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Is it possible to increase the performance of finished lubricating oil with aftermarket additives?

No, unless it is the simplest lubricating oil, consisting of almost pure base oil, and there are no prescribed specifications.

Are aftermarket additives recommended by car manufacturers?

No, the OEM either strictly prohibits the use of any aftermarket oil additive or strongly recommends that they be avoided.

What determines the main performance characteristics of lubricants?

Though base oil forms the largest part of lubricant composition, the true performance is given by the additives.

Who sets an oil drain interval?

Oil drain intervals are set by the OEM.

Can I disregard the recommended oil drain intervals?

No, always observe the oil drain intervals specified in the operating manual or on-board service booklet.

Can oil drain intervals be extended?

Oil drain intervals can be extended when following maintenance recommendations of OEM together with used oil analysis.

What can affect the oil drain interval?

Timely maintenance, quality of spare parts, quality and performance of the oil filter, fuel quality, oil viscosity class, oil specifications, overall engine condition, operating conditions, environmental conditions, etc.

Why do I need to change the engine oil at all?

During extremely long drain intervals, oil additives will deplete over time, and contaminants can get into the engine oil during operation.

How do I know which oil to use?

All lubricant recommendations are written in Owners Manual/User Manual, if the user manual is not available or vehicle is very old, you can always contact your car dealer.

What kind of info can I find on a lubricant package?

Lubricant manufacturer, lubricant brand, viscosity class, OEM approvals, manufacturing date and batch number.

Are OEM approvals valid forever?

No, the approvals are usually valid from 2 to 5 years depending on the OEM. Approvals can be extended at the request by the manufacturer provided that the quality of the oil or formulation has not changed.

Can I mix different lubricants?

Usually, you can mix lubricants of the same quality and viscosity class. However, it is advisable to use lubricants in their pure form to unlock their true performance.

Can I use different quality oil when the one recommended by the OEM is unavailable?

In general, any oil is better than nothing at all, but you need to consider the application and the right viscosity grade. Also think about changing the oil as soon as possible.

Why do I need an oil change as soon as possible when using an oil that is not recommended by the OEM?

Using oils not recommended by the OEM can potentially damage the application. When there is a need to top up with unapproved oil it usually means a mixing of used oil with fresh oil. While fresh oil is within specification it can be that a used oil is not well characterised. Used oil may contain high amounts of water, it may have been in service for extremely long periods, it may even be a mixture of products itself and there can be differences in additive chemistry. Also, the performance of the mixed product may be unpredictable and no oil company will guarantee a particular performance level for their product if it has been mixed with a competitor’s grade or a product designed for a different application. Whenever mixing is necessary, only a small amount (10 % of total volume) of the new product should be added to the existing oil.

Can I mix mineral oils with synthetics?

Mixing mineral oil with any type of synthetic lubricant is usually not recommended although they are compatible with eachother. Mixing lubricants of different base oils always has an impact on the performance level of the final product. Some synthetic base stocks such as polyglycols are incompatible with mineral oil.

Can I mix different synthetic oils with eachother?

Mixing different types of synthetic oils are not recommended. Synthetic lubricants are tailor-made for very specific applications and their individual characteristics may be impaired if they are mixed with others.

Can synthetic engine oils be used in older engines?

Yes, however, there is a possibility that synthetic engine oil with better cleaning characteristics dissolves dirt generated in the engine over time.

Why are there so many different lubricants in the market?

The complexity of lubricants is increasing in time due to environmental regulations, fuel composition, engine and after-treatment technology and OEM requirements.

What is the minimum quality level for engine oils in Europe?

The minimum quality level for engine oils is set by the ACEA European Oil Sequences.

Can I evaluate the quality of the fresh oil based on its color?

To, the color of the oil varies greatly due to the additives it contains.

Why does the color of the oil turn black after the oil change?

Darkening of the engine oil is a natural process and indicates that the oil has good detergency characteristics for keeping the engine clean internally. Darkening of the engine oil cannot be taken as a basis for the decrease in engine performance or engine oil life and the need for an oil change. Oil colour can change very fast after an oil change – from almost immediately to a few kilometers driven, depending on various circumstances. It must be understood that, regardless of the oil change technology in use, there will always be a certain amount of old engine oil left in the engine (oil gallery, chambers, angles, bearings, walls, etc.), because technically it is not possible to get all used oil out. The amount of old oil is not sufficient to affect the physicochemical and performance characteristics of the new oil but is sufficient to change the color of the new oil from light yellow to even black.


The rate of oil discoloration is also affected by engine mileage – it is quite common for a fairly new engine not contributing to oil discolouration as much as old high-mileage engine after an oil change. This is due to the amount of soot particles deposited in the engine over time, which is more common in the engine with higher mileage. It is a good indication that the engine oil contains sufficient amount of correct detergent/dispersant additive package to contain the soot particles, which are formed during combustion, in suspension. Engine oils used in motor gasoline and gas engines turn dark brown at most because no black soot is formed in the spark ignited combustion processes. It is a known fact that the faster the engine oil darkens, the higher the quality of the engine oil.

Is the use of low viscosity engine oils always preferred?

No. Although most modern engines run on low viscosity oils to increase fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions, in older engines, low viscosity engine oils may not have sufficient load capacity, resulting in a sharp increase in engine wear.

Why is it necessary to choose the right viscosity class?

The right viscosity class ensures lubrication, easy starting and smooth engine operation.