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How to Correctly Use Synthetic Lubricating Oil And Grease for Cummins Diesel Generator

Oct. 15, 2019

Don't know what is synthetic lubricating oil and how to use it correctly in diesel engine? Through reading this article, you will learn what conditions this type of oil should be used in Cummins engine for the generator set.

Synthetic lubricating oil

Synthetic oils for use in diesel engines are primarily blended from synthesized hydrocarbons and esters. These base oils are manufactured by chemically reacting lower molecular weight materials to produce a lubricant that has planned predictable properties.

Synthetic oil was developed for use in extreme environment where the ambient temperature may be as low as -50°F[-45°C] and extremely high engine temperatures at up to 400°F[205°C]. Under these extreme conditions petroleum base stock lubricants (mineral oil) do not perform satisfactorily.

Synthetic lubricating oil for use in areas where the ambient temperature is consistently lower than -13°F[-25°C]. Synthetic lubricating oil may be used at higher ambient temperatures provided they meet the appropriate API Service categories and viscosity grades.

Arctic operation

For engine operation in areas where the ambient temperature is consistently below -13°F[-25°C] and where there is no provision to keep the engine warm when it is not operating, the lubricating oil should meet the requirements in the following table.


Table 3-4: Arctic Oil Recommendations

Parameter (Test Method)



API Classification CC/SC

Quality Level

API Classification CC/CD


10,000 mPa·s Max. at 212°F[100°C]


Pour Point (ASTM D-97)

Min. of 9°F [5°C] Below the Lowest Expected Ambient Temperature

Sulfated Ash Content (ASTM D-874)

1.85% by Weight Maximum


Oil meeting these requirements usually have synthetic base stocks. SAE 5W viscosity grade synthetic oils may be used provided they meet the minimum viscosity requirement at 212°F[100°C].


Cummins Engine Company, Inc., recommends use of grease meeting the specifications of MIL-G-3545, excluding those of sodium or soda soap thickeners. Contact the lubricant supplier for grease meeting these specifications.




High-Temperature Performance

Dropping point, °F.

Bearing life, hours at 300°F


ASTM D 2265


*FTM 331

 600 min.

Low-Temperature Properties

Torque, GCM

Start at 0°F

Run at 0°F

ASTM D 1478

15,000 max

5,000 max.

Rust Protection and Water Resistance

Rust Test

Water resistance, %

ASTM D 1743


ASTM D 1264

20 max.


Oil separation,

30 hours @ 212°F

*FTM 321

5 max.



ASTM D 217


Bomb Test, PSI Drop

100 Hours

500 Hours

ASTM D 942

10 max.

25 max.

Copper, Corrosion

*FTM 5309


Dirt Count, Particles/cc

*FTM 3005

25 Micron +

75 Micron +

125 Micron +

5,000 max.

1,000 max.


Rubber Swell

*FTM 3603

10 max.

* Federal Test Method Standard No.791a


Fuel Oil

Cummins diesel engines have been developed to take advantage of the high energy content and generally lower cost of No.2 Diesel Fuels. Experience has shown that a Cummins diesel engine will also operate satisfactorily on No.1 fuels or other fuels within the following specifications.


Recommended Fuel Oil Properties:

Viscosity (ASTM D-445)

1.3 to 5.8 CentiStroke

[1.3 to 5.8 mm2 Per Second]

At 104°F [40°C].

Cetane Number (ASTM D-613)

40 minimum except in cold weather or in service with prolonged low loads, a   higher cetane number is desirable.

Sulfur Content (ASTM D-129 or 1552)

Not to exceed 1% by weight.

Water and Sediment (ASTM D-1796)

Not to exceed 0.1% by weight.

Carbon Residue (Ransbottom ASTM D-524 or D-189)

Not to exceed 0.25% by weight on 10% residue.

Flash Point (ASTM D-93)

125°F [52°C] minimum.

Certain marine registries require higher flash points.

Density (ASTM D-287)

30 to 42°F [-1 to 6°C] A.P.I. at 60°F [16°C] (0.816 to 0.876 Sp. Gr)

Cloud Point (ASTM D-97)

10°F [-12°C] below lowest temperature expected to operate at.

Active Sulfur-Copper Strip-Corrosion (ASTM D-130)

Not to exceed No. 2 rating after 3 hours at 122°F [50°C].

Ash (ASTM D-130)

Not to exceed 0.02% by weight.

Distillation (ASTM D-86)

The distillation curve should be smooth and continuous.

At least 90% of the fuel should evaporate at less than 680°F [360°C]. All of the fuel should evaporate at less than 725°F [385°C]

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