Detroit 60 Series Oil Capacity, Oil Type, and Change Inverval

When you are looking at buying a Detroit 60 series engine, you will find that there are three types to choose from. The 11.1, the 12.7, and the 14 L are the models that are available but they do not always use the same amount of oil.

For those who want a vehicle with the Detroit 60 series engine inside, you will have different oil capacities. The 12.7 and the 14 L take 40 quarts each while the 11.1 takes only 38. The engine was made between 1987 and 2011.

To learn more about this motor's oil capacity, etc., just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so that you can buy the right type as well as the right amount of oil for your vehicle.

How Much Oil Does a Detroit 60 Series Take?


As reported above, the 12.7, and the 14 L Detroit 60 series engines will take 40 quarts or roughly 10 gallons of oil. The 11.1 L will only take 38 but unless you want to buy single cans of oil, you still have to buy 10 gallons.

That seems like a lot of oil but this is also a set of very big engines. According to the Detroit troubleshooting manual, this engine is only supposed to use one specific type of oil, which we will get to in a little while.

Also, the fuel you use may affect your oil change intervals. The type of oil you can use in the winter will also change depending on how cold it is outside. All the specifics are coming up shortly.

Detroit 60 Series 14-Liter Oil Capacity

It is no secret that the Detroit series 60 14 L engine takes 4o quarts or 10 gallons of oil. It is supposed to be the largest of the three models and it may, by this time, start burning more oil.

If you want the specs of this engine and the other two models in this series, then click here. You get a side-by-side comparison of all three as well as what the serial numbers mean.

The 14 L is also the most powerful of the 3 motors with its HP ranging between 425 and 515 at 1800 RPM. The 12.7 L comes close with a maximum HP of 455 at 1800 RPM.

The 11.1 was not the most powerful engine in this series with its maximum HP range ending at 350 at 1800 rpm. There are some other interesting details at that link, however, oil capacity and type were not two of those pieces of interest.

How Many Gallons Of Oil Does a 12.7 Detroit Hold?


This engine holds the same amount of oil as the 14 L option. It is listed at 40 quarts or 10 gallons which means you have to be prepared to buy a lot of oil even though this is a smaller engine.

The oil change procedure for all 3 engines is as follows:

- Make sure the truck is parked in a level spot

- Check engine oil level on the dipstick (if it is over full, fuel dilution may be an issue)

- Remove engine oil fill cap

- Place the oil drain pan under the oil pan and remove the oil drain pan plug using the 1/2” ratchet

- Let all the engine oil drain out and reinstall & tighten the drain plug

- Move the oil drain pan under the oil filters

- Using the oil filter wrench or strap, remove both engine oil filters

- Pre-fill both engine oil filters and lubricate the oil filter O rings

- Install both engine oil filters

- Fill the engine with 40 quarts of fresh engine oil (the oil that was pre-filled into the oil filters is included in this amount)

- Reinstall the engine oil cap

- Start the engine and let the engine oil pressure build

- Shut the engine down and wait to let all oil drain down into the oil pan

- Check the engine oil level on the dipstick and adjust if necessary (source)

What Type Of Oil Does a Detroit 60 Series Take?

The regular oil type for all three engines is 10W 40 and the oil you buy must have the API Service category CH-4 symbol on the bottle or can. Only oil licensed by the API must be used in all Detroit 60 series engines.

If the weather gets cold, then you have the option of using 5W or 10W 30, or 40 oil as long as it has the API approval on the can or bottle. This information is taken from the Detroit manual found at this link.

There is more detailed information found in the manual about the type of oil you should use in this series of engines. It is worth reading in case you do not have a copy in your vehicle. Oil change intervals will depend on the type of oil viscosity you use.

Detroit Diesel Approved Oil List


This list has proven to be too long to fit in this small space. The best thing we can do is link to it and let you go through it and see which brand you want to buy.

We have given you the requirements from the manual in the previous section so all you have to do is match those requirements with a favored brand on that list and you should be fine.

If you live in a warm region of the country, then stick with the 15W 40 as that is the standard oil type called for from all authoritative sources. The other oils on that list will be for the colder regions of the country and when the temperatures drop below zero.

Best Oil For a Detroit Series

The best oil is going to be 10W 40 and that is for all models at almost all times. When the temperatures get colder, then you have the luxury of using different 30 or 40-viscosity oils to help with starting and so on.

You may have to watch out for those ultra-low or low-sulfur fuels as they are not providing enough lubrication to the engine. In that case, you may have to use an additive to boost that lubrication up.

The best additive you can use will be discussed in a little bit. Those ULSFs are not the best options for many older diesel engines.

Detroit 60 Oil Change Interval


This may change somewhat and we will recommend that you read the manual we linked to earlier. The interval will depend on the lubrication used but the following figures are the standard intervals under ideal conditions.

For a truck or RV, etc., you are looking at a 15,000-mile oil change interval. For those vehicles that have to do a lot of stop-and-go driving then you need to change the oil every 6,000 miles, or 300 hours or 3 months.

Emergency vehicles have the same interval as the last one except they get up to 1-year instead of every 3 months to change their oil.

Best Oil Filter For Detroit Diesel Series

The best option would be to buy the filter from the company that makes filters for Detroit Diesel engines. That would be from a company called Donaldson. This company is the OEM supplier to Detroit.

The cost will depend if you just want the filter or the kit. The Kit is running around $80 while you can get the oil filter for roughly $22. But check around to see if you can find a compatible oil filter from a different brand for a lot less.

That recommendation is based on the fact that there are no top best lists or other reviews talking about filters for this engine series.

Detroit Diesel Oil Additive


There are a variety of diesel oil additives you can use. They do not distinguish between engine brands and only advertise that they are for all diesel engines. Some of the best additives may be the following options:

- Archoil AR9100 Oil Additive- supposed to save on fuel consumption

- Hot Shot’s Secret FR3 Friction Reducer- supposed to reduce friction and protect against wear

- XL Nanolube Engine Oil Additive Nano Treatment- supposed to boost engine performance

- REV X High-Performance Oil Additive- supposed to clean the sludge while reducing engine noise

Some Final Words

The Detroit 60 series engines are very picky about the oil they use as well as the filter that is attached to them. However, that long list of preferred oils should give you lots of room to find some that fit your budget.

One of the things you have to be concerned about is if you are using bio-diesel fuel or not. Detroit says to not use any bio-diesel fuel over B5 and if you do use this type of fuel, your oil changes may come more frequently. Additives will help performance.

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