Type of Oil for a MerCruiser 454


The MerCruiser 454 marine engine, manufactured by Mercury Marine, is used to power the stern drive in many boats. It is a large engine, adequate for water-sports towing, and is generally used in larger runabouts and cruisers. Using the proper oil in the MerCruiser 454 engine will aid its longevity. Some marine-grade oils contain high phosphorus levels, which can damage the 454's catalyst system. Use of those oils on the 454 can void the warranty.

Oil Recommended by Mercury Marine

  • Mercury Marine, the manufacturer of the MerCruiser 454, specifies Mercury MerCruiser Full Synthetic Engine Oil, 20W-40 NMMC FC-W rated as its recommended oil for the engine.

Acceptable Short Term Substitutes

  • If the recommended oil is not available, Mercury Marine specifies that the following lubricants may be substituted for short-term use. They are, in order of the company's preference:

    1. Mercury Quicksilver 25W-40 Synthetic Blend NMMA FC-W rated 4-cycle MerCruiser Oil.

    2. Mercury Quicksilver 25W-40 NMMA FC-W rated 4-cycle MerCruiser Oil.

    3. Other recognized brands of NMMA FC-W rated 4-cycle oils.

    4. A good grade of straight-weight detergent automotive oils.

Unacceptable Oils

  • Mercury Marine does not recommend non-detergent oils of any kind, because they do not clean the internal engine parts as the detergent lubricants will. Neither does the company recommend multi-viscosity oils (other than 25W-40 or 20W-40), or synthetic oils without the FC-W rating. Non-recommended oils do not provide the 454 same level of protection or engine performance. In some cases, (such as lubricants containing high levels of phosphorus), the solid components in sub-standard oil may damage the MerCruiser 454. Use of the recommended oil will ensure that the engine will not be damaged by inadequate lubricant protection.

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