Frequently asked questions

WHAT IS ENGINE OIL MADE FROM?


Engine oils are made up from three important ingredients – base oils, viscosity modifiers and performance additives. These are carefully selected and skillfully blended to enable the oil to provide maximum engine protection.




WHY IS THERE A RANGE OF ENGINE OILS AND HOW DO I KNOW WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?


Quite simply, refer to your car’s owner manual that features a minimum oil specification. You may, however, trade up to a better engine oil specification.

Choosing the correct engine oil for a vehicle depends on the car’s type as well as the car’s age. A lot is expected from new technology engines: high performance coupled with fuel efficiency. A high-performance car needs higher performance oil. Advanced oils have been developed to help keep pace with increased engineering demands. For example, modern cars have blow-by-gas recirculation that can cause extreme oxidation in old-technology oils and sensitive exhaust gas after-treatment devices that can be poisoned by inappropriate oils.

Modern motorway driving and heavy stop-start traffic requires higher quality oils to prevent increased engine wear.




WHY IS THE CHOICE OF ENGINE OIL SO IMPORTANT?


Oil is the lifeblood of your car. If the wrong kind is used, the engine is at risk of increased wear and corrosion. Formation of blockages can also lead to engine seizure. By using Bulwark lubricants in your vehicle’s engine, you can carry on driving with confidence and experience the feeling that your car has just been serviced




IS IT IMPORTANT TO CHANGE OIL AND HOW OFTEN SHOULD I DO THIS?


You should change your oil and filter at or before the end of oil-change intervals indicated by your vehicle manufacturer. These are based on distance travelled or time. Regular oil changes help to keep your engine oil in good condition and provide the best protection for all your engine components.




WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SYNTHETIC, SEMI-SYNTHETIC AND MINERAL OILS?


Conventional / Mineral oil: This is the most basic variety of engine oils and is most commonly used for a large majority of everyday vehicles. Mineral oils are refined petroleum oils which undergo treatment to perform across a wide temperature range and get fortified with other additives to comply with specific requirements of the vehicle.
Semi-Synthetic oil: also known as synthetic blend oil has a small amount of synthetic engine oil blended in with mineral oil to boost its properties. The addition of synthetic oil enhances its viscosity and wear resistance at higher temperatures and stress. Synthetic-blend engine oils can also offer better performance at lower temperatures, based on the requirements.
Synthetic oils: are essentially mineral oils that go through an extensive treatment in a lab to make them significantly superior to their mineral counterparts. As a part of the process, the mineral oil is broken down into its most basic molecules, which helps remove any undesired substances and impurities to a very high degree. The molecules of synthetic oil are also very consistent in their size and shape, offering superior lubrication. The broken-down molecules also lend themselves well to being tailored to specific requirements like performance in low or hi temperatures, or under extraordinary stress. This process of breaking down mineral oil into its basic molecules is an expensive and painstaking one, which makes synthetic oils more expensive. Apart from performing exceptionally well in extreme cold and hot conditions, these engine oils have other superior properties too. These include lesser evaporation, low smudge formation and better detergent properties.




WHAT DOES THE VISCOSITY RATING ON THE LABEL INDICATE?


The first number in the oil classification refers to cold weather viscosity. The lower this number is, the less viscous your oil will be at low temperatures. So a 5W- oil will flow better at lower temperatures than a 15W- oil. The "W" in motor oil stands for winter. The higher number, following the “W” refers to hot weather viscosity, or how fluid your oil is at hot temperatures. The higher the number, the thicker the oil at a specified temperature.




WILL I REALLY NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE IF I DON’T MAKE FREQUENT OIL CHANGES?


Not changing your oil on a regular basis can significantly reduce the level of protection provided against engine wear. Engine oil acts as a reservoir for all kinds of by-products that form when the fuel burns, including soot, sludge, water and acidic material, as well as unburned and partially burned fuel. At the same time, the stress placed on the oil during engine operation gradually depletes the components that determine the oil’s performance.

Refreshing the oil on a regular basis ensures that the right balance of components is present in the oil. It also removes waste materials that might otherwise result in increased deposit formation, corrosion of metal components and increased wear.




DO MOST PEOPLE DRIVE UNDER SEVERE DRIVING CONDITIONS?


A recent study showed that 75% of car journeys involved trips shorter than 10km. These trips often incorporate a high level of stop-start driving, which can result in greatly increased engine wear if oil is not changed on a regular basis.




HOW SHOULD I DISPOSE OF USED OIL?


Used oil can pollute the environment and should never be poured down the drain. In many markets it is also illegal to do this. Instead, take your waste to an official oil-disposal or recycling bank (these are often located at local refuse collection points). Alternatively, ask your local authority recycling officer for guidance.