Detroit 60 Series Engine Oil Capacity and Type

The Detroit 60 series engine uses 40 qts of 15w40 engine oil in 12.7 and 14, 38 qts in 11.1.


Oil Capacity:

  • 11.1-liter (677 cu in) displacement: 33-34 quarts (31-32 liters) with filter change
  • 12.7-liter (775 cu in) displacement: 38-40 quarts (36-38 liters) with filter change
  • 14.0-liter (854 cu in) displacement: 44-46 quarts (42-44 liters) with filter change

Oil Type:

Detroit Diesel recommends using high-quality heavy-duty diesel engine oil that meets the API (American Petroleum Institute) CK-4 or FA-4 classification. The recommended oil viscosity for the Series 60 engine depends on the ambient temperature range in which the engine operates:

  • SAE 15W-40: This is the most common viscosity used for Series 60 engines and is suitable for a wide range of ambient temperatures (above 0°F/-18°C).
  • SAE 10W-30: Suitable for use in colder climates and can be used in temperatures as low as -10°F/-23°C.
  • SAE 5W-40 or SAE 5W-30: These synthetic oils can be used in very cold climates, with temperatures as low as -30°F/-34°C.


Tools needed to change oil:
1/2 inch wrench
drain pan

How to video:

The engine was made from 1987 until 2011 by Detroit Diesel. It had 3 sizes.



Maintenance guide

  • Oil and filter changes: Change the engine oil and oil filter at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals, typically between 15,000 and 25,000 miles (24,000 and 40,000 kilometers), depending on the engine’s operating conditions and the type of oil used.
  • Fuel filter replacement: Replace the primary and secondary fuel filters at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals, generally every 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers) or annually, whichever comes first.
  • Coolant checks and changes: Inspect the coolant level and quality regularly. Change the coolant according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, usually every 2-3 years or 300,000 to 600,000 miles (500,000 to 1,000,000 kilometers), depending on the coolant type used.
  • Air filter inspection and replacement: Check the air filter regularly for debris and replace it as needed, usually every 15,000 to 25,000 miles (24,000 to 40,000 kilometers), depending on the operating environment.
  • Valve lash adjustment: Adjust the valve lash on your Series 60 engine at the recommended intervals, typically every 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers) or as needed.
  • Turbocharger inspection: Inspect the turbocharger for signs of wear or damage at regular intervals, usually during oil changes or other routine maintenance tasks.
  • Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system maintenance: Clean and inspect the EGR system components, such as the EGR cooler and EGR valve, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, usually every 100,000 to 200,000 miles (160,000 to 320,000 kilometers).
  • Fuel system maintenance: Inspect and clean fuel injectors and other fuel system components at the recommended intervals, typically every 100,000 to 200,000 miles (160,000 to 320,000 kilometers).
  • Drive belts and tensioners: Inspect the drive belts and tensioners regularly for signs of wear or damage, and replace them as needed.
  • Electrical system checks: Regularly inspect the engine’s electrical system, including wiring, sensors, and connectors, for signs of wear or damage. Repair or replace components as necessary.



Synthetic Engine Oil Pros and Cons

Synthetic Engine Oil:


  1. Improved performance: Synthetic oils provide superior lubrication, reducing friction, wear, and heat generation. This can result in better engine performance and longevity.
  2. Better stability: Synthetic oils have a more consistent molecular structure, making them more stable at high temperatures and less likely to break down or form deposits.
  3. Enhanced cold-start performance: Synthetic oils maintain their flow characteristics at low temperatures, ensuring better lubrication during cold starts and reducing engine wear.
  4. Longer oil change intervals: Due to their increased stability and resistance to breakdown, synthetic oils typically allow for longer oil change intervals compared to conventional oils.
  5. Better fuel economy: The reduced friction and improved flow characteristics of synthetic oils can contribute to better fuel economy.


  1. Higher cost: Synthetic oils are generally more expensive than conventional oils, making them a more costly option for routine oil changes.
  2. Compatibility: Some older engines may not be compatible with synthetic oils or may require specific formulations. Always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or a professional mechanic before switching to synthetic oil.

Conventional Engine Oil:


  1. Lower cost: Conventional engine oils are typically less expensive than synthetic oils, making them a more budget-friendly option for routine maintenance.
  2. Compatibility: Conventional oils are compatible with a wide range of engines, including older models that may not be suitable for synthetic oils.


  1. Reduced performance: Conventional oils do not provide the same level of lubrication, stability, and temperature resistance as synthetic oils, which can lead to increased engine wear and reduced performance over time.
  2. Shorter oil change intervals: Conventional oils tend to break down more quickly than synthetic oils, requiring more frequent oil changes.
  3. Lower cold-start performance: Conventional oils can become more viscous at low temperatures, leading to less effective lubrication during cold starts and increased engine wear.
  4. Potential for sludge and deposit formation: Conventional oils are more prone to forming sludge and deposits in the engine, which can negatively impact performance and engine life.


Motor Oil Myths Debunked

Myth 1: You must change your oil every 3,000 miles.
Fact: While this used to be a common recommendation, advances in engine technology and oil formulations have significantly extended oil change intervals. Many modern vehicles can go 5,000 to 7,500 miles or more between oil changes.

Myth 2: Synthetic oil causes leaks in older engines.
Fact: High-quality synthetic oils do not cause leaks in properly maintained engines. However, synthetic oil’s superior cleaning properties can sometimes dislodge sludge or deposits that were sealing minor leaks in older engines. If you are concerned about potential leaks, consult a professional mechanic before switching to synthetic oil.

Myth 3: You can’t switch back to conventional oil after using synthetic oil.
Fact: You can switch between synthetic and conventional oils without causing harm to your engine, as long as both oils meet your vehicle’s specifications. Mixing different oil types will not damage your engine, but it may reduce the benefits of using a synthetic oil.

Myth 4: Thicker oil is always better for engine protection.
Fact: Using a thicker oil than recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer can increase internal friction, reduce fuel efficiency, and hinder cold-start performance. Always use the oil viscosity specified in your owner’s manual to ensure optimal engine protection and performance.

Myth 5: Engine oil additives are necessary for proper engine performance.
Fact: High-quality motor oils already contain additives that enhance their performance and protect your engine. While some additives can provide specific benefits in certain situations, they are generally not necessary for most engines. Using unnecessary additives can even harm your engine by upsetting the oil’s chemical balance.

Myth 6: Dark-colored oil indicates that it needs to be changed.
Fact: Dark-colored oil does not necessarily mean it’s time for an oil change. Engine oil darkens as it collects contaminants and does its job of cleaning and lubricating the engine. Instead of relying on color, follow your vehicle’s recommended oil change interval, or use an oil life monitoring system if your vehicle is equipped with one.

Myth 7: All motor oils are the same.
Fact: Motor oils can differ significantly in terms of their base stocks, additives, and performance capabilities. It is essential to choose an oil that meets the specifications and requirements outlined in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Look for oils with API (American Petroleum Institute) certification to ensure they meet industry standards.


Regular Oil Changes for Engine Performance and Longevity

  1. Lubrication: Engine oil provides a protective film between the engine’s moving parts, reducing friction, minimizing wear, and preventing metal-to-metal contact. Over time, engine oil loses its effectiveness due to heat, contamination, and chemical breakdown. Regular oil changes help maintain proper lubrication and protect the engine from excessive wear and damage.
  2. Cooling: By reducing friction, engine oil helps dissipate heat generated by the engine’s moving parts. As oil breaks down and becomes contaminated, its ability to cool the engine diminishes. Changing the oil regularly helps maintain its cooling properties and prevents overheating.
  3. Cleaning: Engine oil contains detergents and dispersants that help remove and suspend contaminants, such as dirt, sludge, and combustion byproducts. As oil accumulates these contaminants, its cleaning effectiveness decreases. Regular oil changes ensure that fresh oil with effective cleaning agents is circulated throughout the engine, preventing harmful deposits and sludge buildup.
  4. Corrosion protection: Engine oil contains anti-corrosion additives that protect engine components from the harmful effects of moisture, acids, and combustion byproducts. Over time, these additives become depleted, reducing their effectiveness. Changing the oil at the recommended intervals helps maintain the engine’s corrosion protection.
  5. Fuel efficiency: Clean and properly lubricated engine components operate more efficiently, leading to better fuel economy. Regular oil changes help maintain optimal engine efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.
  6. Extended engine life: By providing proper lubrication, cooling, cleaning, and corrosion protection, regular oil changes can significantly extend the life of your engine. This helps you avoid costly repairs or premature engine replacement, saving you money in the long run.
  7. Maintaining warranty compliance: Many vehicle manufacturers require regular oil changes as part of their warranty terms. Failing to adhere to the recommended oil change intervals can void your warranty, leaving you responsible for any engine-related repairs.