Does Rotella Have Zinc? (T1, T4, T5 & T6 Oils Explained)

Zinc is an important additive in minimizing engine wear. If you’re interested in Rotella oil, you’d want to know the Zinc content in it. So, the main question is – does Rotella have Zinc?

does rotella have zinc

There are different variants of the Rotella oil. The most common ones are T1, T4, T5, and T6 oil. The good news is that all of them have Zinc. However, the amount of Zinc does differ between the oils. Keep on reading to find out more about these oils and pick the right one for you.

Does Rotella Have Zinc [T1, T4, T5 and T6 Oils Explained]

I’ll talk about the amount of ZDDP content and other additives in the different Shell Rotella oils in this section. Starting with the T1 oil, I’ll then talk about the T4, T5, and T6 oil. So, let’s dive right in.

01. Does Rotella T1 Have Zinc?

The Shell Rotella T1 oil is a straight-grade engine oil. Unlike the other oils I’ll talk about later, this oil only has one viscosity. Its main application is being used in light and medium-powered diesel trucks.

rotella T1 oil

This oil comes in four variants and they are 10W, 30, 40, and 50. Now, let’s look at the composition of this oil. First, let’s talk about Zinc. The T1 oil has nearly 950 PPM of Zinc in it.

It has 900 PPM of Phosphorus as well. The other additives in this oil are Molybdenum, Boron, Silicon, Sodium, Calcium, and Magnesium. The amount of Boron is 7PPM, Silicon is 3 PPM, and Sodium is 5 PPM.

The other additives are available in good quantity. There’s 93 PPM Molybdenum, 183 PPM Magnesium, and 2022 PPM Calcium. That’s all the additives used in Rotella T1 oil.

The amount of additives is more than the average diesel oil. So, it’s a good choice if it fits your application. This oil is also used in agricultural equipment like water pumps and generators that run on diesel.

02. Does Rotella T4 Have Zinc?

The Shell Rotella T4 is the first oil that Rotella marketed to have a triple protection technology. The T4 oil is available in two viscosity variants – 15W40 and 10W30. It’s a synthetic blend oil. With that said, let’s take a look at the Rotella T4 content in detail.

rotella T4 oil

First, let’s address the elephant in the room – Rotella T4 zinc content. The T4 15W40 oil has around 1150 PPM of zinc in it. It also has around 1050 PPM of Phosphorus. So, the total Rotella T4 ZDDP content is quite high.

The other additive used in this oil is Boron. Unlike most other Shell Rotella oils, there’s no Molybdenum in the T4 oil. But that was the T4 15W40 oil. Does Rotella T4 10W30 have Zinc?

Yes, the T4 10W30 oil has a similar amount of Zinc as its 15W40 variant. In fact, the overall composition of the two oils is quite similar. There’s also a low-ash formulation used in both these oils. That helps protect the exhaust catalysts in the low emission vehicles.

They also have good protection against high heat and inhibit oxidation as well. So, the engine stays clean in the long run and you’d get the optimal performance from it.

It’s not just me that’s making these claims. The tests that Rotella has done back it up. According to Rotella, here are the main benefits you’d enjoy from using the T4 10W30 Triple Protectin Oil:

  • Exceptional wear performance.
  • Exceptional engine cleanliness.
  • Emissions system compatibility
  • Enhanced shear stability performance

The T4 engine oils also have good fuel economy. So, you can feel free to choose them if they fit your application and intended use.

03. Does Rotella T5 Have Zinc?

The Shell Rotella T5 is a synthetic oil available in two variants. They are 10W30 and 15W40. Let’s look at the Rotella T5 Zinc content and also check out the composition of other elements in it. First, I’ll talk about the 10W30 oil. So, does Rotella T5 10W30 have Zinc?

rotella T5 oil

Yes, it has around 1200 PPM of Zinc in it. The amount of Phosphorus in the oil is close to 1050 PPM. Besides, there are 22 PPM Boron and 6PPM Silicon. Detergents like Calcium and Magnesium are also available in this oil. There are 2400 PPM Calcium and 8 PPM Magnesium here.

Now, let’s look at the T5 15W40 oil. There’s nearly 1200 PPM Zinc and 1050 PPM Phosphorus in it. The other additives are 58 PPM Molybdenum and 123 PPM Boron. When it comes to detergents, there’s 1950 PPM calcium and 385 PPM Magnesium in it. 

The main advantage of this oil is that it provides 44% better wear protection than the requirements. Besides, it also has great cold cranking ability and you’d also get better fuel economy.

04. Does Shell Rotella T6 Have Zinc?

The Shell Rotella T6 oil has many variants at different viscosities. It’s a fully synthetic oil and all of them have a good quantity of Zinc. The variants of T6 oils are OW40, 5W40, 15W40, and 10W30 and they are all great diesel oils.

rotella T6 oil

Although there’s a little difference in the amount of ZDDP between these oils, there’s not a major difference. Shell Rotella claims that the T6 5W40 oil has around 1200 PPM of Zinc in it.

From what I have seen, the real results are also close to what they claim. The T6 5W40 and 15W40 oils both have close to 1100 PPM Zinc. The rest also has a similar Zinc content.

What Additives Are Used In Shell Rotella T6 Oils?

About 20% of the engine oil is additives while the remaining 80% is the base oil. Additives are important to keep the engine clean and prevent the formation of sludge.

On top of that, additives also protect the engine from heat and acids. It also promotes better fuel efficiency and keeps the viscosity of the oils stable at hot and cold temperatures.

Let’s talk about the additives and detergents used in Shell Rotella T6 oils in this section. There’s almost no Molybdenum added to them. There’s around 170-180 PPM Boron in these oils.

I’ve already talked about the Zinc content. You’ll also find a good amount of Phosphorus in these oils. The range of Phosphorus is around 1000-1050 PPM. So, overall the additives used in this oil are good.

Moving on to the detergents, there are 1900-2100 PPM of Calcium in these oils. The amount of Magnesium is around 80-95 PPM. And there you have it. That’s the breakdown of the additives and detergents used in T6 oils.

Should You Use Shell Rotella T6 Oils?

The Shell Rotella oils carry the API “C” rating for diesel and “S” rating for gasoline engines. It also passes the JASO-MA standard. It also not only meets but surpasses the CK4 testing standard.

All of that looks good on paper. But what type of performance benefits does that lead to? Shell Rotella markets the T6 oil as having a “Triple Protection Plus” technology. These things are better fuel economy, better flow at low temperatures, and great shear stability.

should you use shell rotella T6.

Let’s take a more detailed look at the main benefits you can enjoy by using the Shell Rotella T6 oils.

i). Improved Fuel Economy

Shell Rotella has used advantaged technology in forming the T6 5W40 oil. So, it offers greater fuel economy. If you’re wondering how much of a difference it makes, the answer is 1.5%.

ii). Better Wear Performance

The two main types of wear tests that engine oil has to pass are mechanical wear and corrosive wear. And the T6 oils have passed these tests with flying colors. That’s why they have passed the CK-4 standards.

Given that reducing engine wear is one of the most important properties of engine oil, this makes T6 oils a great choice.

The T6 15W40 oil in particular has done a tremendous job. This oil has shown an improvement of 85% in protecting against copper corrosion, and 98% in against lead corrosion. That’s 50% more than the required standard.

iii). Fewer Engine Deposits

A bad engine oil will leave deposits and gunk in your engine. The T6 oils are the exact opposite of that. Because of using proper additives and detergents, the engine will stay clean.

The level of dirt and soot in your engine will be a lot less compared to using regular oil. The T6 TW40 oil also has a lower volatility than its T4 counterpart. So, the oil consumption will also be reduced while your engine stays fresh.

iv). Better Oxidation Performance

If you use a regular oil, that usually causes oxidation. It leads to the corrosion of the components and also more deposits. But because of the presence of Zinc in T6 oils, they’re great at inhibiting oxidation.

Less oxidation means more viscosity control. This prevention of oxidation is a major reason behind the improved fuel efficiency of T6 oils. It also helps keep the engine clean.

v). Improved Flow At Lower Temperature

If engine oil reaches the critical engine parts faster, it’ll prevent wear and make it easy to operate the engine. The T6 15W40 has amazing cold-cranking properties. It showed better pumpability at -15°C when tested against other semi-synthetic and regular motor oils.

The same goes for the T6 5W40 engine oil. It also showed better oil flow at -34 °C compared to the T4 15W40 oil. So, the T6 oils are ideal when it comes to performance in low temperatures.

vi). Great Shear Stability

The incredible thing about T6 oils is that they’ll maintain the viscosity through shear. So, it’ll maintain the right oil pressure in the engine in all types of situations. That’s also a great plus of using the T6 oil.

With those advantages in mind, there’s no doubt that T6 oils are great when it comes to performance. But remember that fully synthetic oils like the T6 are also more expensive. So, the final decision is up to you.

Do You Need Zinc In Your Engine Oil?

Zinc isn’t a necessity in modern engines that have a roller camshaft. But in the classic cars with a flat tappet camshaft, it’s a different story. Those engines have a higher chance of wearing out if not protected properly. And Zinc does an excellent job of protecting those engines.

So, yes, zinc can be necessary depending on the type of engine you have. Shell Rotella is a good choice of engine oil for diesel-powered vehicles and equipment. But you can only use the Shell Rotella T6 oil in gasoline vehicles.

The other variants aren’t ideal for use in gasoline engines. So, you may want to consider other options as well that meet the requirements of your car. Luckily, I have a guide on the top zinc-rich motor oils that are available today. Visit it if you want a more detailed analysis of those oils and pick the right one for you.


Can you use Rotella T3 oil in gasoline engines?

The T3 oil can be used in both diesel and gasoline engines. But as it has a high quantity of ZDDP, it will damage the emission system of the gasoline engine. Use it in vehicles that don’t have a catalytic converter.

Can Shell Rotella oils be used for motorcycles?

The Shell Rotella oils I’ve talked about have been marketed as diesel oil for the most part. But their performance is on par with a motorcycle oil. So, they can be used as engine oil for motorcycles.

Is it safe to use T6 oil in flat tappet camshaft engines?

The old engines with flat tappet camshafts require a high amount of ZDDP content. While many modern oils lack that, the Shell Rotella T6 oil has sufficient ZDDP and you can use it without any additives.

Can Rotella T6 oil be used in turbocharged cars?

You need an oil with a high tolerance to heat and great shear resistance to use it in turbocharged cars. As the Rotella T6 oils meet these requirements, it has been heavily adopted by car enthusiasts.


Does Rotella have Zinc? Now, you know the answer for all types of Rotella oil. I’ve talked about the composition of T1, T4, T5, and T6 oil in detail. Yes, all of them have a good quantity of Zinc.

The additives used in all these oils are similar but the major difference is in the base oils. Find the right oil according to your application and use it. Overall, Shell Rotella is a pretty reliable brand and you can use their oils. Check our guide on Royal Purple engine oil zinc content if you’re interested.

About John M

John contributed as a technical head at an automobile company just 2 years after his post-graduation in Automobile Engineering. He loves to lead a free life, so he left his job & started blogging. Now, he does research on every automotive problem, part & product and seeks a better solution & best products & shares his findings with his readers to help them as well as to minimize their struggle.

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