This excerpt was originally posted on the John Deere, Straightforward Blog September 19, 2011. You can view the original post here.

John Deere Engine Efficiency

In our recent post on Total Fluid Economy we discussed the importance of considering total fluid consumption (diesel fuel plus diesel exhaust fluid) in your purchase of Interim Tier 4-certified equipment. But it’s also important for owners and operators to understand that they must carefully evaluate not only the quantities of fluids consumed, but also the type and quality of fluids they utilize. When it comes to fluid quality, there are four key factors to be aware of:

Engine Oil 

With the introduction of exhaust filters in many IT4 engines, the type of engine oil used can have a significant impact on the proper functioning and ash service life of these devices. Be sure to only use engine oils meeting API CJ-4 and ACEA E9 standards, such as the John Deere Plus-50 IITM premium CJ-4/E9.   These oils are refined with a lower trace metal content, which reduces ash accumulation and increases exhaust filter service life.

We’ve covered the importance of engine oil in great depth over the last few months. Learn more by reading our previous posts on the topic. 

Diesel Fuel

The type of diesel fuel used can also affect IT4-certified engines. There are two key issues to be aware of: Sulfur content and biodiesel concentration level.

Sulfur Content

The use of exhaust filters on IT4 engines will require using diesel fuel with a sulfur content of less than 15 ppm (ultra low-sulfur diesel or ULSD). As mentioned in our previous post, using diesel fuels with higher sulfur content can damage the exhaust filter or catalyst, creating the need for an increased number of regenerations and leading to early replacement of the exhaust filter.

Biodiesel Concentration

John Deere’s engines operate efficiently with biodiesel blends, providing owners and operators with fuel-choice flexibility. However, the increasing use of biofuels demands strict adherence to applicable fuel quality standards.

While 5 percent blends (B5) are preferred, John Deere engines can be powered with biodiesel concentrations up to 20 percent (B20) in petroleum diesel fuel. Regardless of biodiesel blend level, be sure to verify with your fuel provider that the biodiesel blend meets ASTM D6751 (U.S.) standards or an equivalent specification. For more information on biodiesel, including performance impacts and storage/handling recommendations, visit John Deere’s FAQ.

Biodiesel users are strongly encouraged to purchase biodiesel blends from a BQ-9000 Certified Marketer and to source from a BQ-9000 Accredited Producer, as certified by the National Biodiesel Board. Certified Marketers and Accredited Producers can be found at For additional information, 


Like previous generations of John Deere engines, cooling systems found in IT4 engines require regular care and year-round protection. It’s important to be selective with antifreeze/coolants because not all of them provide the protection needed to operate efficiently under extreme pressures and temperatures.

John Deere Cool-Gard II, for example, is a fully formulated antifreeze/summer coolant, designed and extensively tested to protect wet-sleeve-liner diesel engines from cylinder-liner cavitation erosion. This is especially critical for heavy-duty, off-highway applications that often endure punishing conditions and temperature extremes.

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