see what viscosity grade applies to your vehicle. This is critical as it determines the minimum temperatures required for your engine. You have to ensure you select the grade that provides optimal performance. It’s especially true when your engine is put under pressure.
  • Expenses: It’s important to compare prices when it comes to diesel engine oils. You’ll find some inexpensive oils promise you the world but don’t deliver. You may also encounter expensive diesel engine oils that don’t live up to their promises. Finding the right match for your engine’s specific needs is vital. Ensure your selection fits your budget firstly and can perform optimally. Referrals from friends or credible reviews can also guide you in terms of selecting the best diesel engine oil.
  • Well-matched: Compatibility is key. As we’ve mentioned before not all oils are the same, select the correct one for your engine. There are various formulations available on the market, so examine the oil properties which match your engine.
  • Cleanliness: One of the key aspects of a good diesel engine oil is to keep your engine clean. Ensure you select a diesel engine oil that will keep your engine in a spotless condition for optimal performance.
  • Adaptability: It’s important to select a diesel engine oil that’s versatile. There are multiple uses for diesel engine oil. Select one that can be used across several activities such as lubricating other components in your vehicle.
  • Competence: We’ve spoken a lot about fuel consumption and mentioned that most diesel oils are economical. It’s always beneficial to select a diesel engine oil that lowers your fuel consumption and prolongs the intervals between drainage. You need to be selective to get the best utilization out of your diesel engine oil.

3 Reasons Why You Should Consider Diesel Engines

If you’re still not convinced diesel engines are the way to go, let’s list the three top reasons we think you should reconsider.

Fuel Consumption

There is a popular saying that goes “If you look after the pennies, the dollars will look after themselves”. It means one has to be prudent in the little expenses so the massive expenses don’t pile up.

This becomes very apparent when you look at the fuel efficiency of diesel engines compared to gasoline engines. They simply produce more power with less fuel than gasoline engines. If you add a fuel injector of turbocharger you can even double the power and diminish the fuel consumption. An excellent way to look after those pennies.

Reduced Taxes

Because we need to lower the emissions we release into the atmosphere for a greener world, taxes are levied according to CO2 emissions. Diesel engines are charged lower taxes compared to gasoline vehicles.

Fewer Hazards

One of the main contributing factors in a car accident is the rapid igniting ability of fuel. Gasoline engines are more prone to fuel ignition when compared to diesel engines. Of course, diesel engines aren’t exempt from catching fire but a small spark isn’t prone to set it alight. Diesel fuel simply has a more elevated flashpoint than gasoline.

Different Types of Oil

By now you should be fairly clued-up on the benefits of diesel engines and all the key entities you should consider when picking an engine oil. But do you know the difference between your oils?
Not all engine oils are equal so let’s look at what makes them so different.

Diesel Oil

There are several terms used when people refer to diesel engine oil. Some simply call it diesel fuel while others refer to it as motor oil. Do take special precautions when you changing your oil to use the correct oil. Fuel oil is used to increase your vehicle’s capacity while diesel engine oil is designed to keep your engine lubricated.

Lube Oil

It’s essential to keep all the moving components of your vehicle well lubricated. It provides smoother functioning between the different moving parts, keeping your vehicle in optimal condition.

Lubrication oil mustn’t be confused with oil used to keep your engine going. It’s not advisable to use lubrication oil for your engine as it doesn’t possess the qualities necessary for your engine. Lubrication oil is usually used for your suspension and steering system but can’t be considered for your engine.

Gasoline Oil

You can call gasoline oil the sister to diesel engine oil. They are very similar in their core make-up and possess similar properties. The major difference comes into effect when we compare the number of additives in the two oils.

Diesel engine oil has more additives. It has a thick consistency required to protect your diesel engine against wear. Diesel-powered vehicles are usually exposed to tougher conditions, hence its engine oil has higher density.

Final Words

Don’t you always take special care of your most valued belongings? You make sure they stay in top condition, right? The same applies to good engine maintenance. If you want your vehicle to run for longer you have to protect your engine against any harmful entities.

Even though diesel engines are renowned for their durability and endurance in tough conditions, it still needs special care. Selecting a decent diesel engine oil is probably one of the best services you can do for your engine. It will improve the lifespan of your engine and it will keep your engine in prime condition.

Focus on selecting a diesel engine oil that has all the key properties we listed. Always check whether it’s compatible with your vehicle before using it. You can do a lot of damage if you use an incompatible oil for your diesel engine.