Motor oil is good forever

Motor oil: finding the right oil

Engine oil is not just engine oil. Depending on the engine, the lubricant must meet different requirements. To find the right oil, there are different codes that classify the engine oil. But anyone who has ever stood in front of the engine oil shelf in the car accessories trade knows the confusion that arises from the many different abbreviations: ACEA, A3-98, VW 505.00, 5W-40 - what does that mean? Which oil does the engine need? How to find the right oil:

This is behind the engine oil names

SAE class: SAE stands for "Society of Automotive Engineers", an organization that sets various standards in the automotive industry - including the SAE classes, which specify the viscosity of motor oil. In the oil code, for example "5W30", the low and high temperature viscosity are specified for this. The Low temperature viscosity is in front, recognizable by the "W" for winter. The smaller the number, the more cold-resistant the oil is. The SAE 5W class certifies that the oil has good flow properties down to -35 ° C. The second number, in this case "30", indicates the viscosity when heated. The higher the number, the thicker the oil remains at high temperatures and the lubricant is correspondingly resilient.

ACEA specification: There is also an organization behind ACEA, the Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles (Association of European Automobile Manufacturers). European manufacturers such as VW and Volvo are organized in the ACEA and have created their own engine oil specifications. This oil code consists of letters that assign the oil to a vehicle type and a number that describes the performance of the engine oil. The higher the number, the more powerful the oil. The letters stand for the following vehicle types:

A: Passenger car with a gasoline engine (gasoline engine)
B: Passenger cars and small commercial vehicles with diesel engines
C: Passenger cars with gasoline or diesel engines with modern exhaust gas aftertreatment systems (e.g. particle filters)
E: Truck with a diesel engine

API classes: The so-called API classification is the standard from the American Petroleum Institute. The specifications are accordingly matched to American engines. Here the engine oil is divided into classes using letters. A basic distinction is made between engine oils Class "S" for gasoline engines and class "C" oils for diesel engines in commercial vehicles. There is no standard for diesel cars. There is also the "GL" class for gear oil. Further letters indicate the performance of the oil. The SJ, SL, SM and SN classes are currently in use for petrol engines. Previous classes are only suitable for older cars. The API class SA identifies, for example, an engine oil without any additives, this is only used in classic cars.

Manufacturer Codes: Manufacturers like VW or Mercedes have their own oil codes. This is mainly due to the fact that the engines are becoming more and more complex and the oils are becoming more and more efficient. The Manufacturers therefore carry out their own tests and only approve certain oils for the respective engines. This can then be recognized by the respective manufacturer specifications such as VW 505.00 or Mercedes-Benz 229.1.

Choosing the right engine oil

It is important to pay attention to the approval of the engine oils by the manufacturer. Which engine oil is suitable for the respective car can be found in the vehicle manual. If there are no manufacturer approvals, you have to pay attention to the ACEA or API specifications. If you do not have the vehicle manual to hand, the service book can sometimes help. Alternatively, some oil manufacturers offer oil search engines online. Here you can easily find the right oil by entering HSN and TSN from the vehicle registration document.
Motor oils on Amazon

Shell Helix Ultra Professional AV-L 0W-30 (5 liters)

Price *: 33.26 euros

LIQUI MOLY 1310 low-friction motor oil 10 W-40 (5 liters)

Price *: 29.60 euros

Castrol EDGE 5W-30 LL engine oil (5 liters)

Price *: 39.90 euros

Mercedes-Benz Genuine Motor Oil 5W-40 (7 liters)

Price *: 59.90 euros

Total 181712 Quartz Ineo Longlife 5W-30 (5 liters)

Price *: 27.90 euros

Castrol GTX ULTRACLEAN 10W-40 A3 / B4 (5 liters)

Price *: 23.81 euros

* Prices as of March 24th, 2020

Can you choose a different oil?

Yes and no. If the types correspond to the manufacturer's specifications, different oils may be mixed. It does not matter whether it is a mineral or synthetic oil. However, you should Do not use any oil that has not been approved for the engine. For example, cars with particle filters need so-called low-ash engine oils. These are oils that burn almost ash-free and therefore do not clog the filter. If another oil is used here, the particle filter will clog. If an oil with the wrong viscosity is used, the required oil pressure can deviate, which can damage the engine. At the same time, any existing guarantee claims will expire.

Tips on the subject of motor oil

• Check the oil level regularly: AUTO BILD recommends checking the oil level after every third refueling stop at the latest. This is the only way to tell when and how much oil needs to be topped up. Because when the oil indicator light starts flashing, it is often too late. Instructions: Check the oil level

• Have an oil reserve with you: Buying the oil at the tank is usually quite overpriced. In addition, many oils, such as low-ash engine oils, are often not available everywhere. If the control lamp flashes, however, immediate action is required. So it's best to always have a liter of oil with you in the trunk.

• Regular oil change: The oil minimizes friction and thus wear in the engine. Over time, however, the oil loses its good properties. That is why it is important to change the oil regularly. Here you should at least stick to the manufacturer's interval, short-haul vehicles are also welcome to have an oil change a little more often (once a year). If you want to save money, you can change the oil yourself.

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