Being genuine about oil
Being genuine about oil
- The lifeblood of your car’s engine, it’s crucial to pay attention to the quality of engine oil that’s used in your vehicle.
The need for lubrication
Ever since the first motor vehicle engine fired to life, the need to manage the amount of friction unavoidably created by having any number of moving metal parts shifting within close proximity of one another has mattered. Indeed, as our instinctive desire to travel further and faster evolved, so too has the requirements of the engine oils that complement the workings of an internal combustion engine.
Established in 1911 by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) with a view to taking some of the guess work out of which motor oil works best for which type of engine in which conditions, the SAE J300 standard has been updated regularly throughout the years in order to keep pace with the impressive rate of development achieved in field of motor oil. From the maximum attack of a short-circuit motor race to the gruelling levels of endurance called upon for overland adventure – while not forgetting the bustle of a weekly school run – every grade of motor oil offers its own benefits, with each litre poured into a new engine having been carefully considered so as to complement the task at hand.
Known as viscosity, this measurement of an engine oil’s performance characteristics relates to how well this slippery substance can maintain its lubrication properties – and thus protect the moving parts of your car’s powertrain – under varying conditions. As with most oils, exposure to heat has a role to play in this as this substance tends to get “thinner” as engine temperatures increase under load.
Modern multi-grade engine oils have been developed with this fluctuation in the operating temperatures in mind. While incorporating a number of carefully curated additives, the viscosity reading on a bottle or can of multi-grade engine oil is made up of two grade measurements. Using 0W-30 as an example, the “0” refers to the industry certified viscosity rating of the oil at the time of a cold engine start; the “W” stating that this reading was achieved in winter-simulated conditions. The larger number confirms this product’s rating at the optimal operating temperature of an engine.
Why it matters
Like with most items installed on your brand-new vehicle, the engine oil specified and recommended by its manufacturer has been considered with the view to how best to complement the completed package. Just like changing the preferred wheel size on your car will affect the optimised ratios within its transmission, not being mindful of the quality of engine oil being added can prove detrimental to the finely tuned workings of the engine.
While most new car owners should have no need to worry about adding oil to their vehicle’s engine – with a scheduled visit to the service workshop taking care of any required replacement – the more mileage is accumulated, the greater the chance of needing to top-up this lubrication.
Ever helpful, it’s not considered best practice to have a forecourt service attendant either “check” or, indeed, top up engine oil to your car. While this inspecition is better conducted once an engine is afforded adequate time to cool, the quick solution that is a forecourt-packaged engine oil may not ultimately mix well with the preferred substance already being accommodated. This could even lead to a reaction that breaks down the properties of the multi-grade oil and causes excess sludge or residual build-up – the enemy of both a free-revving engine and most modern emissions control units.
Why it matters most
As listed within your car’s owner’s manual, the continued use of the recommended quality of engine oil, for as long as possible, has the effect of helping every well-lubricated working part in your car’s engine perform to its maximum efficient potential. This not only helps to extend the shelf life of each component but, ultimately, a smooth-running engine is also one that tends to use less fuel while on the move…
Volkswagen Group Genuine Oil
Working closely with Shell, Volkswagen AG has developed what it considers the optimal replacement engine oil for your VW.
Known as Volkswagen Group Genuine Oil, this 0W-30-rated engine oil is produced using gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology that aims to delivering superior engine cleaning properties, improved friction management, enhanced viscosity and superior volatility control. In real-world terms, this translates to an up to 4% improvement in combined fuel consumption, with a corresponding CO2 emissions reduction of up to 31%.
Among the long-term benefits of choosing this OEM-approved engine oil, including its impressive levels of sludge control management, is an altogether healthier, reliable engine that’s less likely to resist a cold-start.