Oil Is Oil...Right?

Something I hear all too frequently, even from experienced people in the motor trade is that "engine oil is engine oil.  it's all the same stuff and the reason for all these different types and grades is just the oil companies  trying to sell more.....just stick the cheapest stuff in, you'll be grand"

Now, if your car is 10 or 15 years old they're probably dead right. The very cheap 'Extra Slippy Oil For Engine' like the one pictured above (that we made up)  may be absolutely grand. But....and it'a big but, If your car is much newer or has a DPF filter you will most definitely not be grand or to be more specific your engine will not be grand!

To explain why, we have to get a little bit geeky:
Car manufacturers are continuously pushing the boundaries of technology to meet the increasingly strict emissions regulations placed upon them. So much so that in most current Euro 5 spec engines the manufacturers are actually using the oil inside the engine as an integral component of the emissions control systems on the car!....To understand how, first we need to take a quick look at Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF's):

Diesel Particulate Filters are ceramic filters fitted in the exhaust system which trap soot and ash particles. Soot is carbon-based and is formed during combustion of the fuel. Ash is metal-based and forms when engine oil is burnt.
Sights like this, once very common are now becoming rare 

DPF-equipped engines have a DPF-regeneration cycle in their operation – at this point fuel is injected into the exhaust which causes it to burn in the exhaust and DPF. This burns off the soot particles from the DPF but the metallic ash particles can not be removed. Over time the ash particles accumulate and will eventually block the DPF, requiring its replacement.

The dreaded DPF light

This is where the oil plays a part:
Ash is formed by elements within the engine oil – oils that are specifically designed to work with DPFs are called "low SAPS" oils, which stands for low sulfated ash, phosphorus and sulphur.  Standard engine oils ie the very cheapest stuff will produce far greater levels of metallic ash and will very very quickly block and wreck your car's DPF. So when you think that a new DPF could cost as much as £/€3000 and the correct "low SAPS" oil could cost as little  as €/£25.00 it starts to become clear that "oil is not just oil"

Looking at the complexity of the exhaust / DPF system on the new VAG cars 
you can begin to see why they're so expensive!

At MicksGarage.com we've just launched the brand new CHAMPION range of  lubricants to compliment our existing products from Castrol and Total.
The CHAMPION quality is fantastic but the price is even better! All the original vehicle manufacturer specs are exceeded and we can now offer you the correct engine oil for you car, whatever your budget. Click HERE to check out the CHAMPION range of oils at MicksGarage.com or go to www.championlubes.com to have a look around their website where you can find the right lubricant for your engine.

To launch the new range we've got an introductory offer with up to 30% discount! Prices start at just €16.75 /£14.71 for 4 litres!


  1. What are the reasons for a petrol engine requiring a specific type of oil?

  2. Passive regeneration takes place automatically on motorway-type runs when the temperature of the exhaust is high, but problems can occur when cars don't reach this sort of temperature on a regular basis (which many cars don't). DPF cummins. Therefore manufacturers have come up with a solution called "Active Regeneration".