Oil Capacity: How Much Oil Does a 3208 Cat Engine Hold? (Type)

It is all about the oil pan. One of the aspects of oil capacities is that the oil pan may be a different size on variations of this engine. People often forget about this fact and are surprised when their 3208 takes more oil than they figured.

Usually, the oil capacity has been measured in liters over quarts and gallons. This may confuse some people. However, the oil capacity for this engine is between 12 and 15 liters or 3.2 and 4 gallons. In quarts that equals about 14 to 16.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It provides the information you want to know about concerning this topic. Take a few minutes to see how this information helps you.

How Much Oil Does a 3208 Cat Engine Hold?


In many cases, the oil capacity for this and other CAT engines is determined by the size of the oil pan. If it is a standard pan, you may only need 3.2 gallons of oil to finish your oil change.

If it is a deep pan, then you may need just a tad under 4 gallons to do the same job. Of course, the amount of oil may also depend on how much fluid the oil filter will hold. When you pull the filters, check to see how much oil is in them before emptying them.

Cat 3208 Oil Capacity

According to the specifications sheet published by Caterpillar, this engine should hold between 3.2 and 4 gallons of oil. Your personal experience may differ depending on the version of the 3208 engine you own.

Some people may have had a used 3208 engine installed in their vehicle but they did not check the dipstick. The dipstick being too short is a problem that has happened over the years.

A short dipstick will not provide an accurate reading of the amount of oil in your oil pan. Double-check your dipstick to make sure it is long enough and provides an accurate reading.

Cat 3208 Oil Change Interval


According to the same spec sheet, you should change the oil every 250 hours. These bigger diesel engines do not operate by mileage as many of them are placed in boats.

The hours of operation are the best measurement for this task. You can always check with a CAT diesel mechanic to see what they say as real time operation often does not go hand in hand with specification sheets.

And if you let the engine stay idle for long periods of time, it is always a good idea to change the oil sooner rather than later. These lubrication systems are not always able to keep contaminants out.

Cat 3208 Oil Filter Number

It seems that over the years older filter numbers have been changed or retired. At one shop you will need the following filter number- DS-1R-0714 which replaces the old part number DS-9N-6007.

This filter will fit the following engine models- 924F, 910E, 916, 910F, 926, 910, 926E, 910G, 918F and 910G II Wheel-Type Loaders

3208 and 3114 Generator Engine Sets

3208 Truck Engines

Cat 3208 Oil Cooler


You can check the website for CAT to find one of these parts. Their parts department lists several of them and the part numbers are- Part# 14-9L-6251

And DCS14-9L-6251.

You may be able to find a re-manufactured oil cooler a little cheaper. One parts company had the oil cooler listed for $278.00 approx. Just be forewarned that the 3208’s oil coolers came in three designs depending on the engine’s application.

Then some of the later models may not come with mounting studs. That adds to your installation woes. The earlier versions had mounting studs.

3208 Cat Oil Drain Plug

According to one source, there seem to be 3 oil drain plugs on a CAt 3208 oil pan. The reasoning behind this design is to provide the oil change mechanic some convenience when trying to drain the oil.

All three plugs will effectively let all the oil out of the pan so it does not matter which one you use. Their location is one is at the very bottom of the pan and the other two are located on the sides at the bottom.

The good news is that you can find replacements for these drain plugs in a variety of outlets.

Cat 3208 Oil Type


For on highway 3208 motors, CAT has recommended a variety of viscosities you can use. The one you use will depend on the temperature in your region. For example, 0W-30 viscosity is best for those temperatures reaching -40 and only going to +90 degrees F.

15W-40 is good for +15 to +122 degrees F and this is if you are using the CAT oil brand. There should not be much difference in the brands that you use. Click here to see their on-highway recommendations.

Best Oil For Cat 3208

CAT would say that the best oil for their engines would be their own brand of oil. But as long as you are using 15W-40 for most applications and regions, then you are using the best oil for this motor.

The brand does not matter as long as you use the best viscosity recommended by CAT. Marine applications should be similar to the on-highway applications but check with a CAT dealer or mechanic to make sure you are using the best oil for your old 3208.

Some Additional Words

Do not be fooled by the pan depth. Check your owner’s manual to see if you have a standard sized pan or a deep oil pan. There is a difference and that difference means you either save on oil or spend more for extra quarts.

Using the right oil is essential since the 3208 has not been produced since the early 1990s. If you ruin yours, parts may be hard to come by or you need a machine shop to manufacture a new one for you.

Just do not over fill your oil pan when you do your oil change.

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