Caterpillar recognizes and supports the American Petroleum Institute (API) “Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System” for engine oils. The API publication No. 1509, 13th edition, contains the detailed information concerning this system. Engine oils bearing the API symbol are licensed by the API.
Examples of the API symbol.
Diesel engine oil classifications CD, CD-2, and CE are obsolete API categories. Caterpillar will only reference those categories that are currently licensed by the API. The following chart summarizes the status of the categories.
NOTE: CF is NOT the same as CF-4. API CF oils are only recommended for Caterpillar engines with precombustion chamber (PC) fuel systems.
In previous lubricant specifications, Caterpillar referred to US Military oil specifications (MIL) and to European Comite des Constructeurs d’Automobile Marche Commun (CCMC) diesel engine oil specifications. Those specifications do not provide identical performance to API CF, CF-4 or API CG-4 engine oils. Therefore, Caterpillar will not make reference to MIL or to CCMC specifications in this publication.
Some abbreviations follow the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J754 nomenclature. Some classifications follow the SAE J183 abbreviations. The definitions other than Caterpillar’s will be of assistance in selecting lubricants.
The National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) classifies grease, based on the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) D217-68 Worked Penetration characteristics. Grease characteristics are given a defined consistency number.
Caterpillar Oils have been developed, tested, and approved by Caterpillar to provide the performance and service life that has been designed and built into Caterpillar diesel engines. Caterpillar oils are used for engine development and factory fill. These oils are offered by Caterpillar dealers.
Due to significant variations in the quality and in the performance of commercially available oils, Caterpillar recommends:
Caterpillar Diesel Engine Oil (DEO) 15W40
Caterpillar Diesel Engine Oil (DEO) 10W30
Caterpillar recommends the use of multigrade oils in all on-highway vehicle engines. Caterpillar multigrade DEO is formulated with detergents, dispersants, and sufficient alkalinity to provide superior performance in Caterpillar Diesel Engines. Multigrade DEO is blended in two viscosity grades: SAE 10W30 and SAE 15W40. Refer to the Lubricant Viscosities For Ambient Temperatures chart to choose the correct viscosity grade based on ambient temperatures. Multigrade oils provide the correct viscosity for a broad range of operating temperatures and for cold engine starts. Multigrade oils are also effective in maintaining low oil consumption and low levels of piston deposits.
Caterpillar multigrade DEO is also qualified for use in other diesel engines and in gasoline engines. Refer to the engine manufacturer’s guide for the recommended specifications. Compare the recommendations to the specifications of Caterpillar multigrade DEO. The current Caterpillar multigrade DEO industry specifications are listed on the product labels and on the product data sheets.
Consult your Caterpillar dealer for part numbers and available container sizes.
The performance of commercial diesel engine oils is based on API categories. API categories are developed to provide commercial lubricants for a wide variety of diesel engines that operate in various conditions.
If Caterpillar multigrade DEO is not used, the following commercial oils are recommended.
- * Preferred API CG-4 (multigrade)
- * Acceptable API CF-4 (multigrade)
API CG-4 oils are preferred for Caterpillar on-highway diesel engines because the oils provide improved deposit control and additional soot dispersancy. Also, API CG-4 is the only oil category that evaluates oils with engine tests utilizing 0.05 percent sulfur diesel fuel. Since October 1993, all USA on-highway vehicle diesel fuel has been regulated to a maximum of 0.05 percent sulfur.
The following explanations of these API categories can be used to make the proper choice of a commercial oil.
CG-4: CG-4 is the newest heavy duty diesel oil category. CG-4 oils can be used in all Caterpillar on-highway diesel engines where CF-4 oils are recommended. Compared to CF-4 oils, CG-4 oils provide improved piston cleanliness, improved viscosity control, and improved crankcase cleanliness, especially in applications where oil soot is a problem. Although CG-4 oils were primarily developed for diesel engines operating on 0.05 percent sulfur diesel fuel, CG-4 oils can be used with higher sulfur fuels. The new oil Total Base Number (TBN) determines the maximum fuel sulfur level for CG-4 and CF-4 oils. Refer to the TBN and Fuel Sulfur topics in this publication.
CG-4 oils are the first oils to pass industry tests for foam control and viscosity shear loss. CG-4 oils must also pass recently developed tests for metals corrosion and wear.
CF-4 oils service a wide variety of modern diesel engines. This oil classification was developed with 0.40 percent sulfur diesel fuel. The fuel used in the CF-4 category represents the type of diesel fuels commonly available world wide. CF-4 oils provide improved piston deposit control and improved oil control when compared to the other category oils.
Synthetic base stock oils are acceptable for use in Caterpillar engines if these oils meet the performance requirements specified by Caterpillar.
Synthetic base stock oils generally outperform nonsynthetic oils in two areas:
- * Improved low temperature viscosity characteristics, especially in Arctic conditions
- * Improved oxidation stability, especially at high operating temperatures
Some synthetic base stock oils have performance characteristics that enhance the useful service life of the oil. However, Caterpillar does NOT recommend the “automatic” extension of oil change intervals for any oil, including synthetic base stock oils. For Caterpillar diesel engines, oil change intervals can only be adjusted through an oil analysis program that contains the following elements: oil condition and wear metals (Caterpillar’s S·O·S Oil Analysis preferred), trend analysis, fuel consumption, and oil consumption.
Re-refined base stock oils are acceptable for use in Caterpillar engines if these oils meet the performance requirements specified by Caterpillar. Re-refined oils can be used exclusively in a finished oil or in combination with new base stocks. The US Military and other heavy equipment manufacturers have also accepted the use of re-refined base stock oils with the same criteria.
The re-refining process should be adequate to remove all wear metals and oil additives that were present in the used oil. This type of re-refining is generally accomplished by vacuum distillation and hydrotreating the used oil. Filtering alone is inadequate for producing a high quality re-refined base stock from used oil.
For starting and operating engines in ambient temperatures below -20°C (-4°F), use a multigrade oil with a 0W or 5W low temperature viscosity grade.
For starting and operating engines with ambient temperatures below -30°C (-22°F), use a synthetic base stock multigrade oil with a 0W or 5W low temperature viscosity grade and a pour point of -50°C (-58°F) or lower.
Because the number of lubricants acceptable for use in Arctic conditions is limited, Caterpillar has special recommendations for these situations. Caterpillar recommends the following engine oils, in order of preference, for use in Arctic conditions:
- * First Choice: API CG-4 or CF-4 oils with an SAE 0W20, 0W30, 5W30, or 5W40 viscosity grade
- * Second Choice: Oils with a CG-4 or CF-4 type additive package and an SAE 0W20, 0W30, 5W30, or 5W40 viscosity grade
Caterpillar does NOT recommend the use of after-market oil additives. After-market oil additives are not necessary to achieve service life predictions or to achieve rated performance. Fully formulated finished oils are made up of base stocks and commercial additive packages. The additive packages are blended into the base stocks at precise percentages to produce finished oils with performance characteristics that meet lubricant industry standards.
Lubricant industry standard tests do not exist to evaluate the performance of after-market oil additives. There are no lubricant industry standard tests to evaluate the compatibility of after-market additives in a finished oil. After-market additives could be incompatible with the finished oil additive package, reducing the performance of the finished oil. The after-market additives could fail to mix with the finished oil, producing a sludge in the crankcase. Caterpillar discourages the use of after-market additives in finished oils.
Most diesel fuel contains some sulfur. Byproducts of sulfur include corrosive sulfurous and sulfuric acids. Additives in the lubricating oil contain alkaline compounds which are formulated to neutralize the acids. The measure of this alkalinity in an oil is known as TBN.
The TBN required in a new oil depends on the sulfur level of the fuel used. For direct injection engines running on distillate diesel fuel, the minimum new oil TBN (by ASTM D2896) should be 10 times the fuel sulfur level, and the minimum TBN is 5 regardless of a low fuel sulfur level- refer to the following graph.
(Y) Oil TBN shown by ASTM D2896.
(X) Percent of fuel sulfur by weight.
(1) New oil TBN.
(2) TBN limit of used oil.
Change the oil when the TBN limit of used oil (2) is reached.
In areas where the fuel sulfur exceeds 1.5 percent, choose an oil with the highest TBN that is within the API CF-4 or CG-4 categories, and shorten the oil change interval based on oil analysis. The oil analysis should evaluate oil condition and wear metals. High TBN oils that are not within the API CF-4 or CG-4 categories can produce excessive piston deposits, leading to a loss of oil control and bore polishing.
The proper SAE viscosity grade oil is determined by the minimum outside temperature at cold engine start-up, and the maximum outside temperature during engine operation. Use the minimum temperature column on the chart to determine the oil viscosity required for starting a “cold soaked” engine. Use the maximum temperature column on the chart to select the viscosity for operation at the highest temperature anticipated. In general, use the highest viscosity oil available that still meets the start-up temperature requirements.
To achieve all the performance that was built into a Caterpillar engine, follow these guidelines:
- * Select the proper Caterpillar oil or commercial oil that meets the API specifications
- * Select the proper oil viscosity based on the applicable Lubricant Viscosities chart
- * Replace the engine oil and oil filter(s) at the intervals specified in the Operation and Maintenance Manual
- * Perform maintenance according to the Operation and Maintenance Manual
Caterpillar provides grease for a variety of applications and extreme temperature conditions. The descriptions of these products follow.
Consult your Caterpillar dealer for part numbers and available container sizes.
NOTE: One grease may be incompatible with another grease. When using commercial grease, make sure the grease is compatible with the grease used in your system, or make sure to purge the system. Consult your supplier regarding grease compatibility questions.
Multipurpose Lithium Complex Grease (MPG)
MPG is a general purpose lithium complex grease for light to medium duty applications. MPG has good high temperature characteristics, with a minimum dropping point of 260°C (500°F). MPG contains unleaded extreme pressure additives and antiwear and corrosion inhibitors to provide extra protection in a variety of construction, agricultural and automotive applications.
MPG meets the requirements for extended service intervals of automotive chassis points and wheel bearings with disc brakes, particularly in passenger cars, vans, light trucks and taxi fleets. MPG meets NLGI GC-LB certification. MPG is available in NLGI No. 2. Normal operating temperatures range from -28 to 149°C (-18 to 300°F). MPG is also available as a white lithium complex grease.
Multipurpose Lithium Complex Grease With Molybdenum (MPGM)
MPGM is a general purpose lithium complex grease for light to medium duty applications. MPGM is fortified with molybdenum disulfide and polymer for extra lubricity and protection. MPGM contains unleaded additives and antiwear and oxidation/corrosion inhibitors for protection and lubrication in many environments. MPGM is formulated with a high viscosity base fluid and contains polymer additive to help protect against water washout, enhance retention, and withstand heavy loads.
MPGM is recommended for heavily loaded pin joints, journal bearings, heavy duty automotive, agricultural, industrial, steel mill, mining, and off road equipment. MPGM meets NLGI GC-LB certification. Normal ambient temperatures for this product are from -28 to 149°C (-18 to 300°F) for the NLGI No. 0 and from -18 to 149°C (0 to 300°F) for the MPGM NLGI No. 2.
NOTE: If MPGM is not available, use a multipurpose type grease that contains three to five percent molybdenum.
Bearing Lubricant is a NLGI No. 2 lubricating grease with a polyurea thickener. Bearing Lubricant is recommended for high temperature antifriction bearings in applications such as electric motors, alternators, fan drives, starting motors, and generators. Bearing Lubricant has an effective operating range from -29 to 177°C (-20 to 350°F).
Water and Temperature Resistant Grease (WTR)
WTR grease is designed for applications where water washout, sever corrosion, or higher operating temperatures are a concern. WTR is an environmentally friendly grease that provides extreme pressure, antiwear, oxidation and corrosion protection without using barium, zinc, antimony, phosphorous, lead, or sulfur additives. WTR is very shear stable and resists breakdown in the presence of water.
WTR grease performs extremely well in marine, automotive, agricultural, and industrial applications, in construction equipment, and in washer equipment bearings. WTR meets NLGI GC-LB certification. WTR normal operating temperatures range from -40 to 204°C (-40 to 400°F).
Desert Gold is a heavy duty premium synthetic extreme pressure lubricating grease developed for the most harsh operating environments. Desert Gold is formulated with a high viscosity synthetic base fluid, polymers, and molybdenum disulfide. Desert Gold has a high viscosity index and a high dropping point. Desert Gold has excellent adhesion and stability characteristics, and provides longer protection than other greases. Desert Gold is an environmentally friendly grease which does not contain antimony, sulfur, barium, zinc, lead, or phosphorous.
Desert Gold will lubricate and protect equipment against heavy shock loads and corrosion in extremely hot, moist, or dusty conditions. Desert Gold operating temperatures range from -6 to 230°C (20 to 450°F). Desert Gold can operate at higher temperatures for short time periods and has additional extreme pressure protection for heavily loaded pin joints.
Arctic Platinum is a super premium extreme pressure synthetic lubricating grease developed for lubrication in subzero to moderate operating temperatures. Arctic Platinum has a high drop point and contains five percent molybdenum disulfide for protection against extra heavy loads. Arctic Platinum provides excellent protection against corrosion and oxidation. Arctic Platinum is an environmentally friendly grease which does not contain antimony, sulfur, barium, zinc, or phosphorous.
Arctic Platinum is designed for lubrication of horizontal pivot and lower link bearings, steering cylinders, king pin/king bolt bearings, upper hitch link bearings, and ejector carrier roller bearings. Arctic Platinum is extra tacky for retention on excavator carbody bearings and has additional extreme pressure protection for heavily loaded pin joints. Arctic Platinum is available in NLGI grades No.000, No.00, No.0, No.1 and No.2 to assure pumpability in central lubricating systems in a variety of ambient temperatures, ranging from -60 to 18°C (-76 to 65°F).