Oil Specs, I'm confused....

Submitted: Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 19:56
ThreadID: 13280 Views:13070 Replies:6 FollowUps:8
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Hi all,

Just reading what oil goes into my GU 3.0l and it has in the manual:
API CD, CE, CF, CF-4 or JASO DH-1 with a note saying NEVER use API CG-4
Earlier today I went up to Bursons, Repco and Super Cheap to see what oils they stock and compare prices etc as I was interested in 20l containers. In one store a guy asked if I needed help and so I said I was looking at oil for my Patrol 3.0TD and he recommends oils that had the API CG-4 spec!! Hmmm can't even trust the recommendations in the auto parts shop.

But my question is when you look at the specs of say Caltex Delo 400 for example it's spec is API CI-4/CH-4/ CF/ SL and JASO DH-1 does the oil you require only need to match one of the stated fields like 'CF' or does it have to state CF4 or is CI-4 better?
I looked at the Shell Rimula X and the spec say API CH-4/CG-4/CF-4/CF but like I pointed out before CG-4 is a no no, so is it a case that the oil is or isn't suitable because of this CG-4 rating?

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Reply By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 21:18

Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 21:18
The specs mean it is suitable for all classes listed as for a 3ltd it must be above cg4. Look in business search for Syncforce & follow link to their web site for more info.
AnswerID: 60811

Follow Up By: Leroy - Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 23:15

Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 23:15
Bob I did see a post that the Synforce guy posted recently and noted that his oil seems to be the only CF-4 JASO DH-1 oil on the market but I was hoping to find something that is a little more redily available.

FollowupID: 322415

Follow Up By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 20:25

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 20:25
Iv'e been using Valvoline Diesel extra in mine since we got it & it complys with the nissan spec
FollowupID: 322497

Reply By: Member - Meggs - Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 22:15

Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 22:15
The latest oil is CI-4 previous to that was CH-4 and before that was CG-4. I don't know what all the letters and numbers mean but Rimula X is CH-4 so it is also suitable for CG-4 which has a lower specification. I think Caltex Delo Gold is CH-4. I am looking at the Caltex lube product guide and they reccommend Havoline Premium which has a specification of Sl/SJ/CF and is 20W-50 whereas the Delo 400 CI-4 is 15W-40. If you have a particular oil brand find a container in the shop and they all have a technical phone number on the side give them a ring and ask what their reccommendation is and ask them to send you some technical litrature on the reccommended oil. It will only cost you local phone call.
AnswerID: 60818

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 22:46

Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 22:46
Hi Leroy,

If you check previous posts, there is a lot of info on this. But for a quick rundown read on.

Basically, the API diesel oil grades are in order of introduction ...CD, CE, CF(-4), CG-4, CH-4, CI-4. There are many differences in the oil, but "GENERALLY" the higher the grade the better the oil.

However, the 3.0GU specifically states NOT to use CG-4 grade oil. This grade of oil, although "higher" rated than CF-4, is not suitable for the 3.0TD Patrol as it has a lower detergent (ash) content. This means the oil can become overloaded with contaminants (typically the sulphur in our dirty diesel) and not last to the next oil change (this is a generalisation but accurate enough here). The CF-4 grade oil actually has a higher detergent content and hence the recomendation from Nissan.

However, the CH-4 oil also has a high ash (detergent) content and IMHO is also suitable. Shell Rimula X is a CH-4 rated oil and is what I have previously used. But I would NOT use a CI-4 oil as there are reports from the USA that this has issues with the EGR valves (and the 3.0TD has questions over its EGR valve).

I believe that the CH-4 rating came out after the Nissan manuals were written and would probably include the CH-4 now. But I doubt any Nissan rep would actually tell one that.

The 3.0TD is a high performance motor and I believe its very cheap insurance to 1) change the oil every 5,000kms and 2) use the right grade of oil for this motor. I suspect (but cannot confirm) that "some" of the issues with the series 2 motor were exasberated by using wrong oils or too long of an oil change interval. Some of the series 3 EGR valve issues "may" be caused by peolpe using the CI-4 oil in the belief that the higher the oil spec the better, not realising they "may" be adding to a problem.

So, in a nutshell, do NOT use an oil who's highest rating is CG-4, but "should" be OK if CH-4. And avoid CI-4 oil IMHO.

Please note, this is a very brief condensed version about oils and one could write a book about it (actually there are many!!!)


(Chemical Engineer)
AnswerID: 60825

Follow Up By: Aston - Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 22:58

Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 22:58

Have a look here,

This is where it all comes from.


Cheers Aston
FollowupID: 322404

Follow Up By: Leroy - Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 23:36

Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 23:36
Thanks for taking the time Captain to answer my question and also for the link Aston. I looked at the link the Aston posted and was interested to read that the CI rated oil was developed for diesel engines with EGR! Well from this I would say that Caltex Delo 400 is the oil for me but you say 'steer clear' of CI rated oils. I have read other threads about CI oils but it appeared to only concern old engines.

So the question....which oil?
There only appears one oil on the market that meets the Nissan spec and that is Synforce. Shell Rimula x is a CH-4 then there's the Caltex Delo Gold which is a CH-4 but should be better oils than CF-4...hmmmm I asked my local Nissan dealer and they said they just changed to Valvoline (but didn't say from what).

FollowupID: 322422

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 00:45

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 00:45
Hi Leroy,

The CI-4 oils are relatively new and the jury is not in. Its very hard to "prove" some of these issues and depending on what you read and where, there are different claims. While an oil may be designed for something, it does not always mean it is succesful, or may cause problems in other areas. The CI-4 oil has had issues with oil consumption on some brands, but very hard to find facts, hence my caution on its use.

Take a read of post 11566, it is along the same lines as this and hopefully explains it some more. It is a very complex area and there is no definite answer. I use Shell Rimula X (between 10,000km services, I change oil every 5,000kms myself) because I believe it is a good oil for the 3.0TD and as I have a company Shell card it does not cost me $$$ from my pocket (not a Shell employee, just that where I work use Shell cards). Also, my Nissan dealer uses Shell Rimula. There are other good oils out there too. The Synforce oil Prosyn DH1 (as advertised here) is what I would use if I had to put my hand in my pocket. It has been specifically formulated for the Nissan 3.0TD and meets all the specific Nissan requirements.

Happy oil hunting!!!



FollowupID: 322438

Reply By: Moneypit - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 00:37

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 00:37

I have the 2003 Nissan 3.0GU and use the oil recommended off the Shell Web Page. I have used Shell Helix Diesel 15W-40 [used to be called Shell Helix Diesel Super but they have just repackaged it - apparently it is now a "Rejuvinated Formula]. Comes in a yellow container. I provide the oil to the mechanic [not Nissan Dealer] along with the filters and he charges me $35 to change the oil and stamp the warranty booklet.

I used to have a Toyota L/C 105 Diesel [no turbo] and used Shell Rimula X all the time I had that. I've got a 20 litre drum of that stuck in the shed. Its CG rated so no good to me. A mate just brought a 100 series TD and he's a mechanic so I can see a second battery appearing in my Nissan [his labour - my bits] and a 20 litre drum of oil disappearing in his Yota.

Seems like a fair deal to me.

If you go to any of the major companies web pages they will have a recommended oil for the Nissan. I reckon its worth the hassle of buying one type for the life of the car. That way the detergent levels and stuff never change.

I change it every 5K along with the filter. Some say it should go to 10 but for 40 bucks worth of oil I feel better doing it more often than it might be required [and I'm not convinced that I do]


AnswerID: 60851

Reply By: Leroy - Monday, May 31, 2004 at 15:26

Monday, May 31, 2004 at 15:26
Thanks for your feedback guys. I have decided to go for Caltex Delo 400. It conforms to all the Nissan specs. Yes it is a CI4 rated oil. CI4 oil spec is made for diesels with EGR so we shall see what happens.

AnswerID: 61019

Follow Up By: Member - Meggs - Monday, May 31, 2004 at 17:34

Monday, May 31, 2004 at 17:34
Hey Leroy as I said in my post that is not the oil recommended for your vehicle.
FollowupID: 322636

Follow Up By: Leroy - Monday, May 31, 2004 at 19:28

Monday, May 31, 2004 at 19:28
I called the Caltex technical information number and that is what they recomended. I had a good chat to the guy about it being a CI4 rated oil and didn't have a prob with it in my vehicle. But he did point out he wouldn't use it in an older vehicle.

FollowupID: 322648

Reply By: Member - Meggs - Monday, May 31, 2004 at 20:04

Monday, May 31, 2004 at 20:04
OK you have done your homework, just that the viscosity range was different for the recommended oil than the Delo 400 but they would know better than me. Did you ask for a technical paper on Delo 400 which shows the way soot contaminates your engine? It's a good read.
AnswerID: 61073

Follow Up By: Leroy - Monday, May 31, 2004 at 21:08

Monday, May 31, 2004 at 21:08
viscosity was ok 15-40 and prob suits better as Im about to move to Vic high country. Didn't know to ask about tech paper. May ask for it to be sent out. Thanks.

FollowupID: 322664

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