I got an 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser with a 2H diesel engine. I never changed oil on a diesel engine prior to this truck, so I'm a little confused.

Toyota Factory Shop Manual recommend API CC oil type, previous owner told me that he always put synthetic oil, and considering that I live in a northern territory(Canada) who have temperature below the freezing point, what kind of engine oil should I put into this engine?

In my other cars, I put regular 5w30 oil.


4 Answers 4


I agree with calling the local Toyota shop and seeing if someone in the service dept will help you out. If they don't help you then I know that at the winter temps you see 0w40 is what everyone I have ever talked to or read on other forums run in their diesels in your region.

  • I've gone to 2 Toyota dealer and they did not see any Land Cruiser for years, so they do not know. I found some info in one of the Owner manual, and yes you are right, 0w40 is recommended in colder temperature. Commented May 17, 2011 at 12:06

Besides the weight, be sure that you buy oil has a "C" code in the service symbol. The "C" indicates that the oil was formulated for a diesel engine; gasoline engines use an "S" code. The top half of the ring should say "API Service C-something". Note that you can have an oil that works for both.

The logo looks like this one:

enter image description here


call your local toyota dealership and ask them. Over the years, they may have changed their recommended fluid types.

  • 1
    O/P mentioned that he called earlier but they didn't know. I know that some of the diesel guys like Shell's Rotella T6 formula. Check this out: bobistheoilguy.com/forums/…
    – Dude318is
    Commented May 23, 2011 at 20:19
  • @Dude381is: This it what I finally bought: Shell's Rotella T6. And after 2 months, I have no complaints. Thanks for the link Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 15:37

It's a pretty old vehicle, and API CC is "Caution - not recommended for passenger vehicle diesel engines built after 1990"... so it would seem to match. There are still some fairly primitive oil types knocking around which seem to better suit the characteristics of older engines for various reasons. Never mind what the previous owner might have thought for his own reasons, right or wrong ... check the manual, see what weight or weight-range of oil it suggests for your climate, and see about getting hold of something that at least has ratings that intersect with the manufacturer's guidance.

Synthetic is generally better for highly-strung, hard revving, tight tolerance machines, like sportscars, motorcycles, and more modern, low capacity, hard blown turbodiesels with a focus on extremely low friction everywhere. I have a feeling that a lazy-revving 1980s utility-spec diesel that makes barely more than 25hp/litre (you can buy 1.4L TDis now that have higher output than your 4.0L) absolutely does not qualify in any of those categories, and would be perfectly happy, if not happier, with entirely generic semi-synth, or even "classic" fully-mineral not-at-all-synthetic still-has-chunks-of-rock-in-it super crude el cheaparino oil.

(For reference, it's also the oil recommended for classic put-put diesels powering canal barges or simple pieces of static machinery... which the 2H likely has more in common with than a 21st century engine making north of 60hp/L and liable to explode if it isn't run on space age 0w50 PTFE-doped super-oil that costs $50+ a fill... NB this isn't me trying to be down on the engine at all; it's obviously built to last, happily trucking along after 32 years, and will probably still be in fine shape long after all those little turbos have been scrapped, and the only way to run it is by putting chemically abused butter in the tank because liquid fuel filling stations are naught but a memory)

  • Thanks for the answer, I've bought some Shell Rotella T6 for it based on others answers/comments. But since my question is 8 years old, the vehicle have been sold and is probably in pieces since the next owner had an accident and sold it for parts... Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 11:42

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