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Top 5 Best Oil for Duramax

Whether you have a Chevy Silverado, a GMC Sierra, or a number of other large pickup trucks, chances are that the yare outfitted with a super powerful Duramax diesel engine. Yes, these engines produce a whole lot of torque and horsepower. These are true beasts of engines designed for power.
That said, just like any other engine out there, your Duramax does need the right kind of lubrication to stay in working order, or in other words, the right engine oil. Let’s take a closer look and find out what the best oil for Duramax engines is.

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best oil for duramax

Image
Product
Best Overall
Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Engine Oil
  • Meets fuel emissions standards
  • Improves fuel economy
  • Great for hot and cold weather
Liqui Moly 2041 Premium 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil – Best for Duramax in Winter
  • Excellent cold start performance
  • Excellent for cold weather
  • Decent for warm weather
For High Mileage
AmazonBasics High Milegage 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil – Best for Duramax l5p
  • Great for high mileage vehicles
  • Removes and prevents buildups
  • Suitable for gas and diesel engines
Valvoline Premium Blue 8600 ES SAE 15W-40 Engine Oil – Best for Duramax lml
  • Great for older and newer vehicles
  • Excellent for keeping engines clean
  • Good performance in moderate weather conditions
Mobil 1 112786 15W-40 Delvac 1300 Super Motor Oil – Best for Duramax lly
  • Excellent wear protection
  • Good for most weather conditions
  • For large vehicles

Overall #1 Rated Top Pick

Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Engine Oil

Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Engine Oil

The overall number one rated top pick oil for Duramax diesel engines has to be Shell-Rotella-T6-Full-Synthetic-Heavy-Duty-Engine-Oil-5W-40. There are a number of reasons for this, so let’s take a quick look.
• This is one of the most highly recommended motor oils across the board.
• Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 Engine Oil is an excellent choice for mostly all weather conditions. It doesn’t excel in extreme cold temperatures, but other than that, it does just fine.
• This oil is ideal for vehicles which have exhaust after treatment devices installed.
• Meets and exceeds all US emissions testing standards.
• Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 features a clean formula which helps prevents buildups and deposits from forming.
• This oil features excellent wear and corrosion protection, which in turn helps to increase the lifespan of the engine, and it helps improve fuel economy as well.

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Recommended Oil for Duramax

What you need to know about Duramax engines is that they are heavy duty diesel engines, and they do need the right kind of oil. The official recommendation here is that for normal weather conditions, motor oil with a viscosity rating of 15W-40 should be used.
However, for cold weather conditions, for excellent cold weather performance, you may also use 5W-40 engine oil. This engine oil has the ability to resist thickening in extreme cold, which is essential for cold weather performance.
Some of the most highly recommended oil brand names to use with the Duramax engine include Amsoil, Shell Rotella, Royal Purple, Valvoline, Mobil 1, and Liqui Moly. Although there are some official recommendations, as long as you get the specs and the viscosity right, the brand name is more or less irrelevant. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most highly recommended products below.

Brand Mileage & Conditions
Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 Heavy Duty Engine Oil Ideal for moderate temperatures, vehicles between 0 and 150,000 miles, and for maintaining engine cleanliness
Liqui Moly 2041 Premium 5W-40 Oil Ideal for cold weather conditions, for both newer and older engines, and can help to keep engines clean + improve fuel economy.
AmazonBasics High Milegage 5W-40 Motor Oil Excellent for older vehicles exceeding 75,000 miles.
Valvoline Premium Blue 8600 ES SAE 15W-40 Oil Ideal for moderate temperatures, relatively new vehicles, and for excellent wear protection.

Best Oil for Duramax

Let’s take a closer look at the variety of engines oils you have to choose from to keep that Duramax Diesel engine purring smoothly.

The top best product [hide]

Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Engine Oil


Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Engine Oil
This is rated as one of the best possible oils for your Duramax engine, and it is in fact also one of the top recommendations. Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 Engine Oil is ideal for vehicles which have exhaust after treatment devices, as it has a low ash formula to help prevent blocking the exhaust after treatment device. Also keep in mind that this option meets all USA standards for fuel emissions. This particular oil features a very clean formula which helps to keep engines clean and free of buildups. It helps prevent the buildup of deposits on the pistons, and it has a very long service life too. In terms of wear and corrosion protection, Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 Heavy Duty Engine Oil is definitely a top choice to go with. It can even help to reduce fuel consumption.
Pros
Meets fuel emissions standards
Improves fuel economy
Great for hot and cold weather
Helps keep engines clean
Cons
Cold weather performance is not exceptional

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Liqui Moly 2041 Premium 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil – Best for Duramax in Winter


Liqui Moly 2041 Premium 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil – Best for Duramax in Winter
As noted above, Liqui Moly 2041 Premium 5W-40 Motor Oil is an ideal choice to go with for cold weather applications. Due to its viscosity rating of 5W-40, it performs extremely well in cold temperatures as it resists thickening in the cold. At the same time, it does actually perform quite well in warmer weather as well. Liqui Moly 2041 Premium 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil is designed to help provide a maximum amount of wear and friction protection for a very smooth running motor. Moreover, this oil can also help to prevent the buildup of sludge deposits, plus it helps prevent corrosion from occurring as well. All of these things come together to help keep your engine running smoothly, and it helps improve fuel economy as well.
Pros
Excellent cold start performance
Excellent for cold weather
Decent for warm weather
Keeps engines clean
Prevents deposits and corrosion
Improves fuel economy
Cons
Quite expensive

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AmazonBasics High Milegage 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil – Best for Duramax l5p


AmazonBasics High Milegage 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil – Best for Duramax l5p
Here we have a special type of motor oil, one designed for both gas and diesel engines, which is already a big bonus. This particular engine oil can be used by gas and diesel engines alike, as well as with vehicles that require oil with a viscosity rating of 5w-40. Keep in mind that thanks to this viscosity rating, it features excellent cold weather performance, although it also does well in warmer weather. Keep in mind that this is high mileage motor oil. It is made with a special formulation which helps to seal old gaskets, to ensure that there are no oil leaks. At the same time, it also helps remove old deposits and sludge buildups from the engine, while preventing new buildups from occurring. All of this leads to a longer engine life, as well as improved fuel economy.
Pros
Great for high mileage vehicles
Removes and prevents buildups
Suitable for gas and diesel engines
Ideal for cold weather use
Improves fuel economy
Cons
Not ideal for newer vehicles
Not the best wear protection

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Valvoline Premium Blue 8600 ES SAE 15W-40 Engine Oil – Best for Duramax lml


Valvoline Premium Blue 8600 ES SAE 15W-40 Engine Oil – Best for Duramax lml
This particular engine oil is the only oil exclusively endorsed by Cummins, although it also works for Duramax engines. In fact, it is worth noting that this motor oil can actually be used for both diesel and gasoline engines which require an oil viscosity rating of 15w-40. Thanks to this oil viscosity rating, it works well for moderate and higher temperatures, although it is not the best for winter driving. Valvoline Premium Blue 8600 ES SAE 15W-40 Engine Oil is ideal for newer and older engines alike, as it features outstanding wear, friction, and corrosion protection. It helps keep engines cleaner for longer, thus not only improving the lifespan of the engine, but also improving fuel economy in the process. It actually has far better deposit prevention abilities than the set industry standard. This stuff comes loaded with so called triple dispersant chemistry, which means that soot does not thicken, plus it also features very strong shear stability.
Pros
Great for older and newer vehicles
Excellent for keeping engines clean
Good performance in moderate weather conditions
For gas and diesel engines
Improved fuel economy
Cons
Not ideal for extremely old vehicles
Not ideal for cold weather applications

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Mobil 1 112786 15W-40 Delvac 1300 Super Motor Oil – Best for Duramax lly


Mobil 1 112786 15W-40 Delvac 1300 Super Motor Oil – Best for Duramax lly
This particular oil is designed for use with all sorts of diesel engines. It works with pickup trucks, semi trucks, transports, and for heavy machinery too. As long as you have a diesel engine that is compatible with 15w-40 motor oil, Mobil 1 112786 15W-40 Delvac 1300 Super Motor Oil will work. Thanks to its viscosity rating, this oil does work well in most weather conditions, although it doesn’t perform too well in extreme cold. This stuff is specifically designed for engines that undergo a lot of stress and pressure, for really heavy duty engines that need a whole lot of wear and friction protection. This oil adds a great level of lubrication, which helps protect engine components from wear and damage. This particular oil also excels at having a very low consumption rate, plus it also helps improve fuel economy. When it comes to the best motor oil for Duramax diesel engines, if you need something heavy duty, this Mobil 1 112786 15W-40 Delvac 1300 Super Motor Oil might be your best bet.
Pros
Excellent wear protection
Good for most weather conditions
For large vehicles
Helps keep engines clean
Lower consumption rate
Improves fuel economy
Cons
Expensive
Cold weather performance is not spectacular

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Oil for Duramax – Buyer’s Guide

Before you go out and buy a vehicle with a Duramax engine, or the oil for it, let’s take a quick look at some of the most important things which you need to know.

5W-40 vs 15W-40 Oil for Duramax

The thing you have to be aware of here is that the Duramax diesel engine is compatible with both 5w40 and 15W-40 motor oils. That said, what is the difference between them? Well, for great all weather performance, if you are looking for oil at a reasonable cost that will provide your engine with a lot of protection, 15W-40 is what you want to go for.
On the other hand, if you require excellent cold weather performance, the 5W-40 option is best, as it is much better at resisting thickening in cold conditions. It is all about that first number in the designation, the 5 or the 15, as these refer to the lowest possible operating temperature at which the oil in question can perform efficiently at.

Duramax Oil Capacity

The 6.6 liter Duramax is a massive diesel engine and you better believe that it needs a whole lot of motor oil. This particular engine requires a whopping 10 quarts of oil.

Duramax Oil Change – How to & How Often

In terms of performing an oil change, the official recommendation is that the Duramax engine requires the oil to be changed every 7,500 miles. Diesel engines need a lot of oil with frequent oil changes. Some specific models may allow you to go for up to 10,000 miles before an oil change is required.
When it comes to how to change the oil on your Duramax on your own, below we have included a tutorial video to help you out.

Oil for Duramax – FAQ

What Type of Oil does Duramax Take

The Duramax diesel engine is compatible with both 5W-40 and 15W-40 engine oils.

How Much is Duramax Oil

Expect to spend anywhere between $20 and $70 for Duramax motor oil. Let’s go over some of the more cost effective options.

How Much Oil does Duramax Take

The 6.6 liter Duramax engine requires 10 quarts of motor oil.
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