Keeping a Ford 6.0L Powerstroke engine running smoothly is no small task. We know how problematic Powerstroke engines can be. Its notorious engine wash issue can result in high oil consumption and poor fuel efficiency.
You need to regularly maintain the engine and provide it with the right oil and fuel to avoid running into its major issues.
Because of this, you need to make sure you perform an oil change at every recommended interval. The motor oil you put in should also be capable of cleaning away particles and debris and retaining its viscosity under high pressures.
The Best Oil for 6.0 Powerstroke is: Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Oil 5W-40
If you’re wondering what the best oil to run a 6.0 Powerstroke is, the Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Oil 5W-40 is the best option overall for turbo diesel engines.
It efficiently removes oxidation and decomposition elements, retains viscosity at different temperatures, and improves diesel engine emissions. It is designed for heavy engine loads and to protect your engine in all circumstances.
What Are the Best Oils for 6.0 Powerstroke?
Here is our list of the best oils for your 6.0 Powerstroke.
|Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Engine Oil 5W-40
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|Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-40, 1 Gal
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|Valvoline Premium Blue Extreme SAE 5W-40 Full Synthetic Diesel Engine Oil 1 Case of 3
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Continue reading to learn more about the oils in detail.
Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Oil 5W-40 – Best Overall
Shell’s Rotella T6 heavy-duty and fully synthetic motor oil is available in a pack of three, offering good value for money if you need a lot of oil for long-term engine maintenance. Its formula increases wear resistance and particle removal, resulting in higher-than-average engine protection.
Thanks to its fully synthetic formula, it has uniform oil density and pressure and can reduce your fuel consumption by up to 1.5%. This may result in significant cost savings for you. This oil also includes antioxidants that ensure higher-than-average engine cleanliness.
Based on our firsthand experience with the product, the Rotella T6 oil doesn’t lose its viscosity, even when exposed to high heat. It can furthermore offer excellent performance in cold and moderate climates. However, this heavy-duty motor oil is a little more expensive than others on average.
- Works very well in high heat
- Reduces fuel consumption by up to 1.5%
- Good friction reduction and used particle removal
- Excellent for maintaining maximum engine cleanliness
- A little more expensive compared to other oils
Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-40 – Most Budget-Friendly
Mobil 1’s Turbo Diesel Full Synthetic Motor Oil is a great choice for 6.0 Powerstroke engines around. It’s a fully synthetic oil, so you don’t need an oil change very often, saving you time and money.
Furthermore, this oil is designed for modern diesel engines running on heavy loads. It provides maximum engine protection, especially over long periods.
This oil is also notable because it can quickly remove decomposition and oxidation elements compared to other oils. This is particularly helpful due to the Powerstroke’s tendency to experience engine wash and wear.
Due to its material composition, it retains its viscosity at a wide temperature range. It still works perfectly at temperatures as low as -13°F, and it maintains its fluidity at -22°F.
Whether you need a particular oil to assist with emission problems or an all-around good product, the Mobil 1 is excellent. However, the product’s container isn’t durable enough to withstand common shipping services.
- Very affordable for the price
- Prolongs intervals between oil changes
- Retains its viscosity quite well at cool and warm temperatures
- Removes dirt and decomposition elements quickly and efficiently
- Sometimes shipped damaged/leaking
Valvoline’s Premium Blue Diesel Engine Oil is another excellent option. If your vehicle has a turbo and/or exhaust after-treatment system (which Powerstroke-powered Fords do), you’ll find that this oil significantly improves its efficiency.
Thanks to its material composition as a fully synthetic oil with special additives, it effectively keeps your engine consistently clean.
It’s furthermore a very high-stability winter oil—as a result, you can use it safely in any season, especially in seasons with low average temperatures. It performs well between temperatures of -13°F and 95°F.
On the downside, according to current and previous users, the bottle cap has consistent troubles. If you purchase this 6.0 Powerstroke oil, be sure to check the cap after receiving your bottle to avoid any surprise leaks.
- Excellent performance even with a wide temperature range
- Contains special additives to bolster engine performance and keep them clean
- Especially good to use in winter or low-temperature weather
- Reasonably priced (not the most expensive or cheapest)
- Caps are liable to leak
Best Oils for 6.0 Powerstroke Buying Guide
If you’re not sure what oil to purchase for your 6.0 Powerstroke engine, you can figure out the ideal oil for your needs by examining several factors.
For starters, take a look at your vehicle’s owner’s manual. This should state outright what type of oil you need to use. The manual may recommend different compatible oil brands or types. Whatever oil you choose, make sure that it fits the categories recommended by the manual.
All 6.0 Powerstroke engines operate under high-pressure loads. Therefore, these engines utilize high-pressure oils to compress fuel before the fuel injection and internal combustion process begins. Due to the pressures involved, Powerstrokes should only use 100% synthetic oils—preferably with additives that enhance performance.
What Are Low vs. Heavy-Duty Engine Conditions/Environments?
Low-duty conditions or environments are conditions where the engine runs at its standard power.
For example, a low-duty environment for a 6.0 Powerstroke engine includes any time you drive the vehicle normally or aren’t engaged in heavy load activities. Low-duty environments are also typically where vehicles achieve optimal fuel economy.
Heavy-duty environments are the opposite. These are any driving activities that require more engine power. Such driving activities include:
- High-speed driving always uses more oil and fuel. The faster you go, the harder your engine has to work to produce that horsepower
- Towing and hauling things like trailers or other vehicles. Towing things puts additional pressure on your engine, so it needs to use more oil
- Frequent idling. If you allow your 6.0 Powerstroke engine to idle more than 15% of the time, you need to change the oil more often
- Driving in dusty or dirty conditions. This taxes the engine because more dust and dirt particles get into the engine’s interior, compromising its sensitive components. Good oil can protect your engine from wear and tear
- Driving short distances. 6.0 Powerstroke engines are not designed for traditional urban uses. They perform best during long-distance hauls. You should try to drive at least 10 miles each time you turn it on. Otherwise, you’ll need to change the oil more frequently
These are tasks that not only demand more out of the motor oil and wear the engine out more but also yield poor fuel economy.
Synthetic Oil vs. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is any harvested and refined oil taken from the ground. Standard mineral engine oils are often cheaper. Synthetic oil is man-made and designed. Instead, laboratories create synthetic oil for specific needs or engine types.
High-pressure diesel engines like 6.0 Powerstrokes require synthetic oil in the majority of cases. Synthetic oil almost always lasts longer than mineral oil, making it a much better choice for these engine types.
Engine oil primarily breaks down due to heat and oxidation. Petroleum-based oils mix many different hydrocarbon molecules, such as metals, salts, sulfur, paraffin, and more. Each of those molecules has different oxygenation and burn points.
Therefore, mineral oils diminish more quickly. You have to change them more frequently, especially if you use them in a heavy-duty, high-pressure 6.0 Powerstroke engine.
Synthetic oils are more uniform and designed to be much more thermally stable. Laboratories can create synthetic oils intended to withstand the high pressures of diesel engines. Plus, laboratories can mix an oil additive with synthetic oils.
Additives are special compounds that can stabilize viscosity, control acid levels, and even provide synthetic oils with additional functions or durability. An engine “consumes” additives as they are used, but they still contribute to overall better oil performance and longevity.
Bottom line: synthetic oils are ideal for 6.0 Powerstroke engines, even if you don’t use your engine very frequently or for heavy-duty loads. They can provide better engine protection and improved fuel economy.
A great 6.0 Powerstroke engine oil should have a high viscosity grade. A high viscosity grade means that the oil retains its normal or optimal viscosity level, even under heavy load or varying temperature conditions.
So what kind of oil does a 6.0 Powerstroke take? All of the above-reviewed synthetic diesel engine oils are 5W-40 oils. These refer to the oil temperature range or under what extreme conditions the oil can be used reliably.
Generally, 5W-40 oils are excellent for driving in variable temperature environments. They can be used and retain their viscosity in both freezing and hot weather, such as while driving in the winter or summer.
In the winter, these oils help the engine get started and protect its internal components from high temperatures, whether those temperatures are from the environment or from heavy engine usage.
Oil viscosity is related to the overall oil pressure. Oil pressure affects how well the fuel injectors function. Modern 6.0 Powerstroke engines must use oil that can withstand very high-pressure conditions – this is why you must use the engine oil included in your owner’s manual.
You can look for the best oils for 6.0 Powerstroke engines by comparing certifications and awards. Engine oil manufacturers usually seek out licensing from the API or American Petroleum Institute.
The API runs the Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System (EOLCS). This is a voluntary licensing and certification system. Engine oil marketers and manufacturers have to meet certain specific requirements to use the designated engine oil Quality Marks on their products.
Put simply, if a type of engine oil has a grade or marker from the API’s grading program, you can rest assured that it meets certain quality standards or that it’s well-made.
For 6.0 Powerstroke engines, one of the best certifications to look for is CI-4 PLUS. The CI-4 PLUS designation indicates that the oil’s formula offers extra protection. It protects against viscosity loss from shear in diesel engines. It also protects against viscosity increase from soot buildup.
However, any synthetic and heavy-duty engine oil with several certifications from the API is a good choice.
Do Your Oil Change Right
Even if you get the best oil, you may not get the best results if you’re not doing your oil changes right. Drawing from our experience, here are our additional pointers when changing your oil.
- Follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle. Follow it closely and you minimize the chances of running into the Powerstroke’s known issues. The advantage of using synthetic oils is that you can prolong the interval but don’t push it too much.
- Swap out the oil filter for every oil change. Some think that all you have to do is to drain the old oil and pour in a new one. However, you should be changing your oil filter too. The oil filter keeps the oil clean so keeping an old oil filter with debris and crud in your engine just defeats the purpose. Do yourself a favor and get a new oil filter with your oil.
- Don’t over-tighten the oil pan drain plug. An oil drain plug can crack and leak if you over-tighten it. Use a torque wrench with the proper setting to set the tightness of the oil drain plug just right.
Get the Best Oil for 6.0 Powerstroke
Ultimately, the best oil for a 6.0 Powerstroke engine is one that works for your budget and unique needs. Consider each of the oils above – odds are one of them will be the perfect pick for your 6.0 Powerstroke engine and save you tons of trouble.