5 Things to Know before Buying an
Engine Oil

Read time: 3 min
Pubblicato il: 25 July 2022

Help: What Engine Oil for my Car

What's the correct engine oil for my car? This is one of the most frequent questions we've been asked everyday. In this article we sum up 5 of the most common false myths end users usually have regarding engine oils. Come on, test yourself!

Let's start with a little premise. We always recommend you to rely on a trusted mechanic, but if you are thinking of buying an engine oil for your car by yourself keep these 5 simple rules in mind.

#1: Engine Oils are NOT all the same

If you started making some researches you will agree that finding the right engine oil is not so straight forward. Add the variety of engine oil brands in the market and the scenario complicates. For every single engine you need to respect a fixed oil viscosity and engine oil specifications. Fixed by who? Basically by the car manufacturer (or by international entities grouping manufacturers). However, as a general rule, remember that engine oil specifications fix only the minimum standards an oil has to satisfy for that vehicle. Like in school you can pass an exam with a nice or with an excellent score. So you easily understand that, given the same engine oil viscosity and specs, it is not automatic to have products with the same quality. You will now wonder how you could choose the best product. Well, our advice is to get information about the company philosophy. Is the oil manufacturer using first refined oil bases? Which information are written in the product packaging? What do other end users say of that product? In case you do the maintenance by the mechanic, ask him the reason why he chose that specific oil brand. Question and you'll get answers, they say.

#2: Engine Oil Viscosity Explained: Viscosity is NOT a quality parameter

A common mistake is to think viscosity as a quality parameter. That's wrong. Oil viscosity is a physical, not a quality, feature that represents the internal resistance of a fluid to flowing. This property explains in which temperature range the product can work properly. Let's put it simple. In working conditions the more an engine oil keeps its viscosity parameters unchanged (at low and high temperatures alike) the more the product is stable and quality focused. If your engines warm up too much there might be several reasons. One of them is engine oil. You might have picked the wrong viscosity for that engine or you might either have picked the correct one of a low quality product which lost its physical properties. 

#3: A Synthetic Engine Oil is NOT always the best option

Yes, synthetic or fully synthetic engine oils are made with oil bases with higher performance potentials. What end users usually don't consider maybe their car doesn't require that. Let's make an example. Classic car engine oils are made with less aggressive chemistries. Different building periods usually require more delicate formulas. In this case a mineral engine oil might work even better on that car. This is a borderline example. But the point is: generalizations are dangerous. To each application there's a correct engine oil, the truth lies in the pages of your User Manual. 

#4: A Fuel Economy Engine Oil is NOT ok for every engine

Using fuel economy fluids or not isn't up to you. It's a Manufacturer's choice. What Fuel or Ultra Fuel Economy engine oils have in common is to be low viscosity fluids. Low viscosity generates less friction between components and therefore less fuel consumption. If the engine of your car wasn't conceived for low viscosity fluids the risk is to burn the bearings and undermine the engine functioning.

#5: Engine Oil Top Up: Mixing different Oils is NOT suggested

It is not advised to top up mixing engine oils. Let's say that in case of products with similar viscosity and specifications that is tolerated. You should totally avoid mixing products with different viscosities or different chemistry. You can do it in case of emergency with the condition to make a full engine oil change shortly after.

Concluding, the best practice is to check the Use and Maintenance Manual of your car. If you don't have one look for it online. Get informed about the viscosity and specs requested by the Manufacturer. If you have doubts always rely on an expert, either your trusted mechanic or to us. 

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