Motor oil: where is the limit?

Nowadays there are already enough counterfeits among motor oils, and it is becoming easier to come across them. It is good if you come across an oil that simply does not reach the stated quality level according to the SAE, API, ACEA or Russian AAI classification. It will work in the engine, not like a brand, but somehow. But you can come across one that has a different viscosity, or a mineral water instead of 0W-20 plastic – here the motor can “lie” for the next replacement.

Until recently, it was a shame to complain about the range. There were options for every taste and budget, from the most affordable and massive to expensive and exclusive. Until now, the choice in the motor oil category has been relatively preserved. For almost any model, albeit with some effort, you can still buy the usual imported brand in the desired specification. However, the belief in the original origin is, frankly, less and less every day.

There is another difficulty – financial. Motorists will have to be unpleasantly surprised by the price. Compared to February, it has at least doubled in some places. Many sellers sell even more expensive, ending up three to four times.

Not without speculation, of course. But after talking to a few people in this area, I stopped blaming them. It turns out that the exchange rate of the ruble in settlements with distributors is very far from the official one. For example, they called 100 rubles per euro and more. Let’s add to this the increased logistics costs, interruptions in deliveries (this is a shortage, which also increases the price). Therefore, say goodbye to illusions: if they now give 60 rubles for a euro against the 80 before the crisis, then there is no need at all for oil to cost a quarter cheaper.

Who else is there?

Officially, only one manufacturer left the Russian market – Shell. The company sold its gas station network and oil factory in Torzhok to Lukoil inland. He did not integrate them into his brand, but decided to popularize the Finnish Teboil. The brand has been owned by the Russian oil giant since 2005. Oils under this brand were previously produced and presented in our country. Only their presence will now expand.

Castrol has not announced the withdrawal, but there have been no deliveries for several months. There was one game during this period that surprised everyone, but it remained an exception. But the official website hints that the brand has stopped cooperating with Russia. The online store has disappeared, the service for selecting oil by car is inactive. And even the authenticity of the purchased bus cannot be verified. Why was our market cut off from this opportunity? To fake was Castrol the first thing they rushed?

The French group Total announced the cessation of investments in joint projects, but this concerns oil production and refining. Mobil was the first mass brand to enter our country through alternative channels. Turkish oils in particular are imported. The location of bottling does not matter: large companies meet global quality standards. Liqui Moly and Motul are delivered, albeit intermittently. Rolf says the company is out of politics and has no intention of leaving Russia, as are the Korean ZIC and Kixx. Russian manufacturers, of course, are also with us, and now there are special hopes for them.

The situation varies for original European oils from car brands. If anyone has supplies, they are irregular.

What to replace?

Most manufacturers claim a five-year shelf life for motor oil in a sealed container. You can buy for the future, it will not be lost. But only for fear that the usual variety will completely disappear from sale. Prices have already skyrocketed and won’t roll back, so it’s impossible not to overpay (and significantly).

Motor oil: where is the limit?

The most obvious option is to switch to domestic brands. Lukoil produces the widest range of zeros: 0W-20, 0W-30 and 0W-40. For example, in the Gazprom Neft line there is 0W-20 viscosity oil and several with the highest SP approval according to the API classification. SP approved products are also available from Sintec, which offers a wide range of oils from “nulls” to the more familiar and common 5W-30 and 5W-40. And only Rosneft is limited to a minimum viscosity of 5W-30, although this oil also complies with current classes of international specifications – for example SN according to API.

For now, however, the transition to oil with a Russian name is for many an act to be decided. There is also an intermediate option: you can start pouring imported oils, but not the most popular brands. European quality, even localized in Russia under the strict supervision of European specialists, will certainly also reassure many.

Motor oil: where is the limit?

The test will show:

Not everyone is ready to believe what it says on the label. We took five grades of synthetic motor oils with a viscosity of 5W-30 with ACEA grade A3/B4: Castrol Magnatec, Motul 8100 X-cess, Total 9000 Energy, Shell Helix HX8 and not so hyped yet, but also European – Rolf GT.

Motor oil: where is the limit?

For starters, we’re handing over all five purchased oils for research. Although the store has been chosen to be reliable, it is better to insure against the possibility of fake pouring into the engine. At the same time, the analysis will show that the lubricants meet the characteristics specified by the manufacturer.

Then, during the operation, we take three more samples: at a run of 4000, 8000 and 12000 km. They show the dynamics of performance degradation and allow you to draw conclusions about the true performance of oils and their service life.

For experimental cars, they turned to one of the capital’s taxi companies. There is a set of identical models and they will cover the necessary 12,000 km in just over a month. We chose Skoda Octavia liftbacks with aspirated 1.6. The platform, the model of the machine and the engine are among the most popular in Russia.

In order to obtain not one result for each type of oil, but a statistical sample suitable for analysis, 15 cars were taken. Each type of oil is refilled in three cars.

The mileage of Octavius ​​​​is from 200 to 240 thousand km (a few years of work in a taxi). Let’s look at the interaction of oils with train engines. For an older Russian park, this is also a valuable moment. And to assess the condition of the engines, we also hand over the drained old house oil, which was filled in the taxi depot during the previous replacement, for examination.


The trial is already underway. Read the results with a detailed interpretation in the October issue of “Behind the Wheel.” It’s about time to change the oil for the winter – so we’ll find out what to fill in.

“Behind the wheel” can be read in Telegram.

Source: Z R


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