Australian made & owned
since 1926

Frequently Asked Questions on Engine Oils - Tech Tip

Using the correct oil is paramount in many areas to preserving the life of a vehicle's engine and drivetrain. Some of the reasons for using the correct oil - 

1)    Meeting the vehicle manufacturers warranty requirements
2)    Ensuring the vehicle performs as expected
3)    Ensuring the vehicle meets fuel economy as stated 
4)    Making the vehicle meet the environmental standards required
5)    Making the vehicle meet safety standard requirements
6)    Ensuring the longevity of the vehicles drivetrain components

Q: Engine oil is Engine oil, they all do the same thing!
A: Wrong, engine oils vary greatly between specifications, viscosity, base oil types, additives used and performance levels. Gone are the days when only a couple of grades were available.

Q: Why can’t I use the product on special at the auto store?
A: If it is the correct specification for your vehicle then it can be used. If it is not then it should not be used as it will be outside of the vehicle manufacturers recommendations and may compromise the vehicles performance, economy, emission or safety standards.

Q: Why are there so many different types of engine oil?
A: There are so many types of oil to cover all of the applications required by modern vehicle manufacturers.

Q: Will using the wrong oil hurt my vehicle?
A: Yes, using the wrong oil could lead to an expensive failure of equipment and voiding of the vehicle warranty.

Q: Do I need to add anything to my oil to make it better?
A: Penrite oils are formulated to perform for the applications for which they were intended, so no additives are recommended or required. Consumers need to be aware that adding an enhancement additive to an engine oil, voids any warranty with the original oil, as the chemical compound has been altered.

Q: How do I find out what is the right specification is for my vehicle?
A: The easiest way to find out is to look in the vehicle owners handbook and see what the manufacturer recommends for that vehicle. Alternatively, use the Penrite Recommendation Guide on the web.

Q: Can I top up my vehicle with any type of oil?
A: This depends on the age and type of vehicle. There are models where this is not possible.

Q: Why is there such a difference in price from low viscosity modern oils to older specification, higher viscosity oils?
A: Modern oils contain higher grade base oil and additive packs which adds to their cost of production.

Q: Why is Penrite more expensive than some other brands?
A: Penrite oils are not expensive in relation to the protection they provide. Penrite is no more expensive than any other premium oil brand and less than some brands offering inferior performance and protection.

Q: If my vehicle has done high kilometres and is burning a little bit of oil. Should I use a thicker oil in place of the normal specification?
A: This is a common practice to slow oil burning. Manufacturers generally supply a working viscosity range based upon the climate of a particular region. It is best practice to raise the operating temperature viscosity of the oil (The 2nd Number – e.g 10W-40 to 10W-50) as engines burn oil when they are hot.

Q: My car is relatively new and the dealer has advised me that I have to use their oil otherwise I will void the warranty on my vehicle. Is this true?
A: This statement breaches Australian Consumer Law and dealers should be aware of this. As long as the oil used meets with the OEM specification required by the manufacturer, is fit for service and work on the vehicle is carried out by a professional automotive repairer, then all warranties in relation to the vehicle manufacturers warranty must be met. If owners need further information, this can be found at -

Q: Why do you have 3 recommendations on your guide for some vehicles and only 1 for others?
A: For some vehicles, we have a large range of oils suitable. Where there is more than one suitable oil we will list the most suitable of these in our database. Where there is only one oil listed, this is the only option for that particular vehicle.

Further details on our products are available on their respective product page found on the Penrite web site:

Looking for more Technical Information? Please click on "Technical" at the top of the page. To talk to the Tech Team call 1300 PENRITE (M-F 7:00am - 5:30pm AEST) or email

Penrite recommends “The Right Oil for the Right Application”, download the Product Recommendation app here.

Posted on: 19 Dec, 2017