What the Volvo VDS-5 Oil Specification Means for Your Fleet

Is it a requirement for newer vehicles?

Volvo VDS-5 Oil Specification Volvo VDS-5 Oil Specification

In 2021, Volvo introduced the VDS-5 specification, a new oil performance specification for its heavy-duty diesel engines. Volvo developed this spec to help improve the fuel economy of its engines and explore the possibility of longer drain intervals. Oils meeting the VDS-5 spec, or the comparable EOS-5 specification for Mack trucks, are formulated with a powerful additive package to help prevent oil degradation caused by oxidation.


VDS-5 and EOS-5 oils are suitable only for 2021 GHG and newer fuel-efficient Mack MP 8 or Volvo D13 engines. These oils are not backwards compatible for use in older engines. This is because the VDS-5 spec requires a lower viscosity, which results in lower oil pressure, which in turn would trigger multiple dashboard warnings in older engines.


This has caused some confusion and raised some questions among our Volvo and Mack customers with a mix of newer and older trucks in their fleets. Is the new spec a requirement for newer trucks equipped with these particular engines? Do you need to keep different oils on hand to meet the needs of your older and newer vehicles?


The short answer is no. Although it is what Volvo would recommend and prefer, the company is not mandating the use of VDS-5 oils in newer trucks at this time. If you are not ready to make the change, you can continue to use VDS-4.5 oils approved for the previous generation of Volvo and Mack engines in your 2021-and-after vehicles. However, if you want to realize the full fuel economy benefits that the newer model engines are designed to deliver, it would be advisable to upgrade or start phasing in VDS-5 oils. The potential fuel savings may well offset any inconvenience of adding new oils to your inventory.


Chevron has developed Delo® 400 XSP-FA 5W-30, which meets the VDS-5 and EOS-5 standard. If you are upgrading your fleet with today’s more fuel-efficient Volvo and Mack trucks, we stand ready to work with you to help you make a smooth transition to the optimal oil for these vehicles.


Shawn Whitacre
Shawn’s career spans 25 years focused exclusively on research and engineering dealing with heavy-duty engine lubricants, fuels, emissions, and materials. Before joining Chevron in 2013, he spent 12 years leading global fluids and materials engineering activities for Cummins. He also spent five years conducting lubricant, fuel, and emission research for the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO. At Chevron, he is a Senior Staff Engineer primarily responsible for product formulation of the Delo Brand of Heavy Duty Engine Oils. Whitacre is the chairman of the ASTM Heavy-Duty Engine Oil Classification Panel, which was tasked with the final development of the API CK-4 and FA-4 specifications that took effect in late 2016.

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