How to choose engine oil

Choosing the right oil for a modern car is the key to the proper functioning of the engine and the preservation of all its technical characteristics throughout the entire service life. It’s not enough to go to the market and buy the first oil that comes across, you must clearly know the recommendations of the car manufacturer, and also characteristics to consider when choosing.

choose engine oil


We recommend reading articles from an expert on the selection of oil filter and secrets of choosing a washing oil for a car.

Top engine oil manufacturers

When choosing oil for your iron horse, preference should be give away products of famous chemical concerns with the world by name:

  1. Motul;

  2. Castrol;

  3. Mobil1;

  4. Shell

  5. Eni;

  6. BP

  7. Mannol;

  8. Liqui Moly;

Recently, they have great fun in terms of quality and domestic manufacturers of motor oils – Lukoil, Tatneft, Belarussian “Naftan”. In high-tech Japanese and German engines pouring their products is not recommended, however, for domestic auto industry, as well as for old foreign cars such more than enough oil. This is evidenced by numerous reviews on automotive forums as well as in various groups social networks dedicated to automotive topics.

Types of Motor Oils

Mineral oil

Mineral oil

The most budget type obtained as a result of oil distillation. To ensure the necessary properties in the synthesis process is added a large number of additives that stabilize the characteristics of the oil and allowing to extend its resource. Due to the low temperature persistence, the presence of a large amount of sulfur and mediocre mechanical resistance, it is recommended for use exclusively in old cars, not demanding on the quality of oil.


  • Low cost;

  • A rich set of additives;


  • Low thermal stability;

  • Not suitable for modern cars;

  • Loses viscosity;

  • Additives are quickly triggered and precipitate;

Semisynthetic oil

Semi-synthetic oil

It is a combination of high-quality synthetics with clearly specific properties and base mineral oil serving a kind of container. At a price slightly higher than that of mineral water, has the best properties and is suitable for use with more or less fresh engines of cars and trucks subject to viscosity and tolerances recommended manufacturer.


  • Inexpensive

    Low volatility;

  • Balanced additive package

  • Good temperature resistance;

  • The resource significantly exceeds that of mineral oil;


  • Quickly triggered;

  • Not suitable for modern cars;

  • If the replacement intervals are exceeded, it drops out as an oil sludge;

Synthetic oil

Synthetic oil

The production of such oil is carried out by synthesis on high-tech equipment. The highest quality and modern oil recommended for use in modern engines. High temperature resistance, low volatility. High-quality package of detergents and anti-seize additives.


  • Excellent performance

  • Resistance to oxidation and precipitation;

  • Preservation of viscosity even with long runs;

  • Big service life;

  • Balanced composition;


  • Is the most expensive;

  • High mileage engines can eat up synthetic oil;

The main criteria for choosing engine oil

oil selection criteria

In addition to the manufacturing principle, the following are also important. engine oil specifications.

SAE Viscosity

A key parameter that is responsible for performance and thermal stability in certain conditions. Designated viscosity by two digits displayed through the Latin letter W.

  1. The first digit displays the viscosity of the automobile oil at cold scroll. Class 0w synthetic oils guarantee preservation of oil characteristics at temperatures up to -40 degrees, 5w – to minus 35 degrees, 10w – to minus 30 and so Further;

  2. The second digit indicates the viscosity of a particular oil after how the engine reaches operating temperature. The higher the number, the thicker will be the oil that has reached the working state.

Conformity classification API (American Petroleum Institute) and ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association)

This or that index is issued after passing the corresponding laboratory tests and determination of suitability for operation with a certain type of engine. It is designated as two letters.

  1. The first letter indicates the category of engine. The letter S gives understand that oil is recommended for use with gasoline engine, C – with diesel;

  2. The second letter indicates the class of oil, and the further from the first letters alphabet it is – the higher the performance oils. For example, diesel oil of category CE in its parameters will be significantly higher than the one marked with CA;

Additional approvals for specific manufacturers auto

The above tolerances are universal, according to which you can judge the suitability and quality of the oil. However, highly specialized tolerances from specific manufacturers who need to pay close attention Attention. The following tolerances can be distinguished:

  1. Mercedes Benz;

  2. BMW Longlife (ll98, ll01, ll04);

  3. Porsche

  4. Ferrari

  5. GM;

  6. Volkswagen Audi Group;

Engine Oil Tips

  1. Type, viscosity and tolerances are recommended based on recommendations of the car manufacturer;

  2. An oil change in the conditions of Russian operation should be carried out at least once every 8-10 thousand kilometers (or after 150-180 hours of operation, if operation occurs in traffic mode). Repeatedly verified what exactly after such a run, even a good oil is almost completely triggered;

  3. Mixing different engine oils is not recommended, but allowed. One of the main classification requirements of API and ACEA is the compatibility of the chemical composition with similar parameters and viscosity oils. This is done in order to the user had the opportunity to add 0.5-1 liter of oil when sunbathing a control lamp on the dashboard without damage to the engine;

  4. There is no need for modern engine oils replacing “summer” oil with “winter”. More important than timely replacement and exclusion of processing on one replacement;


In the next article, we will reveal all the secrets of the right choice. timing belt for car.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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