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Old 04-23-2003, 10:56 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,292
Will anyone stand up for Rotella over Delo?

The three most popular dino oils for diesel engines seem to be Rotella T, Delo 400, and Delvac. For at least three years now, I have been using Rotella in all five of my diesel engines (a Mercedes, a Ford Powerstroke, an International Harvester tractor, and a Kubota lawn mower), so it came as a disappointment to see more than one person in this forum say that Delo is so much better than Rotella. Can anyone make a good argument why I should not switch to Delo? I hate to switch brands that way, but if Delo is really better, I suppose I should.

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Old 04-23-2003, 11:06 AM
'82 300TD-T
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 276
I use Delo, but I would never tell someone to switch. Everybody is welcome to do their own research, and to draw their own conclusions.

However, it wouldn't hurt to do an oil analysis on one of your motors - you might find that Rotella is working just fine for you, or it might convince you to switch...
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:38 AM
Posts: n/a
I too have used Delo for about fifteen years now. It took my original 240D engine to 380,000 miles and has served well in everything on my place from 4Runner, to gas MB, to diesel MB, to Ford diesel tractor, to lawnmowers, etc.

That said, Shell Rotella T MUST have something going for it. If all of a sudden I could no longer get Delo, I would have no qualms whatsoever switching to Rotella. It does have the highest parafin content of any of the Universal grade oils, but if you're changing frequently, this will cause no problems, in fact it might even be better for the engine if changed frequently enough to prevent parafin build up. I think the parafin difference is probably only marginal anyway.

My $0.02,
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Old 04-23-2003, 01:12 PM
Registered Diesel Burner
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
I like the Shell Rotella T dino and use it in two diesel cars and a Yanmar.

But I couldn't recommend it over the other highly recommended products.

The Rotella seems to be easier to get in my area, and goes on sale sometimes too.

My crime of heresy to the oil jihad is using STP Oil Treatment.

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Old 04-23-2003, 01:17 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: northeastern PA
Posts: 437
I just switched from delo to rotella. the rotella so far has seemed to stay a little bit less sooty.
2004 E500 4matic; 72,000mi
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Old 04-23-2003, 02:39 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 8,033
According to knowledgable sources, the Rotella uses more cheaper (Group I) base stock, while Delo/Delvac use more of the better Group II/II+ stock. Rotella is a good normal-duty diesel oil. Delo/Delvac were designed specifically for extended drain intervals in heavy-duty applications, and therefore are better suited for those apps. Will it make much difference in a passenger car diesel? Not likely, as long as you change it before the oil analysis says it's worn out. Since Delo/Delvac is priced almost the same, and all 3 are easy to find, I'd skip the Rotella - don't see much advantage to it. As Doc Booth says, it's not bad oil, just ordinary. It's still much better than using cheap non-diesel-rated crap!!

For the record, I only use synthetics (Mobil-1 or Delvac-1) and would definitely recommend synthetics, particularly for turbocharged engines. I'd avoid the Rotella "synthetic" as it's mostly Group III stock, not the real IV/V stuff that Mobil, Amsoil, RedLine, etc use.

Dave M.
Boise, ID

1997 E420 - 155kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 145kmi (Blondie)
1993 500E - 193kmi (Lollipop)
1992 400E - 189kmi (Stinky Dirty)
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Old 04-23-2003, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,277
I USE STP Oil Treatment

I put one can into a gallon of oil and use it in the chain oiler on my Stihl Chainsaw....

I use Delo 400 because it was listed in the manual for both my MB and Diesel Ford tractor...
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Old 04-23-2003, 05:22 PM
Posts: n/a
I use Rotella in my 300D with 2 qts of Lucas Oil Stabilizer. Seems to work ok!

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