Recommended Oil for Yanmar Tractors

by Richard N. Williams
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Yanmar tractors powered by diesel engines produced by Yanmar American Corporation are widespread across American farming communities. As with any combustion engine, oil is essential for the good operation and long-life of Yanmar engines. Unlike gasoline engines that use oil only for lubrication, diesel engines also require oil for engine cooling and cleaning carbon deposits from the pistons.

Oil Importance

Low or no oil pressure leads to engine lock-up, resulting in an engine rebuild. Preventing oil pressure problems requires regular checking and changing of oil. For Yanmar diesel-powered tractors, change your oil every 100 hours or -- if using dyed, off-road diesel fuel that has a high sulfur content -- every 20 hours; however, the type of oil chosen may affect the frequency of oil changes.

Types and Viscosity

Oil comes in two basic types: mineral oils, refined from crude oil, and chemical-based synthetic oils, which also contain some quantity of mineral oil. Most mineral oil is good enough for a diesel engine like a Yanmar, but requires more frequent changing than synthetic oil. Measured at different temperatures, engine oil viscosity ratings include 5W-30, 10W-40 and 15W-50.

Oil Categories

For a Yanmar tractor, a more important consideration than the viscosity and type of oil is using oil designed for diesel engines. Oil categories vary depending on the age and style of the engine. Common categories suitable for a Yanmar diesel engine include CG, developed for low-emission, high-speed, four-stroke diesel engines; CF, commonly used for off-road and heavy-duty diesel engines; and CE for heavy-duty diesel engines with turbochargers. Some of these categories have numbers attached to the rating that indicate higher performance levels.

Changing Oil

Aside from the type and category of oil chosen, a higher frequency of oil changes provides increased reliability of an engine. Changing oil on a Yanmar engine involves removing the drain plug under the engine, allowing the oil to drain into an oil pan; changing the oil filter and filter gasket; cleaning the filter housing with a clean film of oil; replacing the drain plug and refilling with clean oil.

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