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What Oil Do I Use In My Car?

This isn’t our way of calling people out but, we have seen a worrying number of people using whatever oil is on the bottom shelf at the servo (or Woolworths) to top up the oil in their brand-new Audi. We're not necessarily angry that you don't know better, we're just disappointed.

That's why this week, our Kashy mechanics have decided to give you all the tools we use to make sure you’re using the right oil in your car (and to remind you how to check the oil level).

Why is the wrong oil a problem though?

Though it might seem that oil is like beer (where anything works so long as it’s cold and beery), there are actually some pretty stringent thought processes that go what oil should go into your car.

Due to really tight tolerances in bearing surfaces and oil passageways inside of motors, some oils are just too thick to flow effectively or, too thin to stick to the bearings at all. This means that in either of these situations, your engine really isn’t being lubricated at all, meaning a disastrous outcome (i.e. dead engines).

The most basic of these requirements centre around the “weight” of the oil (note: we're not trying to body shame the oil). For example, a 20W-50 mineral oil is a really thick, syrupy, molasses like concoction made specifically of crude oil whereas 0W-20 synthetic oil is about as thick as water (but less tasty) and is a heavily refined product.

In addition to this, the various additives used in modern oil to control frothing, oil degradation and more are usually very specific to any one type of oil, which is why you'll often seen a combination of letter and numbers in the title (i.e. C3, C1, EU and Enviro).

While having the wrong combination of letter, numbers and colours on an oil won't necessarily ruin play time at kindy straight away, these additives are very important for certain motors and can void your warranty faster than an old car burns oil.

The easiest way to find out the right oil for your car is to refer to a couple of helpful guides.

1. The owners-manual in your car. Under lubrication in the manual it will mention the correct weight and type of oil.

2. Penrite’s and Castrol’s lube guide will show you locally available variants.

3. Just talk to your local parts store. If they're anything like our suppliers (shoutout Burson), they'll be able to take all the hassle out of picking the right oil for your car.


If you have any questions about this blog post, would like a second opinion from a mechanic or would like to find an honest mechanic in Brisbane, check out Kashy here.

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