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Volvo Penta Diesel Engine Oil

Jun. 15, 2018

Synthetic Engine Oils



Synthetic engine oils have very good flow characteristics in cold conditions. The characteristics of many chemical products have been studied in regard to the manufacture of synthetic oils in order to determine their suitability as lubricants. The most common chemical products are hydrocarbons, esters, polyglycols, phosphate esters and silicon etc. The oil companies have since chosen a suitable basic product for further development, e.g. poly-α-olefins, diesters and polyol esters

A study of different synthetic fluid characteristics in comparison to paraffin-based mineral oils shows that no product has excellent characteristics across the whole spectrum.

The most common areas of use for the above-mentioned synthetic oils are:

Poly-alpha-olefins: Engine oils, gear lubricants, turbine and compressor lubricants, grease and hydraulic fluids.

Organic esters: Same as above and also gas turbine oils.

Polyglycol och phosphate esters:

Fire resistant hydraulic fluids.

Installation, Lubrication System4


Oil Change Intervals


Change interval

Engine lubricating oil protects components from mechanical wear, deposits and chemically-related damage. In order for an oil to perform satisfactorily it must be composed of a high-quality base oil with a number of chemical additives. The base oil gradually decomposes, the additives are consumed and the oil ceases to provide the necessary protection. Operating time, or the time during which an oil fulfills its function satisfactorily, varies depending on lubricating oil quality and fuel sulfur content. Oil drain intervals may vary depending on fuel sulfur content and oil grade. Follow the oil change intervals according to the instructions for the engine concerned in Sales Support Tool, Partner Network, Technical Data or in the Operators Manual. NOTICE! Oil drain intervals may never exceed 12 months.




Engine oil - Volvo Drain Specification

In order for extended oil change intervals to be approved for Volvo Penta diesel engines the lubricating oil must fulfill the requirements specified in Volvo Drain Specification (VDS). It is the responsibility of individual oil suppliers to state whether their oil fulfills VDS requirements in their specifications.

NOTICE! Volvo has provided the oil companies with the requirements oils must fulfill for extended oil change intervals to be approved. We would like to point out that it is the responsibility of the oil companies to ensure that their products meet the requirements issued by Volvo. AB Volvo Penta bears no responsibility for this or for any consequences arising from changes in product designations.



Select the viscosity according to the table. The temperature values refer to stable ambient temperatures.

* SAE 5W/30 refers to synthetic or semi-synthetic oils.



Oil Temperature and Oil Filter

Oil temperature

Lubricating oil temperatures for Volvo Penta engines depend on operational circumstances. Check technical data in Sales Support Tool, Partner Network for each engine.

Full flow filter

Volvo Penta engines are equipped with full flow lubricating oil filters as standard. These filters are specially designed for diesel engines in order to cope with flows, temperatures and pressures in a satisfactory manner and to provide the necessary filtration capacity. If filter types other than those originally installed are to be used, they must first be approved by Volvo Penta.

Remote filters

If the regular filter location in the installation is unaccessible, a remotely-located filter may be used. It can be ordered as a pre-mounted accessory when purchasing a new engine. Ask Volvo Penta for advice before relocating filters. This is especially applicable where filters of a model other than the original are to be used. Take care with the cylinder block, adapters and pipe runs so that flow directions through the filter head are correct.

Steeply inclined engines

Refer to the Industrial Sales Guide for more detailed information.

NOTICE! The inclines specified in the Industrial Sales Guide are applicable on the condition that the engine is installed vertically and that the oil volume is between

the min and max values. Contact Volvo Penta if the engine is to be installed on an incline.



Oil Analysis


It is important both technically and economically to choose the right oil for each individual application. The requirements for a lubricating oil depend not only on the part of the vehicle in which it is to be used, but also on design and operational conditions. Rapid developments within engine technology have resulted in a great number of engine oil specifications. It is the responsibility of the oil producers to ensure

that their products fulfill different engine specifications. We therefore only recommend the use of wellknown

brands of oil.

Analysis of lubricating oil from diesel engines

An oil analysis program is offered by a number of companies and they can be used to check wear in e.g. engines and transmissions, and also to check oil condition. The analysis is carried out at a laboratory where the content of wear metals and other contaminants is determined. Such oil analyses may only be used as a supplement to service and maintenance.



Some points to observe regarding the analysis of engine oils:

The company performing the analysis supplies information that must be checked and evaluated before any engine repair work is begun.


- It is necessary to determine where the particles (content) come from. Refer to "Tracing particles" in the Sales Support Tool, Partner Network, Service Bulletin, SB 18-8.8

- Analysis values for comparison must always come from the same engine.

- A more detailed evaluation must be based on the internal relationship between the different partial results (metal content).

Recommended oil sampling technique:

1 The sample is taken from a valve in the main oil gallery.

2 The sample is taken with the aid of an oil sampling kit (syringe, plastic tube and bottle etc.) provided by most oil companies. Insert the pipe into the oil dipstick tube down to around the center of the oil volume.

NOTICE! Do not push the pipe all the way down to the sump bottom and always use clean sampling equipment (syringe, tube etc.).

NOTICE! Do not take samples from a cold engine.


Power Take-off


Power output from Front End of


Power may be taken from the crankshaft front end for linear loads. The limitation for such power is the bolted connection between the damper/belt pulley and the polygonal hub. Maximum permissible torques for each engine range can be found in Sales Support Tools, Partner Network. There are however several factors to be considered before installation starts.



For More Volvo Engine workshop information, please visit

Volvo Engine Piping and Lubrication System



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