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Does Diesel Oil Have Zinc? (Quick Answers)

Diesel oil has been used for decades as fuel for transportation. Diesel fuel has more efficiency which means it will evaporate much slower than other fuels as well as it has much more energy density.

Therefore, diesel engines are being used in transport as it is economical when it comes to burning fuel.

However, there is confusion among people that diesel oil contains high levels of zinc which acts as an anti-wear additive and it affects engine negatively.

Therefore, in this article, we will discuss whether diesel oil has zinc or not and also we will going to answer whether zinc affects the engine negatively or not.

Does diesel oil have zinc?

As diesel oil is considered heavy-duty oil, therefore, most heavy-duty oil does contain higher zinc. Diesel oil that has API credentials can have 1000 to 1200 ppm of zinc in them but there are other additives now used like boron, molybdenum, etc. to increase the wear resistance of the engine.

Zinc has been used in fuels for many years as it is one of the cost-effective anti-wear additives. Its primary function is to obstruct the formation of the wear in the rings and valves.

However, there has been a saying about zinc that it is an high pressure additive and can affect the engine negatively.

But regardless of the sayings, ZDTP (zinc dithiophosphate) is one of the cost-effective anti-wear additives that has been used in fuels till now.

Most of the diesel fuel that has API credentials contains a significant amount of zinc. The diesel fuel that has API credentials are CJ-4, CI-4, etc. and most of these types of fuel contain high levels of zinc.

The percentage varies depending on the API credentials but most diesel fuel can have more than 1000 ppm (Parts Per Million) of zinc.

Well, there is no exact information on how much zinc formulation can diesel oil contains. But most of the veteran owners have stated that in the case of the engines that have no catalyst, the more the ZDTP will be in the diesel the better it will perform its required anti-wear resistance duty.

However, the wear resistance does not depend on the zinc level and also a minimum of 900 or 1000 ppm of zinc is enough for the wear resistance. Even the motor experts experimented with the fuel that has 500 ppm of zinc and it did its work perfectly.

Rotella diesel oil:

Yes, Rotella diesel oil does have zinc formulations and the percentage is around 1100 to 1200 ppm or 0.11% to 0.12%.

This percentage will perfectly do its anti-wear resistive duty as well as it will benefit the engines that are high performance-based and also older.

Does all diesel oil have zinc?

Yes, most of the diesel fuel that has API credentials contains a significant amount of zinc levels. ZDDP has been used in diesel for anti-wear resistance which means it will not form wear in valves or rings.

In addition, zinc additives are the most effective as well as cost-efficient anti-wear resistant used in fuel.

The diesel oil that has API credentials like CJ-4 or CI-4 plus a zinc level around 1000 to 1200 Parts Per Million. Also, some heavy-duty oil can have even more than 1500 ppm of zinc.

The higher quantity or higher the percentage of ZDDP in diesel can work perfectly in engines that have no catalyst.

Does diesel oil have more zinc?

To be precise the diesel oil that has API credentials has a significant level of zinc. Also, some other brands of this heavy-duty oil have much higher levels of zinc.

The diesel with API credentials such as CI-4 or CI-4 plus has around 1000 to 1200 ppm of zinc. On the other hand, some other brands of diesel-like Chevron or Valvoline have more than 1500 ppm of zinc.

Some other brands like Lucas Hot Rod or Red Line have more than 2000 ppm of zinc in their fuel. Most fuel experts have suggested that the more the zinc level will be the better the efficiency will be with high performance based engines.

In addition, regardless of the quantity of the zinc, it serves the same purpose which is to save the engine parts.

What diesel oil has the most zinc?

There are many branded diesel oils available in the market that have different levels of zinc in them. But most of the diesel oil contains a small level of zinc as it acts as an anti-wear resistant additive.

Also, there are some diesel oils that contain high amounts of zinc and those types of diesel are being used in high performance-based engines or older engines. Below we have named some of the diesel oil which has the most zinc:

Chevron Delo:

The chevron Delo diesel oil contains more than 1500 ppm of zinc. Moreover, this fuel is being used for short term racing rather than long term racing.

Farm Rated oil:

The farm rated heavy-duty diesel oil has more than 1300 ppm of zinc. Also, like the chevron Delo, it can’t be used on the street.

New Shell Rotella:

The new shell Rotella diesel oil contains more than 1400 ppm of zinc in its fuel. This fuel is only used for older engines.


The red line diesel oil contains more than 1600 ppm of zinc. This oil is only used for high performance based engines.

Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel fuel:

The Mobil 1 turbo diesel fuel has more than 1200 ppm of zinc.

Most of the above-mentioned diesel oil has high levels of zinc. Therefore, these types of diesel oil can perform better in older engines or engines that are high performance-based.

Is zinc good in diesel motor oil?

Zinc is really good in diesel motor oil as it has multiple benefits that the engine gets. Zinc is mostly used as an anti-wear resistant additive which means it obstructs the formation of wear in the valves and rings.

It also acts as a coating on the parts of the engine so that it can protect the metal parts from the pressure of the camshaft.

Most veteran drivers and fuel experts have stated that the more the zinc formulation in the diesel will be the better efficiency the engine will show. Therefore, zinc is a really good additive in diesel motor oil.

What does zinc do for a diesel engine?

ZDTP (zinc dithiophosphate) benefits the diesel engine in various ways. The zinc level in diesel remains around 0.11% to 0.12 and this percentage is enough for the zinc to perform its task.

One of the most important duties it performs is that it saves the valves or rings of the engine from losing the wear capabilities. As to the friction from the other parts in the engine, the rings or valves lose metallic wear.

This is why, for decades, zinc additives have been used in diesel oil. Also, it protects the metallic part of the engine from the pressure created by the camshaft.

In addition, the high level of zinc in diesel is perfect for older engines as well as high performance-based engines.

As the zinc level helps the engine to have more energy density and also it burns the engine oil slowly. Therefore, zinc is very important for a diesel engine.

Why and when was zinc removed from motor oil?

Zinc was first removed from motor oil in the year 1994. This is because of the rating from the American Petroleum Institute and also there are other reasons why zinc was removed from the motor oil. The reasons are mentioned below:

Carbon buildup:

The zinc in diesel can form carbon in the metallic parts of the engine such as valvetrains and engine bores. This can affect the engine negatively as well as it can damage the engine parts.

Short time startup:

It is found that whenever the engine has been started it remains on for a short period of time. Because the lubrication is not on point in metal to metal lubrication due to the level of zinc.

Catalytic converters:

Due to the carbon buildup in the metallic parts of the engine, it can eventually lead to damage to the catalytic converters. That is why the level of zinc has been reduced in diesel.

The above reasons are the main reason why the reduction of zinc levels has been maintained. However, most modern types of diesel contain other chemical compositions like Boron, which can fill up the gap of zinc.

But the Boron cannot maintain the protective cover over the metallic parts and therefore, Boron is unable to act as an anti-wear resistance.

Final Thoughts

Diesel oil does have a significant amount of zinc which is around 1100 to 1200 Parts Per Million. However, some other brands of diesel oil can have more than 1500 ppm of zinc. Those types of diesel oils are best for older engines or high performance-based engines.