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Old 03-05-2020, 16:14   #1
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Volvo Penta 2003 - SAE 20w/30 Recommendation?

Hey all,

I need to get some oil ordered for an old Volvo Penta engine ASAP. I see that SAE 20w/30 CD was originally specced but there is debate on whether a more modern oil may be more suitable (10w/40?). Can anyone make a current recommendation? I do not mind paying for Volvo brand oil if they still make something suitable, I just don't want to get something that will damage my old engine as it needs all the help it can get.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:47   #2
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 - SAE 20w/30 Recommendation?

The original recommendation found in the 2003 service manual was SAE 20wt. for above 50 degrees F, and SAE 10 for below 50degrees F. The oil quality was CD.

As most of today’s diesel oil ratings are backward compatible to the CD spec, I would suggest a quality multi viscosity diesel oil such as Shell Rotella T, 15w/40. This oil will carry a rating of something like CI or CJ, so will meet the quality requirements that you need, plus will provide excellent service regardless of most any ambient temperature you are likely to use the engine in.

Other manufacturers such as Exxon/Mobile, Total, etc. also make excellent diesel oils that can be used as well.
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:21   #3
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 - SAE 20w/30 Recommendation?

On older engines I’ve always used monograde oil

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Old 06-05-2020, 15:02   #4
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 - SAE 20w/30 Recommendation?

Our 1980 Yanmar specifies CD 30, I happen to use 20w-50 CF at the moment but was using 15w-40 CI. You wont have any issues with any diesel rated oil 15w-40 EXCEPT for those specified for use with a DPF., all work fine Agree with Doug R.
Lotta oil arguments, very few failures due to oil except having none, not changing or using wrong spec. If its old & worn 20w-50 works good or you can get oil for old engines like 30w-70 if it's a smoker. Depends on how cold it is where you are. Straight 40 gets hard to crank around freezing.
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Old 06-05-2020, 17:36   #5
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 - SAE 20w/30 Recommendation?

Looking at the owners manual , the recommend is 15/40 cd. Thats what I use.
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