I'm not sure if this is still the SAE 30 oil. Does the "HD" stand for "Heavy Duty" or High Detergent? Thank you!

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  • My guess, Heavy Duty,
    – narkeleptk
    Jul 2, 2020 at 22:55

3 Answers 3


"HD" on sae 4 cycle motor oil labels stands for "high detergent". It is a better oil to use on a new small 4-Cycle engine as it will help to keep the engine cleaner and run smoother longer. The only engines you would not want to use it on are ones that specifically say to use non-detergent motor oil or ones that have only had non-detergent oil for the duration of its life, although I don't really see an issue of switching to HD (or regular sae 30) after a fully drained oil change.

  • 1
    What does this add that wasn't already said here two years ago?
    – FreeMan
    Jun 7, 2022 at 16:39

It says it just above the numbers:

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HD stands for High Detergent. At least in the “normal” rating of oils.

Usually used for diesel engines to help keep them clean.

Not a good idea to use in gas engines as it can clean the bores of old grime and then they start to smoke.

But since it does say in small print on the label it is for gasoline engines, then it may well just be “marketing BS” to get people to think it is better than the product next to it on the shelf.

One way to be sure is to check the detailed classification on the back of the can, that will, or should, give the detail.

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