Engine Oil- Frequently Asked Questions Answered by an Expert


Engine oil is a crucial component in keeping an internal combustion-powered vehicle running smoothly. It acts as a lubricant, reducing friction and wear on the engine’s moving parts. However, with so many types of engine oil available, it can be confusing to know which one to use.

Well, the primary differences between types of oil are their viscosity and the type of additives they contain. It is important to use the correct oil for your engine as specified in the owner’s manual. Regularly checking the oil level, especially in older engines, is also necessary to ensure that it stays at the minimum level and to prevent leaks.

Why is it Important to Top Up the Oil in Your Vehicle?

Maintaining the proper oil level in your car is essential for the longevity and performance of your engine. If the oil level falls below the minimum, key engine components can be damaged or fail prematurely. It is not just about keeping the oil level topped up, but also about changing the oil at regular intervals as specified by the manufacturer.

Mineral Vs Synthetic Oil- What’s the Difference?

When it comes to engine oil, there are two main types: mineral oil and synthetic oil. Mineral oil is a less refined, cheaper oil that can provide adequate protection for less demanding engines.

Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is a highly refined and modified oil that is designed to provide superior lubrication and protection for high-performance vehicles. Synthetic oil is produced through complex laboratory processes and is considered to be the pinnacle of engine lubrication.

What are Engine Oil Viscosity Ratings?

Engine oil viscosity ratings refer to the oil’s ability to flow and lubricate the engine components at different temperatures. The traditional way of measuring viscosity is at 100 degrees Celsius. However, car engines operate at a range of temperatures, and an oil that is suitable at normal operating temperatures may be too thick when the engine is cold, which is when most engine wear occurs. To solve this problem, multigrade oils are used, which contain Viscosity Index Improvers (VII) that make the oil run more freely at low temperatures, providing better protection and performance for the engine.

VISCOFLUX drum emptying systems were specially developed for emptying lidded drums with high-viscosity contents. The media is continuously and carefully extracted with a FLUX progressive cavity with a high-viscosity pump. All systems achieve almost complete emptying of the drum with < 1 % residual amount (under 2 % for drums with liners).

What Else is Added to Engine Oil?

Engine oil is not just about the grade or the difference between synthetic and mineral oil. It is a complex mixture of chemicals that serves multiple purposes, including lubrication, engine efficiency, protection, and specific adaptations for current innovations such as diesel particulate filters.

The oil you purchase may contain a combination of different additives, including Viscosity Index Improvers, friction modifiers, dispersants, detergents, pour point depressants, anti-wear agents, anti-oxidants, corrosion inhibitors, and foam inhibitors, each of which plays a specific role in maintaining the proper functioning of the engine.

Which is the Best Engine Oil Grade for Your Vehicle?

To determine the best oil grade for your car, start by checking your owner’s manual or the vehicle manufacturer’s website. They will often quote specific Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) standards, which are then employed by oil companies.

By searching for the maker’s OEM code for your vehicle online, you will likely find that most major oil companies list it directly on the oil container or in small print on the back. Also, most engine oils can be used in both diesel and petrol engines, and the companies will include a combined petrol/diesel code on the container.

What if My Engine is Old?

When it comes to older engines, high-priced synthetic oils may not always be the best option. These engines were often designed with wider tolerances, or over time wear and tear may have widened the tolerances. In such cases, a traditional mineral oil with a higher viscosity may not only be more cost-effective but also provide better protection for the engine.

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