Tips for your Motor Oil

What is the Role of Motor Oil and what purpose does this motor oil serves?

  • Reduces the friction between pistons and cylinder heads.

  • Protects against corrosion and cleans sediment that accumulates. When the oil drains from the engine, it absorbs soot, mud, salt, dust, water, and other particles.

  • Prevents sediment generated by combustion, protects from oxidation, heat changes, and helps maintain proper temperature in high heat.

There are actually 3 Motor Oil types:

  • Mineral motor oil type:

This is extracted from crude oil and is of poor quality.

  • Synthetic motor oil type:

This oil is equipped with multiple extensions and other improved properties. Can be replaced less frequently and is suitable for harsher working conditions.

  • Semi-synthetic motor oil type

This oil type is a mix between a semi-synthetic mineral additives. Suitable for private vehicles, every treatment lasts about nine thousand thousand miles.


The most important property of motor oil is its viscosity. The requisite viscosity of the oil can usually be found on the oil cap of the car or the vehicle’s service book.

When selecting the viscosity of motor oil, the metric should be: the more mileage/older the vehicle, the higher the viscosity of the oil type.

A few additional points about motor oil

  • It is recommended to replace the motor oil every 9,000 miles (according to the manufacturer).

  • When buying a second-hand car, you should check which type of oil was was used before.

  • Proper engine upkeep also requires a good oil filter.

  • Do not fill the car with too much oil as this can damage the engine.

  • The vehicle must be turned off when checking the motor oil, so be sure to stop the engine and wait a few minutes before checking. In the event of an oil change, check the oil’s original packaging to ensure that it’s sealed.

Motor oil symbols

What does the string of symbols written on the motor oil represent? (E.g. SEA15W40)

  • The first part of the string SEA15: Represents the range of motor oil viscosity at low temperatures and base oil from the oil complex. If the base oil is “easy” and thinner, it will lose its properties (particularly its viscosity) more quickly.

  • The second part of the string W40: Represents the oil viscosity at operating temperature.

Most Important:

Good quality oil can save you money in the future as well as extend engine life! Bring your car to Menlyn Gearbox to make sure your car has the best oil possible! Drop by at our shop, email us on or call us on 083 292 5453.

Blog credits: Nathaniel from EngieMotors.

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