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Caterpillar C15 Diesel Engine - Lean, Mean, And Clean

Inside The Caterpillar C15

Photography by Courtesy of Caterpillar

Emissions regulations are tightening, and even now, new diesel truck owners are feeling the pain of decreased fuel mileage and clogged diesel particulate filters. In order to stay on top of new emissions technology, we looked toward an engine that is very clean, yet still can be expected to last 1,000,000 miles-the Caterpillar C15. The C15 is a 15.2L engine that powers semis that have a gross vehicle weight rating of 80,000 pounds, so we know they're worked hard. The fact that the big rigs weigh so darn much means they also have to produce good power and torque numbers to keep the loads moving. So how does the new C15 with ACERT (Advanced Combustion Emissions Reduction Technology) manage to be clean and powerful?

The idea is to run the engine lean and mean-lots of boost, lots of compression, and precise injection events to make the C15 use fuel as efficiently as possible. A more efficient engine also means less soot and less fuel consumed during regeneration.


- 18.1 compression ratio
- Mechanically actuated electronically controlled unit injection system. (MEUI)
- Uses two turbocharges
- Caterpillar's ADEM A4 ECM controls the engine.

- Street Pistons
- Four-bolt connecting rods
- 300,000 mile particulate filter
- Oil change interval; 20,000 miles
- Expected engine life: 1,000,000 miles

- Displacement: 15.2L
- Available Power levels: 435-625 hp @ 2,100 rmp
- Weight: 2,890 pounds
- Oil capacity: 41 quarts

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