Automotive. Can you put any oil in your engine?


The oil has an essential mission in your engine: it is it which will lubricate the lubricate. It is used to cool the parts and to fight against their wear. With its anti-corrosion, cleaning, anti-foaming and anti-oxidant properties, the oil is more and more technical.

The oil section of your auto center or supermarket is filled with dozens of different cans. But are these oils all the same?

Can I choose any oil?

First of all, make sure that the oil used is a motor oil for cars. Oils for garden machinery, mopeds, motorcycles or trucks are definitely not suitable for your engine, even for a simple top-up. Then we distinguish between “Diesel” or “Gasoline” oils.

“Contrary to popular belief, they are not the same. Especially on synthetic oils ”specifies Joan Théreault, manager of an auto center in eastern France. “But that’s not all, the choice of an oil is more complex”.

Should I follow the manufacturer’s recommendations?

For Patrick Gouet, oil product manager at a national distributor, “Every modern car has its own oil. Since the first Diesel with pump injectors in the 2000s, each brand has developed its engines according to a standard that must be scrupulously respected. ”

Each oil has its own approval. We find this information in small print on the back of the container. “You must check the manufacturer’s recommendations on your maintenance booklet. Choosing a 5W40 is no longer enough. Check that it matches your engine ”.

Can I use a private label?

Here too, it is above all a question of recommendations and approval. “If I drive a Volkswagen with pump injectors, I must choose oil with the mention VW 505.01, which meets the ACEA B4 SAE 5W-40 specification.”

If at the beginning of the marketing of these models, only the tanker recommended by the mark had this oil, today, the distributor brands offer oils with this approval. “These oils are manufactured by large oil companies, so there is no contraindication” specifies our specialist.

Can I mix two types of oil?

On modern cars, it is strongly recommended not to mix two oils of different types and specifications. Not only is it bad for the engine, but the manufacturer’s warranty could be denied if the wrong lubricant is used.

“On an older car, and if you have no other choice to continue your journey, you can top up with another oil, to go a few kilometers. It is better to have the wrong oil, rather than riding without oil. But you will have to drain your engine as quickly as possible. ”

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