Oil – where to use and what to use
Not all Oil is created the same!
In a previous article and on the many forums there have been many debates as to which lubricant to use in your car and although the engine lubricant needs to be dumped and refreshed every 3 000 to 10 000 miles many owners neglect their transmission fluid. Whereas a motor car engine is fairly resilient when it comes to emergency topping up, your auto transmission is not. The bottom line is that you as owner are responsible for what you put in your car and in 100% of cases you must adhere to manufacturer advice and the service manual. The thing is, car manufacturers don’t make lubricants and they will re-badge to push their profits up.
There are many companies manufacturing their own typical blend of oils and some technical experts suggest you need to stay away from the no-name brands or rather stick to the ones you know like Mobil and Castrol to name just two of them. Well, unfortunately they may be quite right although we all like to see what is new on the market just to get that bit of extra performance out of an old engine.
Be tough on yourself – buy the best oil you can afford
No use buying a used car for 3 000 U$ and then not changing the gearbox, engine and whatever else lubricant. This is a recommendation by all technical and service personnel: change all fluids. Just as we quickly jump to change the timing belt don’t forget the fluids. There’s a catch though. When buying yourself a nice high end vehicle with all the trimmings at a very good price remember that there is never something like a free lunch. Ever notice how many luxury vehicles park in the high speed emergency lanes on your way to or from work? More to go wrong or just lack of maintenance?
Modern engines are very hardworking. Twenty years ago one could purchase a 3L V6 which has less output than a 1600cc of today. Then we chip or remap and the 2.5L engine is pushing out over 300kW. Sure you’ve rebuilt the engine and used parts designed to handle the extra stress and loads but the lubricating fluid may no longer function at critical mass, so you put in a cooler but now what high performance lubricant to use? Cutting to the chase Enginelabs gives a pretty good rundown on the differences between the street racer and Captain Slow’s lubricant requirements. Driven Racing Oil gives you a slant on Zinc or Zinc DiakylDithioPhosphates or ZDDP as we know it.
There is always an issue with warranty when adding lubricants to your engine without following the manufacturer guidelines. And yes I do know of someone that had their Mercedes engine lubricant analysed. Don’t rely on the fuel jockey, he knows even less than we do about the products sold under counter.
Do read the article on Car Bibles . com: The Engine Oil Bible