Cross Reference Guide for Popular Motor Oil Brands

You know it’s critical to choose the right oil for your engines to keep them running longer and more efficiently.

But you want to shop around and get a good price, so how do you determine if one brand of oil is a suitable replacement for the one you’re using? Here are the things to consider, plus some broad recommendations for products that could be suitable replacements for what you may be using now. Click here to jump down to the product cross-references.

Technical Specifications for Confirming Oil Compatibility 

Here are five things to check before you decide to substitute one brand of oil for another. 

Viscosity Grade

An oil's ability to flow will determine how well it protects an engine. Manufacturer recommendations and climate conditions dictate what is required (for example, you need oil that can work in extreme cold if you’re operating vehicles in the Upper Midwest during the winter). Viscosity is uniformly measured using standards from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Viscosity is written with two numbers like this 5W-30. The first digit refers to viscosity at cooler temperatures and the second to when the engine is hot. A 5W-30 oil will flow better when cold (or during startup) than a 10W-30 oil, but they’d flow the same when the engine is hot.

API Rating

The American Petroleum Institute (API) assigns a rating to engine oils based on their performance and quality standards. For example, Shell Rotella oils are formulated to meet API service categories such as CJ-4, CI-4, and earlier categories. When selecting a replacement oil, you need to ensure that the API rating matches or exceeds that of the original oil. For example, if you’re using Phillips 66 Triton ECT C3 15W-40 that has a CK-4 rating you may be able to use Shell Rotella T4 instead because it also has the CK-4 rating.

Sulfated Ash Content

Sulfated ash is the residue left after oil is burned in combustion. Some manufacturers require low sulfated ash content to reduce deposits and prolong the catalyst and particulate filter's life. If your engine requires low-sulfated ash oils, you need to check the specifications of the replacement oil before using it. For instance, Shell Rotella T5 Synthetic Blend 10W-30 has a sulfated ash content of 1.0%, just like Phillips 66 Guardol FE 10w-30 so they could potentially be interchangeable.

Total Base Number (TBN)

TBN measures oil's ability to neutralize acidic combustion by-products and maintain the engine's pH balance. When the TBN level decreases, the oil's acidity increases, leading to corrosion and engine wear. When selecting a replacement oil, you need to ensure that the TBN level is within the OEM specification and compatible with your engine's operating conditions. 

OEM Approval

Finally, you need to consider whether the replacement oil is approved by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). OEM-approved oils have undergone rigorous testing and conform to the engine manufacturer's performance specifications. Using non-approved oils may void the engine warranty or cause engine damage. When selecting a replacement oil, check the OEM approval list or consult with the manufacturer to ensure compatibility. 

Oil Cross Reference Guide

The table below is meant to help you select which oil may be suitable, but keep in mind it’s important to understand the specifications of viscosity grade, API rating, sulfated ash content, TBN, and OEM approval as you consider switching. If you have any questions, reach out to the experts at Keller-Heartt and we will help answer them.

Keller-Heartt does not charge delivery fees and is a certified distributor for Shell and the Shell line of Rotella T motor oils so you know you’ll always be getting a good price (and avoiding delivery fees) if you purchase directly from Keller-Heartt. Many of Mobil’s products have equivalent Shell options and you can find those in this Shell vs. Mobil Cross Reference Guide.

In addition, Keller-Heartt offers its own line of Truegard oils which are rigorously tested and certified so you can use them as economical replacements for many brands without sacrificing quality or engine protection. Remember to use replacement oils with the same viscosity and consider OEM approval products when deciding on any oil alternative. 

Which Shell Rotella Oil to Consider

Shell Rotella T1 is a line of heavy-duty engine oils for a variety of applications, including four-stroke diesel engines, gasoline engines, hydraulic systems, and natural gas engines. It is formulated with advanced additive technology and high-quality base oils that meet or exceed the current API CJ-4/SN specification requirements.

These product lines have the potential to be replacements for each other:

Shell Rotella T1 

Kendall Super D-3

Phillips 66 T5X

Sunoco Super C

Chevron Delo 400

Shell Rotella T4 is a conventional oil with advanced additives that help protect against engine wear at high and low temperatures while providing excellent oxidation stability. It is ideal for large- and medium-duty diesel engines and meets the API guidelines CK-4, CJ-4, CL-4 PLUS, CL-4, and CH-4. This includes the stricter guidelines introduced to meet the needs of modern diesel engines built from 2017 onward. It is the most popular engine oil among the Rotella series of Shell. Here are other products lines it could be a replacement for: 

Shell Rotella T4 Triple Protection 

Delo 400 SDE

Mobil Delvac 1300 Super

Sunoco Super C Gold

Kendall Super-D XA

Shell Rotella T5 is a synthetic blend of mineral base oils with advanced additives designed to help protect against engine wear while providing excellent thermal stability. It provides protection at both high and low temperatures, making it suitable for light-duty diesel engines and four-stroke gasoline engines. It also comes with a low-ash formulation, ideal for today's diesel engines, and meets API guidelines for CK-4, CJ-4, CL-4 PLUS, CL-4, and CH-4. Here are other product lines it could be a replacement for:

Shell Rotella T5

Chevron Delo 400 LE

Mobil Delvac Elite

Conoco UltraGuard Plus

Citgo 500LE SAE

Phillips 66 Guardol ECT

Kendall Super-D FE

Shell Rotella T6 is an advanced synthetic oil designed for maximum protection against engine wear and deposits. It has been designed to meet the latest industry standards and provides superior protection even in extreme temperatures. It meets the API guidelines for CK-4, CJ-4, CL-4 PLUS, CL-4, CH-4. Here are other product lines it could be a replacement for:

Shell Rotella T6

Chevron Delo 400 XSP 

Mobil Delvac 1 ESP

Phillips 66 Guardol XT

Sunoco Euro Plus Full Synthetic


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