The right grade of engine oil is vital to keep your engine working at its best. Your car’s handbook will confirm the right grade for your car.
Engine oil isn’t something you want to compromise on. Using the right lubricant keeps your engine running smoothly and preserves the life of its components. In fact, using the wrong grade of oil could be a costly mistake.
That’s especially true for diesels, which are very sensitive to the wrong grade. If you or whoever services your car replaces your diesel engine’s oil the wrong type of lubricant it can cause the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) to fail. You could be looking at a four-figure bill to put it right.
There’s a lot of numbers, letters and jargon surrounding engine oil, which can make finding the right grade confusing. You may hear terms like ‘semi-synthetic’ and ‘synthetic’ but these don’t really help you find the correct oil.
First of all, you need the right viscosity. This is the ‘thickness’ of the oil. High viscosity oil will be more treacle-like in consistency. A low viscosity oil will be less thick and will flow more easily. Modern engines generally use low viscosity oils which reduce friction within the engine, cut down on wear and tear and contribute to better fuel economy.
Viscosity is usually displayed prominently on the packaging: 0W-20, 0W-30 and 5W-30 are the viscosities commonly used in engine oils.
It’s also important to find the correct specification oil. The spec isn’t usually displayed as prominently as viscosity on the packaging, but it’s just as vital if you want to keep your engine running properly. The letters C1, C2 and C3 refer to the ash content of the oil and its effect on a car’s fuel economy. Check these letters against the engine spec in your handbook. You may also see the letters FE which denote an oil with normal ash levels or PFE which mean the oil is low in ash. Again, make sure whatever you see on the packaging matches what you see in the handbook.
If in doubt, seek help from your local RRG centre. Our trained technicians and service advisors know cars inside out, and will remove any doubt from choosing the right oil.
Whether you replace the oil yourself or ask a RRG Centre to do it for you, regular replacement of the oil is important. Even long-life oils gradually become less effective over time, as the cycle of heating and cooling the oil over and over steadily degrades its properties.
Wherever you buy your oil from, using the right grade is vital to preserve the performance, economy and reliability of your car.