Caterpillar has revised its now 103 page Commercial Diesel Engine Fluids Recommendation Bulletin SEBU6251 (now Rev. 17), last revised February 2013. This bulletin covers Caterpillar's most current recommendations and specifications for lubricants, fuels and cooling system fluids for use in Caterpillar commercial diesel engines, specifically all 3500 series, C175 series and smaller commercial diesel engines such as those used in earthmoving and other off-highway applications, as well as marine and natural gas. The lubricant section alone is 28 pages in length.
Caterpillar fluids are described in detail and are recommended for use "to increase the performance of Caterpillar components and to increase the life of Caterpillar components" as stated by Caterpillar in the bulletin, although other commercially available oils meeting Caterpillar's requirements are allowed.
As stated above, when Caterpillar branded lubricants are not available, commercially available lubricants such as engine oils meeting Caterpillar's Engine Crankcase Fluid (ECF) specifications are allowed, the three current ones being ECF-1-a, ECF-2 and ECF-3. The ECF-3 provides the highest level of performance of the three, is preferred, and is required for use in non-road Tier 4 certified engines that are equipped with aftertreatment devices.
Other subjects covered in this bulletin include the use of synthetic lubricants, use of re-refined oils, TBN recommendations, oil viscosity requirements/recommendations, use of aftermarket oil additives and exhaust aftertreatment fluids, coolants and fuels including a considerable amount of information on the use of Biodiesel in Caterpillar engines, fuel sulfur levels, grease application charts, oil sampling, determining optimum change intervals, among others.