A study of the effect of oil and coolant temperatures on diesel engine brake specific fuel consumption

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Diesel engine fuel consumption is mainly a function of engine component design and power requirements. However, fuel consumption can also be affected by the environment in which the engine operates. This paper considers two controlling parameters of the engine's thermal environment, oil temperature and coolant temperature. The effects of oil and coolant temperatures on Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) are established for a turbocharged diesel engine. Data are also presented for a direct injection, naturally aspirated diesel engine. A matrix of test conditions was run on a Cummins VT-903 diesel engine to evaluate the effects of oil and coolant temperatures on BSFC for several loads and speeds. Loads and speeds were selected based on where a typical semi-tractor engine would operate over the road on a hills and curves route. Oil temperature was monitored and controlled between the oil cooler and the engine. Coolant temperature was monitored and controlled at the engine outlet. The BSFC data were fit to a regression equation as a function of load, speed, oil temperature and coolant temperature for the matrix of test conditions. The test results showed that BSFC decreases as both oil and coolant temperatures increase. The results also indicate that BSFC was more sensitive to changes in oil temperature than to changes in coolant temperature over the range of the test data.

Publisher's Statement

Copyright © Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc. 1977 All rights reserved. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.4271/770313

Publication Title

SAE Technical Papers