General Tips, Lubricants

How to Choose the Right Engine Oil for Your Car

Lubrication, cleansing, and corrosion prevention are vital functions of engine oil for ensuring optimal performance in your vehicle. Selecting the right engine oil involves considering various factors such as the choice between mineral and synthetic oils, viscosity index, and adherence to standards. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision:

Choosing Engine Oil: Synthetic or Mineral?

The first step in selecting engine oil is determining the type that suits your needs. Mineral oils originate from petroleum refining, while synthetic oils are a blend of synthetic components. Semi-synthetic oils combine mineral and synthetic oils. The nature of the product determines its viscosity, often referred to as its “grade.”

Viscosity, indicated as “00w00” on the oil container, defines the oil’s resistance to flow under hot and cold conditions. With engine temperatures soaring as high as 400°C, viscosity is a critical factor. The number on the left signifies low-temperature viscosity, with lower numbers indicating better efficiency in cold conditions. The number on the right reflects the oil’s performance at high temperatures, with higher numbers indicating better efficiency under heat.

Mineral Oils:

Derived from petroleum refining, mineral oils are typically used in conventional engines, older models, or those without turbochargers. They are thicker than synthetic or semi-synthetic oils and are suitable for driving in moderate climates. However, they require more frequent changes due to lower oxidation stability compared to synthetic oils. Their primary advantage lies in their affordability.

Semi-Synthetic Oils:

Blending mineral and synthetic oils enhances performance and protection. Semi-synthetic oils offer a good quality-to-price ratio and do not affect oil change frequency.

Synthetic Oils:

Chemically modified for enhanced performance, synthetic oils contain fewer impurities and are of superior quality compared to mineral oils. They are designed for high-performance engines, making them ideal for modern vehicles and motorsports. Synthetic oils enable easier cold starts and withstand high operating temperatures, optimizing engine maintenance. They allow for longer intervals between oil changes for both diesel and petrol engines.

Standards to Consider When Choosing Engine Oil:

When selecting engine oil, consider the product’s standards, which provide valuable information such as the type of engine it’s designed for, performance level, and adherence to automotive manufacturer recommendations. Three main standards are prevalent in the market:

  1. ACEA Standard:
    • Indicates the type of engine (petrol or diesel) and specific performance requirements.
    • Categories include A (petrol engines), B (private car diesel engines), C (light engines with catalytic converters or particulate filters), and E (commercial vehicles and trucks).
  2. SAE Standard:
    • Describes oil viscosity, indicated on the container as the 00w00 index.
  3. API Standard:
    • Classifies products based on criteria such as dispersive power, wear protection, oxidation, corrosion resistance, and detergency.
    • Consists of two letters: S for petrol engines and C for diesel engines, with the second letter indicating performance level.

Refer to your vehicle owner’s handbook or get in touch with our team to determine the required standard for your vehicle. Making an informed choice ensures optimal engine performance and longevity.

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