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Cutting through the confusion of OEM oil specifications


Andrew Goddard, Chairman, Verification of Lubricant Specifications


Let’s be honest, there is a great deal of customer confusion about the use of automotive lubricants. Engine oil is a complex, technical product, best understood by blenders and manufacturers, rather than perhaps motorists themselves.


Garages and workshops have a vital role to play when servicing their customers’ vehicles and topping up or replacing lubricants. When it comes to selecting the right oil, just how helpful is the old adage of ‘look in the manual’?


Take the example of PSA Group and the owner manual for the Peugeot 208, which says: ‘Oil specification. The oil must be the correct grade for your engine and conform to the manufacturer’s recommendations (Fig. 1).


Fig 2: Page 171 of the vehicle owner manual.


Now referring to the servicing and warranty booklet which is available to owners, the PSA specifications are listed alongside a recommendation to use TOTAL products (Fig. 3). But what if a workshop wants to use an alternative or their local retailer or distributor does not stock the recommended brand?


Fig 1: Page 170 of the PSA Peugeot 208 manual dated 01-16.


Unfortunately, these recommendations aren’t listed on the page.


Fig 3: The Vehicle Owner’s Servicing and Warranty Booklet.


On the next page of the vehicle owner manual it states that the oil “must meet the specification laid out in the manufacturer’s servicing and warranty booklet which comes with all new cars” (Fig. 2).


50 LUBE MAGAZINE NO.155 FEBRUARY 2020


Apart from a simple viscosity, very little else is provided by way of a technical specification to help garages or workshops to choose an alternative to those listed.


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