The function of engine oil is to lubricate the engine to reduce friction between the parts that make it up and thus protect the engine from wear. In addition to its protective role, if it is well adapted to the engine, it can also save fuel, and even extend the intervals between oil changes for a long-life lubricating engine oil (up to 30,000 km intervals for diesel engines and 15,000 km intervals for petrol engines).
Follow our car comparison shopping guide to choose the best motor oil for your car thanks to the opinions and recommendations of our testers!
Best motor oils: our favourites
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We have selected 3 oils that we consider to be the best oils available on the market today to maintain and protect your vehicle’s engine. TOTAL and SHELL are, in our opinion, the best oils of the moment and deserve a place among the best oils in the world. They are regularly cited in Auto Plus, Auto Moto or Turbo magazines as references.
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How do I choose the right engine oil for my oil change?
After explaining how to take care of your body with the best polishers, here are our tips for taking care of your car’s engine. Choosing the right motor oil is not always easy, given the diversity of products on the car care market: not all oils are created equal, but it’s hard to know exactly why Also, a few tips can help you better understand your needs and choose the right motor oil
Do not rely on the price of oil (for an equivalent can capacity), as prices vary greatly from one brand to another, and are not at all representative of the quality of the product. Also note that manufacturers may recommend specific engine oils in your vehicle’s maintenance booklet, in the recommendations section. These recommended oils are obviously effective, but also and above all more expensive, often the result of a partnership You can decide to opt for a private label instead: today’s engine oil market is governed by very strict standards, so there is no longer any oil available for sale that could damage your engine. However, some oils may be more suitable for lubricating your engine than others.
The viscosity of motor oil
The viscosity of the oil determines its degree of resistance to flow. The more viscous the oil, the more effective its anti-wear effect. This is what makes it possible to operate the engine parts together without friction becoming a danger, and to avoid over-consumption Each oil has a maximum and minimum temperature degree of resistance, hot and cold, to match the engine temperature (from 90 to 400 degrees) by sometimes extreme outdoor temperatures in some parts of the world
The viscosity index is written as follows: 00W00. This is the label on the front of all cans, the primary selection criterion that will tell you whether you are looking for the right grade of motor oil
The first digit or number before the W indicates the minimum degree of cold resistance. The lower this figure, the stronger the performance of the oil at low temperatures. Same with the number following the w: the larger the number, the better the oil will perform at high temperatures
Type of oil
Mineral oils (15w40)
Particularly thick, mineral oil corresponds to a significant consumptionfor road use. Increasingly rare on the market, it is recommended for old petrol blocks or diesel without turbochargingIn other words, they are a large minority of vehicles in the French car fleet
Semi-synthetic oils (10w40)
Originally designed for the first multi-purpose vehicles on the car market, intended for mixed city and road driving, semi-synthetic motor oil is in fact a self mineral oil to which synthetic additives have been added. Today, 100% synthetic oils are so much more efficient in terms of oil change intervals that the 10w40 is becoming scarce as demand tends to dry up.
Synthetic oils (100% synthetic: 5w30 and 5w40)
Highly efficient for overloaded engines (frequent stopping and restarting, dynamic or sporty driving), fully synthetic oils are the most expensive on the market because they offer a much greater spacing between oil changes. The more they are loaded with additives to improve their performance, the more their price increases
Engine oil standards: getting your bearings
Use the standards marked on the oil can to determine the properties of the oil you have chosen: the indicators for each standard correspond to a very specific characteristic. The letters A, B, C and D (ACEA standard) correspond to the type of engine or vehicle (petrol engine, diesel engine, with or without catalyst, with or without particle filter…) for which the oil may be suitable. The figures, on the other hand, rather indicate the performance or use class of the oil: 1 for economical use, 2 for normal use, 3 and 4 for intensive use.
Which motor oil to choose: our comparison and classification by brand
Total Quartz 9000 5W40 Engine Oil, 5L
This Total motor oil has been developed for all types of petrol engines (multi-valve, turbocharged or not equipped with catalytic converter) but also diesel vehicles and vans not supercharged or equipped with a particulate filter
- Specially designed to meet manufacturers’ needs for extended interval changes
- Manufacturer approvals ACEA A3 / B4 API SN / CF ( retro – applicable API SM , SL)
- Extends engine life (diesel or gasoline)
- Cold starts, longer starting intervals, excellent protection against engine wear, especially in the valve train
- Ensures optimum engine cleanliness
- Exceptional thermal stability and oxidation resistance: ensures low oil degradation, even in very intensive use
- Immediate lubrication of engine components during cold starts
ELF Car engine lubricant Evolution Full-Tech FE 5W30 5 litres
- High engine wear protection due to advanced additive technology
- Exceptional oxidation resistance
- Detergents and dispersants: optimal engine cleanliness
- 2.1% fuel economy on ACEA’s M111 FE tests
- Long Life: 30,000 km interval between oil changes
- Low-volatility synthetic base: reduced oil consumption
Shell – Helix Ultra 5W-40, Engine Oil – 5 Liters
Particularly suitable for top-of-the-range engines from BMW, Mercedes, Ferrari, Peugeot, Citroën, Porsche, Land Rover and SaabShell Helix Ultra is suitable for mixed driving with heavy engine loads under the different possible modes of use: frequent on/off, urban and long distance travel, combined high speed with high load, on motorways and rough roads
- Synthetic oil
- Specifications : API SL/CF, ACEA A3/B3/B4, Jaso SG
- high performance and low consumption
- For all modern vehicles running on petrol, diesel and LPG. Also suitable for fuel-injected engines, multi-valve engines and catalytic converters.
- Protection against wear and excellent engine cleaning
Castrol edge professional 5w – 30 longLife iII, 4L
Particularly suitable for sports engines or small supercharged blocks, this engine oil offers optimum protection at high revs in order to guarantee the spacing of the oil changes even for heavily loaded engines
- Long life synthetic oil: space out your oil changes
- Engine overheating protection up to high engine speeds
- Compatible fluid oil for petrol or diesel engines
- Professional quality guarantee
REPSOL Elite 50501 TDI 5W40 5L
Designed to suit all light diesel engines, especially the blocks from the Volkswagen group (Audi, Skoda, SEAT)This oil offers an excellent quality/price ratio, almost unbeatable in its category for diesel engines.
- 100% synthetic
- ACEA Standards A3/B3/B4
- Superior quality
- Particularly suitable for the lubrication of TDI engines of the Seat-Audi-VW-Skoda group using a unitary injection pump
- Specially developed technology to protect the valve train and the mechanical system of the unit injectors
How to change your engine oil yourself: a few tips
Over time and engine loads, the oil becomes laden with impurities and less efficient, it loses viscosity. It then becomes necessary to completely drain off the remaining old oil and replace it with new oil You can call a car centre for this, or do it yourself if it is possible to do it on your car. A few precautions are necessary for a successful oil change:
- Do it on a perfectly flat floor so that the gauge indicator is the right one and also to ensure the best possible stability once your car is installed on the jack(s).
- If your engine has been running before, give it time to cool down to avoid any risk of burns
- Don’t forget to change the oil filter when changing the oil.
- Make sure that the drain plug is fully tightened after the oil change is completed.
Better motor oil: why trust us?
Thank you for reading this article! Because we know it’s not always easy to make the best choice without trying, each of our recommendations is the result of a long analysis of consumer opinions on flagship and little-known products on the market, of price and technical features comparisons, but also and above all of tests by a constantly renewed team of men and women in order to keep a real objectivity to help you in your purchasing process.
All the purchasing criteria are scrutinized for the realization of our comparative guides: budget, level of range, functional and practical aspects, design, pack and accessories, safety.. All this with a view to helping you choose the products best suited to your daily needs, desires and constraints, at the best price!