Photo by DiamondBack Truck Covers | CC BY-SA 2.0
When you spend your hard-earned money on a Super Duty truck – you definitely want it to last.
There is no better way to maintain the performance and longevity of your Powerstroke than by using good quality motor oil with frequent change intervals.
Motor oil is the lifeblood of an engine, as it lubricates, seals, cleans, cools, and protects the internal parts of the engine. Definitely not something you’d wan’t to cheap out on.
Now, Powerstrokes have a tough life as they operate in extreme conditions, and for that reason – they should be maintained properly and often. In order to keep your Powerstroke pulling, towing, and working for a long time without any hiccups, you need to use the right engine oil for your truck and your operating conditions.
So, without a further ado, here are the 5 best diesel motor oils that meet the Ford specification WSS-M2C171-F1.
Note: 10W-30 is the preferred motor oil viscosity for normal use in the 6.7 Powerstroke, however, 5W-40 and 15W-40 are recommended for severe duty or biodiesel applications. Another thing to keep in mind is that viscosity recommendations vary depending on the ambient temperature; please refer to the owner’s manual for the correct oil viscosity for your specific driving conditions.
Related: Best Oil for Turbo Cars
The Best Oils for 6.7 Powerstroke
|Schaeffer SynShield Durability Advantage 15W-40||Check Price On Amazon|
|Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic 5W-40||Check Price On Amazon|
|Royal Purple Duralec Ultra 10w30||Check Price On Amazon|
|Motorcraft Super Duty SAE 15W-40||Check Price On Amazon|
|Valvoline Premium Blue Extreme SAE 5W-40||Check Price On Amazon|
Schaeffer SynShield Durability Advantage 15W-40 – Best Overall
I’m sure you’ve heard that Schaeffer makes one of the best engine oils for diesel engines, as there is a good reason for it. The 700 SynShield Durability Advantage has a cult following among Powerstroke owners as it’s an excellent heavy-duty diesel engine oil that provides top of the line protection against wear, deposit formation, soot, and oxidation – just what the doctor ordered for a heavy-duty turbo diesel engine.
Lubrication and Protection
The 700 SynShield is called “Durability Advantage” for a reason, as it boasts 85% less wear than conventional CJ-4 oils. The motor oil uses unique proprietary friction modifiers, such as Micron Moly and Penetro, that provide a durable and slippery shield that prevents the internal engine parts from wear.
Because of this additive package, it significantly reduces wear on main bearings, piston rings, pistons, cylinder walls, valve trains, and other critical lubrication points.
The SynShield Durability Advantage has a robust additive package.
Because of the proprietary friction modifiers and other additives, SynShield is able to reliably provide maximum durability and longevity even during extreme operating conditions. The oil maintains thermal and oxidation stability and effectively resists thickening, deposit formation, and sludge while maintaining gasket and seal life. It features a low ash formula, which makes the motor oil compatible with exhaust catalysts.
SynShield Durability Advantage meets and exceeds the requirements for API heavy-duty diesel engine categories: CK-4, CJ-4, CI-4 Plus and older, while also meeting the requirements of most major heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturers (Cummins CES 20081 and CES 20086, Detroit Diesel DDC93K218 and DDC93K222, Volvo VDS-4 and much more). It’s particularly suitable for use in diesel engines that feature EGR, DPF, DOC, and SCR (DEF) emissions control systems.
Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic 5W-40 – Best Value
Renowned for being one of the most (if not the most) versatile motor oils in the world, Rotella T6 offers an excellent balance of protection and cost-effectiveness.
Why is Rotella T6 the most versatile motor oil?
It’s widely used in both diesel and gasoline motors, and with great results. It’s specially formulated and designed for heavy-duty diesel engines but people have gone as far as to use it in motorcycles.
Lubrication and Protection
Rotella T6 is a high performing motor oil, designed with maximum protection in mind. It features a significantly better level of protection against wear when compared to the previous generation API CJ-4 synthetic engine oils. Rotella T6 effectively resists viscosity loss through shear and consistently maintains optimal oil pressure in heavy-duty diesel engines.
It’s common knowledge that engine oils contain various additives but Rotella T6 raises the bar higher.
It’s packed with advanced multi-functional dispersants combined with synthetic base oils. What that means is, that Rotella T6 provides an enhanced level of protection against the formation and effects of soot and other combustion byproducts.
This heavy-duty engine oil is fully compatible with the 6.7 Powerstroke DPF and SCR systems as it features an advanced low-ash formula, which will help control the soot buildup on your trucks DPF – you won’t have to worry about frequent DPF regenerations.
If anything, compatibility is the main selling point of Rotella T6, as this oil has a cult following with people successfully using it on all types of motors.
Royal Purple Duralec Ultra 10w30 – Premium Pick
Royal Purple has made its name in the motor oil industry by consistently manufacturing great quality motor oils, and Duralec is certainly one of them. It’s a high-performance API Service CI-4 Plus/ SL engine oil, specifically made for emission-controlled heavy-duty diesel engines that use modern emission control systems.
Lubrication and Protection
Effective lubrication is the name of the game for Duralec Ultra. The motor oil is fortified with specially designed zinc/phosphorus anti-wear additive and Synerlec additive technology.
Thanks to the Synarlec additive technology, Duralec Ultra provides a durable oil film by creating an ionic bond with the metal surfaces of the engine metal components. This means great protection upon startup and greatly increased fluid film strength to eliminate metal-to-metal contact under all conditions.
The Synarlec additive technology is what makes Royal Purple perform so well and stand out from the rest.
It features oil film strengthening additives with enhanced oxidation resistance, thus reducing friction between the internal engine parts, while also experiencing less thermal break-downs compared to other oils. Another benefit of the Synarlec additive technology is the surface reconditioning effect that improves the surface condition of metallic surfaces by smoothing inherent surface roughness.
Duralec Ultra meets the demands of today’s heavy-duty diesel engines and is compliant with emission control systems. It effectively controls diesel fuel combustion byproducts and is a great choice for 6.7 Powerstroke engines.
Motorcraft Super Duty SAE 15W-40 – Factory Fill
If you’re still unsure which motor oil is the right one for your Powerstroke, you can never go wrong with the Motorcraft by Ford, as it’s the recommended oil for Ford Powerstroke engines.
Modern Diesel engines are designed and manufactured with motor oil in mind, thus 6.7 Powerstroke and Motorcraft motor oil are a perfect match – just how Ford intended.
Lubrication and Protection
It comes as no surprise that Motorcraft features excellent lubrication and protection, after all – it’s the lifeblood of your Powerstroke as it rolls out of the factory.
Motorcraft is formulated with premium hydroprocessed base oils and a unique to Motorcraft additive technology. Not only does it satisfy the warranty requirements of Ford, but Motorcraft also meets the requirements of Cummins CES 20086, Detroit Diesel 93K222, Mack EOS-4.5, and even Volvo VDS-4.5. It effectively protects against corrosion, foaming, sludge formation, and resists breakdown under high temperature.
Motorcraft was formulated with improved protection against oxidation and contains over 1000 ppm phosphorus, which improves protection against metal-to-metal contact.
Made with modern diesel engine emission control systems in mind, Motorcraft provides excellent soot control and protection from other diesel fuel combustion byproducts that enter the oil through blow-by. The additive package makes it an excellent choice for older-generation diesel engines that use high-sulfur diesel fuel.
Motorcraft Super Duty Diesel Motor Oil is the recommended oil for 7.3, 6.4, 6.0, and 6.7 Powerstroke diesel engines. With that being said, its compatible with modern diesel engine emission control systems, such as DPF, and meets the requirements of Cummins CES 20086, Detroit Diesel 93K222, Mack EOS-4.5, and Volvo VDS-4.5. What more could you ask for?
Valvoline Premium Blue Extreme SAE 5W-40 – Protects DPF
Valvoline’s Premium Blue Extreme is the motor oil of choice for Cummins engines. Now, I know we’re talking about the 6.7 Powerstroke, but the recommended oil for a 6.7 Cummins should also be on your radar as both engines have some similarities. With that said, Premium Blue Extreme is a great motor oil and is loved by heavy-duty diesel enthusiasts for a reason.
Lubrication and Protection
The Premium Blue Extreme was specially designed for heavy-duty utility and pickup diesel engines that operate in extreme conditions, both on and off the highway.
It’s licensed for API service CK-4, CJ-4, CI-4, CI-4 PLUS, CH-4, SN, SM, and older. Because of its synthetic base stocks, Premium Blue Extreme provides faster and safer starts in freezing weather. Performance in extremely hot temperatures definitely was not an afterthought for Valvoline, as the Premium Blue Extreme effectively resists hot temperatures.
The Premium Blue Extreme features a strong additive package. It boasts enhanced protection against all oil oxidation and an improved fuel economy potential compared to conventional 15W-40 oils. Deposit control is yet another strong suit of the Premium Blue Extreme as it performs better than the industry requirements.
Compatibility is not an issue with this oil as it is endorsed and recommended by Cummins – one of the biggest diesel engine manufacturers in the world. It’s designed for modern diesel engines that use emissions treatment systems, such as EGR and DPF. The Premium Blue Extreme meets the requirements of Cummins CES 20086, Detroit Diesel DFS 93K222, Mack EOS-4.5, Volvo VDS-4.5, and others.
6.7 Powerstroke Motor Oil Buyer’s Guide & Oil Change How-To
Things to Consider Before Buying Motor Oil for a 6.7 Powerstroke
While the motor oil in a 6.7 Powerstroke has a much easier life compared to the 7.3 Powerstroke (because it does not get pressurized for the HUEI injection system), it’s still important to spend some time to chose the best one, as a 6.7 Powerstroke is considered a heavy-duty turbo diesel engine.
Here’s what you should keep in mind.
Highway and city miles affect a car in different ways and directly affect the lifespan of the engine.
City miles are considered more taxing on a car’s engine for a number of reasons. The stop and go traffic of the city means uneven engine load and engine temperature, which leads to increased engine wear when compared to highway miles.
On the other hand, highway miles are much less taxing on an engine then city miles. There are very few stops, thus the engine reaches the operating temperature sooner and is able to maintain it steadily. Highway miles are considered easy for engines and cause less wear when compared to city driving.
Diesel engines don’t particularly like idling for long times, because prolonged idling times significantly increase the build of soot on the DPF filter. There is simply not enough pressure to remove the soot particles that cling to the DPF filter if an engine is idling, thus the DPF system needs to regenerate itself more often.
If your engine operates in harsh conditions, be sure to choose a motor oil that is designed for heavy-duty engines that are exposed to heavy operating conditions. Most motor oils on this list are specifically made for heavy-duty diesel engines that are exposed to harsh conditions, such as prolonged idling.
Unfortunately, no engine is 100% protected from wear. Because of friction, worn internal engine parts lose their mass, thus the tolerances between the moving parts increase. For example, a larger gap between the valve stems and rocker arms start producing a loud tapping sound, which signals the time for a valve adjustment.
The internal metallic parts of an engine are not the only ones that get worn over time. Rubber seals and gaskets harden and dry up due to age and constant temperature changes. Because they dry up, rubber seals shrink and start causing oil leaks.
If your Powerstroke reached the 100,000 – 150,000 mile mark, you should consider looking for a high mileage engine oil. High mileage engine oils are specifically designed for engines that are starting to show wear. High mileage engine oils contain special additives, like seal conditioner, that swell the seals and gaskets up to stop oil leaks.
What You Should Look for in a Motor Oil for a 6.7 Powerstroke
The 6.7 Powerstroke is not a picky engine when it comes to engine oil, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend a few minutes of your time to pick the right motor oil. After all, It’s the lifeblood of an engine and directly impacts the longevity and performance of the engine.
Be sure to choose an API CJ-4 or CJ-4/sm motor oil that also meets the Ford specification WSS-M2C171-F1. All motor oils on this list meet and exceed the Ford specification WSS-M2C171-F1, but if you want to look at an updated and full list of oils that meet the specification, visit the Motorcraft Catalog.
Oil viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid’s flow; thickness in layman’s terms. The required viscosity is directly influenced by the range of ambient temperatures that the engine operates in. It’s the single most important factor when choosing an engine oil.
Without boring you to death with jargon and specifics, remember that the user manual of your F250 contains the viscosity chart. Another thing to keep in mind is that 5W-40 or 15W-40 is recommended for severe duty and biodiesel applications.
The primary task of engine oil is to protect the internal moving parts from metal-to-metal contact. When choosing a heavy-duty motor oil, pay attention to the API classification of the oil and the manufacturer standards that it meets.
A good quality oil for a Powerstroke should meet or exceed the requirements of the Ford specification WSS-M2C171-F1. If the engine oil meets the requirements of Cummins CES 20086, Detroit Diesel 93K222 or Volvo VDS-4.5, it’s even better.
Gasoline and diesel engines have a completely different additive package. Make sure that the engine oil you’re buying is specifically made for heavy-duty diesel engines because buying an engine oil made for gasoline engines will cause increased wear over time.
A good engine oil for a 6.7 Powerstroke should contain a strong additive package, that effectively combats deposit buildup, soot and sludge formation, oil oxidation, and acidity. After all, it’s a heavy-duty diesel engine that produces large amounts of soot.
Compatibility With Emissions Control Systems
The 6.7 Powerstroke is equipped with modern diesel emissions systems and because of that, the engine oil of your choice should be fully compatible with them. Engine oil that is compatible with EGR, DOC, SCR, and DPF is exactly what the 6.7 Powerstroke needs.
6.7 Powerstroke Oil Change How-To
Things you will need for the job:
- 5/8” (16mm) wrench or socket
- Big, high flow drain pan that could accommodate 13 quarts of oil
- Oil filter removal tool
- A pair of rags to wipe off the oil
- Optional: torque wrench
For best results, make sure the engine is warmed up a bit, that way you’ll achieve a better flush of the oil system as the oil is more fluid. Just be careful not to scald yourself with hot oil, and make sure to park the truck on a level surface.
Step 1. Prepare to drain the oil. Unscrew the oil fill cap to make the oil drain faster and place the oil drain pan underneath the oil drain plug.
Step 2. Undo the drain plug and drain the oil. If your drain plug is stuck tight, try using more leverage and hit the wrench with the back of your palm. In my experience, hitting the wrench with my palm works better to loosen the plug as compared to applying constant pressure with my hands. And as a bonus – you won’t hit your knuckles when the bolt suddenly loosens.
Once the drain plug is loose, start unscrewing it, and as soon as you see oil drops and feel that the drain plug is loose, quickly move it away to the side and let the oil drain into the drain pan.
Step 3. Screw the drain plug back in. Once the oil has drained, screw the oil drain plug back in. Make sure you don’t forget the o ring. Tighten the drain plug snug but don’t overtighten it. If you’ve got a torque wrench, tighten the drain plug to 19 lb.ft.
Step 4. Undo the oil filter. Use the oil filter removal tool to loosen it up to the point, where the oil starts running from the top. Let the oil fully drain before you remove the oil filter – that way you won’t make a mess when removing.
Step 5. Remove the oil filter. Once the oil has drained from the top of the filter and the housing, remove the oil filter. Make sure to check if the old rubber gasket isn’t stuck to the filter housing once you’ve removed the filter. If it’s stuck, be sure to remove it.
Step 6. Fill the new oil filter with fresh oil. Most engine wear occurs in the first few minutes of startup. Because the new oil filter does not contain any oil, the oil pump will first fill the filter up, and only then will the oil reach the critical lubrication points. To avoid running the engine without oil, fill the new filter up with new motor oil and make sure to lubricate the rubber gasket on the new oil filter. That way the rubber gasket will slide along the surface of the oil filter housing and will stay in place, thus minimizing the risk of leaks.
Step 7. Install the new oil filter. No need to go crazy here, just hand tighten the oil filter. Use both hands and make sure it’s really tight. If you feel uncomfortable with hand tightening, you can use the oil filter removal tool to tighten it just a bit more – just don’t overtighten it or you’ll be sorry on the next oil change.
Step 8. Wipe down the oil plug and the new oil filter. Make sure they are clean, that way you’ll easily tell if there is an oil leak.
Step 9. Fill the engine with fresh oil. That’s 13 quarts with the oil filter change. Monitor the oil level when filling and make sure you don’t overfill. Take it slow. Once you’re done filling the engine oil, screw back the fill cap and you’re done!
Step 10. Start the engine. Let the engine run for a few minutes, make sure that there are no leaks underneath the truck and that the oil pressure warning light isn’t on.
Step 11. Check the oil level for the last time. Once you’ve let the engine run for a bit, shut it down. Wait for at least 5 to 10 minutes to let the oil flow back to the oil pan. Check the oil level and refill if necessary.
Step 12. Reset the oil life counter on the dash. Go to Settings > Vehicle > Oil Life Reset and hold OK. That’s it!
Eddie is the co-founder of CarCareCamp.com, and the site’s primary contributor. Automotive repair has played a major role in his family for generations and he’s determined to continue the legacy further on. Under his belt, Eddie has a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Electronics Engineering and almost a decade of experience working as an electrician in a major semi-truck dealership in Europe.