Caterpillar

Caterpillar issues their own set of requirements for service fill lubricants used in their engines.

Each individual specification is known by its ECF (Engine Crankcase Fluid) Number. The Caterpillar ECF specification includes a dash and number. Example “Caterpillar ECF-3.”

Caterpillar ECF specifications range between 1 – 3. The higher the number, the higher the performance of the lubricant:

  • ECF-1-a (Lowest performance)
  • ECF-2 (Higher performance)
  • ECF-3 (Highest performance)

Caterpillar specifications can be self-certified by oil marketers and align heavily with various American Petroleum Institute (API) categories. In some instances, additional testing is required alongside the relevant API category. For example, the Caterpillar ECF-2 specification aligns with API CI-4 however requires Caterpillar C13 performance to API CJ-4 level.

ECF-3 oils can also claim ECF-2 and/or ECF-1-a capability through backwards compatibility; however the ECF-3 specification is the only option that is for certain low ash (<1.0% Sulfated Ash) oil.

Always follow the handbook recommendation.

For more information, see the Caterpillar overview document: CATERPILLAR MACHINE FLUIDS RECOMMENDATIONS (SEBU6250-21)

Related Articles

ACEA 2021 Heavy-Duty: Overview of Proposed Changes video

ACEA 2021 Heavy-Duty: Overview of Proposed changes (Video)

August 25, 2021

Proposed changes to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association's (ACEA) Heavy-Duty Oil Sequences are discussed in this video.

Innovative Lubricants

June 30, 2021

Lubricants are enabling hardware changes in modern engine systems. As upgrades are introduced, component cleanliness remains key.

Commercial Vehicle Pistons: Designed for Efficiency

June 03, 2021

Today’s modern pistons are a result of many decades of design evolution to help deliver engine efficiency. 

The Evolution of ACEA in the Light Duty and Heavy Duty Sectors

May 21, 2021

There have been some significant adjustments to the ACEA European Oil Sequences throughout the years.

Combating Sand Ingress in Emerging Markets

February 11, 2021

Some of the most rapidly developing markets in the world are classified as desert, and sand can wreak havoc on internal combustion engines.

ACEA 2021 Upgrade for Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Lubricants

December 18, 2020

Learn about key revisions to the ACEA 2021 Heavy Duty Diesel Sequences and the transition from ACEA 2016 to ACEA 2021.