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Many drivers know that today there are different specifications by which all lubricants are classified.

Most automakers do not have enough generally accepted classifications, so they have developed their own engine oil tolerances for various engines. Often, car owners cannot figure out what the meaning of tolerances is, how they differ from each other.

The oil tolerance is some quality standard that includes indicators determined by the automaker.

Finding tolerances for a car oil is not an easy task. To be able to indicate compatibility with motors of any automaker on a canister, a lubricant manufacturer needs to be certified.

The automaker needs to test the oil product, analyze it in the laboratory. Only after that you can draw up your tolerances for automotive oils.

Data on oil with a tolerance must be indicated on the canister. If they are not, then the engine / transmission oil you are purchasing has not been certified.

Tolerances were introduced due to the rather high competition in the market for new cars. Ford was one of the first to use them. To achieve their own goals, firms test their products very rigorously against a variety of criteria (including compatibility with different brands of motors).

  • Purpose of tolerances
  • Specifications "Audi", VW, "Skoda", Seat
  • Mercedes standards
  • BMW standards
  • API classification

  • Purpose of tolerances

    Any car manufacturer uses its own technologies and materials for their production. In view of this, power units, transmissions of various brands of cars also differ from each other.

    Motor oils contain additives. Because everyone uses different additives, as a result, it turns out that exactly the same oil products can be optimal for one engine and absolutely not suitable for another.

    Every professional knows that there are no good/bad motor oils. They are all different, designed for different internal combustion engines and operating conditions.

    Tolerances simplify the choice of oil for a car

    Of great importance is the thickness of the film that the oil forms on the parts of the car. If the film thickness becomes greater than the gaps between the parts that are installed by the manufacturer, this will lead to overheating of the pistons and other negative consequences.

    If the film is too thin, the grease will burn out very badly.

    Almost all automakers create their own standards. For example, you can find VW oil approval. Special tests are carried out, based on the results of which the lubricant is allowed to be used in any car. Approvals are developed in the form of a certificate.

    It must be remembered that with a large range of petroleum products on the market today and the design features of various cars, the approval of motor oil is very significant. If it is not there, it is better not to use oil fluid in your vehicle.

    Might be interesting: Features of engine oil for four-stroke internal combustion engines

    Audi, VW, Skoda, Seat specifications

    The list of automaker approvals is usually located directly on the label (after data on SAE viscosity, ACEA and API quality classes).

    If the manufacturer's specification you need is not on the canister, then the oil is clearly not suitable for you. Oil selection is carried out taking into account various indicators.

    To choose a petroleum product wisely, it is advisable to read the operating manual or consult with the car dealership staff of an official representative of the brand of your car.

  • VW00 oil tolerance is suitable for universal, energy-saving lubricants 5w30, 5w40, 10w40, 20w30. These oil products are used in gasoline engines. Standard indicators are in full compliance with the main requirements of ACEA A3-96.
  • VW00 is a group of all-weather oil fluids that can be poured into diesel / gasoline internal combustion engines equipped with direct injection. Their standard characteristics are in accordance with ACEA A2. It should be mentioned that filling such lubricants into turbodiesel engines is possible only in combination with VW 505.00 products.
  • VW 502 00 car oil is used in internal combustion engines on gasoline with direct injection and increased power. The indicators correspond to ACEA A VW 502 00 oil is considered the most popular in the Russian Federation.
  • VW00 is considered a new approval for gasoline engines that have an extended operating period. It is better in its characteristics than 502.00, however, it is only suitable for those engines that were manufactured after May 1999. VW 503.00 petroleum products must not be used in older cars, because they have a reduced viscosity at high temperatures. This often leads to a variety of engine damage.
  • VW01 lubricants are optimal for use in highly loaded gasoline engines with an extended operating period.
  • VW00 is suitable for almost any modern engine. These also include engines equipped with fine filters.
  • VW00 petroleum products are intended for diesel passenger cars. Standard indicators are in accordance with ACEA B3.
  • VW99 is a Volkswagen approval. Suitable for passenger cars with turbodiesel.
  • VW00 is a fairly common standard today, used by many manufacturers.

  • Mercedes standards

    Getting acquainted with the specifications of Mercedes, there are several key points to note:

  • MB 228.1. All-season consumables for Mercedes-Benz cars equipped with diesel engines. It is possible to fill the internal combustion engines of turbocharged trucks. Indicators correspond to ACEA E2. It is advisable to check before use whether the car oil is compatible with different elastomeric gaskets.
  • MB 228.3. Universal oil fluids, optimal for various diesel internal combustion engines installed in tractors and trucks (the presence of turbocharging does not matter). Depending on the operating conditions and the maintenance performed, consumables can last from forty-five to sixty thousand kilometers. The characteristics correspond to ACEA E3.
  • MB 228.31. Lubricants are intended for commercial trucks equipped with diesel engines with special soot filters. The specification complies with API CJ-4. The oils passed 2 stages of testing, which were developed by Mercedes specialists.
  • MB 228.5. This motor oil is poured into highly loaded diesel engines, which are installed in commercial freight vehicles, have parameters corresponding to Euro 1/2. It should be noted that oil can last up to one hundred and sixty thousand kilometers. After that, it will need to be changed.
  • MB 228.51. All-weather lubricants used in heavy-duty diesel engines that comply with Euro 4.
  • MB 229.1. Petroleum products are used in cars that are equipped with gasoline / diesel engines, produced from 1998 to 2002.
  • Might be interesting: Decoding of automotive oils according to the API standard

    BMW standards

    In accordance with BMW standards, for cars of all series equipped with gasoline power units, only those motor oils that have successfully passed special tests and are officially approved by the company can be used.

  • BMW Special Oil. Oils used in BMW engines with a single specification. Lubricants are very fluid under different temperature conditions, they are poured into cars only after successfully passing various tests.
  • BMW Longlife-98. Oils that are intended for filling into various gasoline engines manufactured after 1998. Such petroleum products can be poured into internal combustion engines that require servicing at extended intervals. The standard is based on class ACEA A3, ACEA B These motor oils cannot be used in older engines.
  • BMW Longlife-01. Petroleum products are used in internal combustion engines manufactured no earlier than 2001.
  • BMW Longlife-01FE. Greases are similar to the previous type, but are better suited for harsh operating conditions. What conditions are considered stringent? These include high temperatures and high speeds.
  • BMW Longlife-04. This standard was introduced thirteen years ago. It is designed for the latest BMW engines. It is undesirable to use such motor oils in engines manufactured before 2004.
  • There are also other approvals: DH-1, GM LL A 025 and many others. However, they are not used very often by manufacturers. For any car and internal combustion engine, you must choose an oil fluid that meets certain standards. Otherwise, you may damage your own car.

    Recommended reading: 0w 20 – decoding, and it will also be interesting: Decoding 0w30

    API classification

    The API specification was developed in 1969. Accordingly, with it, all motor oils are divided into 3 groups:

  • S – for internal combustion engines on gasoline;
  • C - for internal combustion engines on diesel;
  • EC - reduces fuel costs in gasoline engines.
  • The API marking consists of two letters. What the first means, you already know. The second letter indicates the quality of the oil product. The further it is in the alphabet, the higher the characteristics of the oily liquid.

    Recommended reading: API oil classification

    Read also: API CF

    There are the following types of lubricants for gasoline engines: SN, SM, SL, SJ, SH, SG, SF, SE, SD, SC, SB, SA.

    Might be interesting: The 12 Best Synthetic Motor Oils for 2023

    For diesel engines, there are the following types of oil fluids: CJ-4, CI-4 PLUS, CI-4, CH-4, CG-4, CF 2, CF 4, CE, CD-2, CD, CC, CB, CA.

    As you can see, the API classification is quite simple. It is enough to look at the marking, for example, SN, to understand which engines this oil can be poured into and what its performance characteristics are.

  • SN is suitable for gasoline engines, it is considered better than, say, SL or SJ.
  • SL oil is best poured into those cars that were produced no earlier than seventeen years ago.
  • SL has the optimal parameters for such machines. The SL is also a good fuel saver.
  • SJ oil can be poured into cars made after 1996. SJ is now quite popular in the USA, as it is inexpensive, has good technical characteristics.
  • Motor oils for diesel engines are labeled similarly to lubricants for gasoline engines.

  • If your car is used in harsh conditions, pay attention to CF 2.
  • CF 2 is optimal for two-stroke engines. CF 2 perfectly protects engine parts from wear.
  • If you still could not figure out the markings, you can always find a table that contains a decoding of the designations of any classifications.

    By deciphering it is possible to establish what are the characteristics of the lubricant product, at what temperature it should be used.

    It is also necessary to familiarize yourself with the approvals of automakers. They are very important in today's environment, when there are many types of motor lubricants on the market.