AO Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
I did a lot of research on oils and have concluded that any branded oil that meets ACEA A3/B4 spec would be good enough. The thing to look for is the approval specs the oil has obtained.
Also as RobMsport has suggested, i would change the oil every 8k-10k on a diesel and every 10k-12k on a petrol. I have delayed the oil change on my 2.2 JTS to 15k miles last time and the old oil was black, co-inciding with a stretched cam chain problem.
So, any quality 5w40 oil like Castrol, Mobil1 or even Fuchs rated to ACAE A3/B4 is good for the engine.
Default oil for me is Mobil 1, 0W40 as its nice and thin when cold. Its cold starts that wear out engines.
If I was using the car on a track or in very hot weather 5W50 or even 10W60 (more for racing as Black Cat suggested above) might be better.
My background is in material and mechanical engineering and the below info I have gathered through some knowledgeable posters on other forums says it all.
Oil Specifications -To give you a break down of them taking Shell Helix Ultra 5W-40 - specifications/approvals;
Ferrari - the only engine oil recommended by Ferrari
VW 502.00 / VW 505.00 / VW 503.01
Mercedes Benz MB 229.5
BMW LL-01 / BMW Longlife-01
Fiat - Meets the requirements of Fiat 9.55535 Z2
Renault RN 0700 & Renault RN 0710
API - american claims, easy enough to get, the SM claim means it's up to date (commercial oils are only just starting to move to SN, because this is mainly sold in europe they will be slower to change)
ACEA - already covered; A3/B4 is the highest spec you can get for standard oils (oils for DPF diesels are different)
VW specs - some of the most demanding available, confirms cam wear performance.
MB 229.5 - they rate the engine wear and require high quality base stock, good confirmation of engine cleanliness
Renault look at turbocharger deposits.
The rest don't really mean much
In the above example I'd be concerned if it only carries ACEA A3/B3 claims rather than A3/B4 - as it means it either had too high cam wear or poor piston cleanliness
Taking the Millers example, the nanodrive has a higher viscosity index so it's thicker at a given entrainment speed, you can get the same effect with any oil with a MB229.5 claim. So the Millers is not necessarily better or worse than any other oil with an equivalent or better test standard.
The issue with all of these performance oils is they are almost completely untested using industry standard tests. Just because they have better base oil in (typically different ester grades), doesn't make them perform better, in many cases changing the base stock to a higher quality type makes performance worse as it alters solubility levels of the combustion products and of the additives themselves. This is one of the reasons why performance oils require more frequent oil changes.
ACEA specs relate to performance as below:
A1/B1 - fuel economy oil, low performance
A3/B3 - standard oil, low performance
A3/B4 - standard oil, high performance <==== RECOMMENDED FOR ROAD USE
A5/B5 - fuel economy oil, high performance.
A3/B4 and A5/B5 are the only oils recommended for use in our road cars, simply because the price difference between them and the lower specs are minimal. A5/B5 from a formulation perspective is less robust than A3/B4 as it will generally use friction modifiers to gain the fuel economy performance, which reduces the performance of the anti-wear in the formulation.
There's also minimal gains from using a fuel economy oil in a passenger car as the test for fuel economy is using hardware which isn't representative of most cars and a cycle which doesn't relate to the real world.
In conclusion, more money doesn't make a better oil. The £30 Fuchs oil has better proven performance than for example the £70 Millers.
In brief, look through the specs before choosing an oil and always choose one that's best suited to your requirements. Although quality is important and frequent oil changes are the singularly most important preventative maintenance you do on an engine, more cost does not equate to a better oil.
Giulia 2.0 T4 MA (2017), Triumph Speed Triple 'R' (2016).
159 2.2 JTS - 2008 - Goodbye Feb 2017.
Ducati 899 Panigale - 2014 - 2016.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX 6R - 2004 - 2014.
Last edited by metalgod23; 31-01-13 at 13:14.