How to find out what car oil to use

Knowing what car oil to use is important to the maintenance and smooth running of your vehicle. The oil is responsible for providing lubrication to intricate moving parts in the engine; depending on your car model and manufacturer, you will require a particular kind of oil for your car.

To figure out which oil to use, you can either spend hours looking through your car manual or use a handy online oil checker in an instant!

Why do cars need specific oil?

A few years ago, knowing what car oil to use was simple; you just find out the viscosity required for your engine and went to the store to pick up a few bottles.

However, transition to manufacturer specific oils to meet 2011 specifications have made choosing the right oil much more complex. Now, manufactureres will design their own oil for their models, which meets all the requirements for their engines.

Although this may seem pointless and incredibly costly to the consumer, there's actually a reason why manufacturers have started this practice. Sometimes, using standard oil or a different oil won't do your car any significant harm - but it isn't recommended, either. This is because certain engines require certain oil characteristics; for example, a turbocharged car may require synthetic oil rather than a conventional blend.


The problem with these new manufacturer specific oils is that not every car owner knows about the changes. More importantly, if something should go wrong with the engine, the car warranty maybe invalid if the incorrect engine oil was used.

To prevent this, check your manual for the best recommended oil, or contact your car manufacturer and ask which oils are recommended for your engine. You may require proof that the company has said this, so ask for an e-mail or letter commending the choice.

Online Oil Checkers

To save you time, you can use online sites to find out what kind of car oil to use. All you have to do is enter your registration number and the site will return some recommendations. Some sites you can use are:



However, you should always check with your manufacturer and ensure you're using the correct oil to avoid a void warranty.

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