Engine oil 101 - Choosing the right oil for your car

We know how it feels when you get a new car. If you could, you’d bubble wrap everything to keep it in pristine condition. Well, there is one way to keep your car performing like new without going to such extremes – engine oil!

But why would a new car need engine oil?

Well, even high performance race cars like Porsches and Corvettes use it from day one – and more specifically, Mobil 1™. Beyond improving fuel consumption, engine oil optimizes engine performance and keeps it running for longer.

Now before we delve into the nitty-gritty of engine oil, go ahead and pull out your car owner’s manual. In it, you’ll find clear guidance on viscosity, certifications and specifications that the manufacturer recommends for your engine.

If all this is new to you, don’t worry. We’ll start you off with the basics of engine oil.

  1. Viscosity

Think about honey and water. When you pour them from a cup, both liquids flow at different speeds. That’s viscosity! For engine oils, viscosity determines the speed it flows to protect the engine. A greater number represents a higher viscosity, which means the oil is more viscous and more resistant to flow.

If you use a viscosity that is too high, you’ll experience unresponsiveness in your engine. This means that more energy (i.e. fuel) is needed for your engine to overcome the oil’s resistance to flow, in order to reach critical engine parts. Newer engines typically require ‘light’ engine oil. So this makes a lower viscosity oil like Mobil 1 0W-40 the perfect choice for engine and fuel efficiency.

  1. Types of engine oil

Yes there is more than one! Again, look to your car manual for guidance on what your engine needs. At the same time, it’s worth understanding the key differences between full synthetic, semi-synthetic and conventional oils.

In general…

  • Conventional oil has a relatively low resistance to heat and oxidation. They last 5,000km, on average. This means you need to change your engine oil more frequently– costing you dollars and precious time.

But if your engine is older and has always used conventional oil, continuing with the oil will still provide beneficial protection for your engine.

  • Full synthetic oil has high resistance to heat and oxidation. It can last more than 10,000km between oil changes. With a longer oil change interval, you don’t need to visit your mechanic quite so often.

    Being more “slippery”, full synthetic oil has better anti-friction properties than conventional oil. With better engine responsiveness and fuel economy, it also helps extend your engine life. This is especially useful if you drive in stop-and-go city traffic.

    If your car is new and pre-filled with a synthetic oil from day one, using Mobil 1 synthetic oil can keep your car performing like new for a long time.
  • Semi synthetic oils are a blend of mineral and synthetic oils, offering you the benefits of both.

Learn more about the different types of engine oils and what they can do for your engine

  1. OEM specifications

Now you know that your Mobil engine oil is exceeding industry certifications, what’s next?

Recognize that even if the viscosity is the same, not all engine oil brands have the same level of certification. Reputable brands like Mobil 1 also adhere to OEM specifications by top car manufacturers such as Mercedes AMG and McLaren. So opting for Mobil means your oil has proven performance and quality that is fully endorsed by renowned OEMs!

  1. Certifications

Yes, even engine oils need certification. Mobil 1 oils are formulated to meet industry certifications, and beyond. Our range of Mobil engine oils are formulated to surpass even the most stringent criteria set by high-performance automaker groups, such as:

  • API (American Petroleum Institute)
  • ACEA (Association of Certified European Automakers
  • ILSAC (International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee)

So when you see the above acronyms on your Mobil engine oil bottle, rest assured that it has been certified by experts.

So before you judge an engine oil by its label…
Remember that our reputable Mobil-branded engine oil family offers a full spectrum of products that you can choose from. Go on, ask your mechanic to use Mobil oil in your next car servicing appointment and enjoy how it keeps your engine performing like new, for a long, long time.   

Here's a quick checklist to help you pick engine oils for your car.