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10 Best Engine Oils for Cars (Up To Date)

Best Engine Oils for Cars 1

Engine oil is very important to maintain the performance of a car engine. Oil functions as a lubricant to avoid friction between engine elements. Many people want to change their own engine oil because replacing it at a repair shop costs a lot of money. However, do you already know which product to choose?

Therefore, we will recommend some best car oil brands, such as Shell, Castrol, and Pertamina. In addition, we will also explain how to choose engine oil according to its viscosity, composition, and quality.

How to choose engine oil for cars

When it comes to choosing a good car engine oil, there are several factors to consider. For example, products that match your car's engine model, type of engine oil base material, viscosity level, and others. Therefore, you need to pay attention to the points below before making a choice!

Select oil standard based on engine model

Car manufacturers often prepare default engine oil that suits the needs of the car. Unfortunately, the price of this kind of engine oil is usually more expensive when compared to oil that is sold freely. In addition, there are also some people who choose oil according to the conditions and needs of their car.

In other words, any brand of oil can be used as long as it suits the needs of the vehicle owner. Every vehicle manufacturer must recommend the appropriate engine oil specifications for their respective vehicles.

To find out the exact standard, you can see it in the vehicle manual. In addition, you can also find out via the internet and ask directly to a mechanic or car repair shop.

However, please note that the use of gasoline and diesel engine oil is not the same. This is because both have different engine characters.

Make a choice based on the type of base oil

On the market, there are three types of basic oil ingredients that can be considered in choosing engine oil. Starting from mineral oil, semi-synthetic oil, and full synthetic oil. Understand the features of the three and choose according to your needs!

Mineral oil: Suitable for low mobility vehicles

This type of oil is often referred to as standard oil. Mineral oil is the right oil for vehicles that are used for short distances.

For example, for cars that are used on weekends or ordinary cars that are used daily. Currently, mineral oil has been produced with level VI (Viscosity Index) or high viscosity levels. This kind of mineral oil can support better engine performance.

Of the three types of basic oil, the one with the most pocket-friendly price is mineral oil. Unfortunately, this oil is volatile and degrades in quality, so you will have to change it more often.

Semi-synthetic oil: Suitable for vehicles to run faster

This oil is a development of mineral oil which is added with synthetic additives that can slow down evaporation. Mixed synthetic oil is recommended for those of you who drive a car a little heavier than normal needs. For example, you have to travel long distances every day or cross the highway.

Semi-synthetic oil is of medium quality compared to the other two types of oil. In addition, this oil is in great demand because it has a balanced price and performance. If you want your vehicle's engine to last longer, you can choose semi-synthetic oil instead of mineral oil.

Full synthetic oil: Suitable for high performance vehicles

If you love your vehicle and don't worry about cost, go for a full synthetic oil! This type is a high-quality oil that is often used for high-performance engines such as racing car engines.

The latest cars also use the standard full synthetic oil. Among the three oils, full synthetic is the most effective product to maintain engine quality and last longer. This oil also helps to make the engine of your vehicle feel smoother.

Choose the type of oil viscosity according to the terrain conditions when driving

When they want to choose vehicle oil, not many people understand the code listed on the oil package. Generally, car oils have the SAE or Society of Automotive Engineers code. SAE is a code to identify the viscosity of the oil.

Initially, the viscosity value was known as monograde which was suitable for certain temperature conditions. However, as technology develops, multigrade oil types are created that are suitable for low and high temperature ranges.

On the oil packaging, it will usually be written, for example 5W-30 or 0W-20. The letter W stands for the word winter. The number before W indicates the viscosity of the oil at cold temperatures. Meanwhile, the number after W indicates the viscosity of the oil at hot temperatures.

The lower the number before W, the more optimal it is even though it is in an area of ​​low temperature. On the other hand, the higher the number after W, the more suitable the oil is for use at high temperatures. This kind of oil is recommended for those of you who drive a sports car or minivan.

However, when you drive in a country that has four seasons, choose a product with a wider range of oil specifications. For example 0W-40 which can be used in winter and summer. In addition, change your oil regularly according to the distance traveled and the condition of the engine so that its performance is maintained.

Check the standard code on the packaging for product quality

Every car engine oil is rated according to certain standards. However, if you don't have a particular preference, using the recommended oil from your vehicle manufacturer will suffice. 

According to the API standards issued by the American Petroleum Institute, there are various types of oils that are categorized according to their performance level.

For gasoline engines, the category used begins with the code S, starting from SA, SB, SC until the latest is SN. In addition, for vehicles with diesel engines, CF-4 is the highest grade.

If you want an eco-friendly and more fuel efficient oil, in addition to the API, you can use an ILSAC standard oil. The ILSAC GF-5 is of the highest quality today.

In addition to API and ILSAC standards, there is also JASO (Japanese Automotive Standards Organization) which categorizes diesel vehicle oils. For example, code DL-1 for passenger vehicles and code DH-1/2 for heavier vehicles such as buses or trucks.

Know the risks of using oxidized oil

Engine oil is easy to oxidize and shrink when the package is opened. Therefore, you must close the packaging until it is tightly closed. 

Basically, oxidation occurs when water mixes with oil that functions as a lubricant for components in the engine. Water, dust, and oxygen are factors that affect engine performance because they can cause oxidation of engine oil.

Oxidation of car oil caused by oxygen can turn the oil viscous and cause deposits. Meanwhile, the oxidation caused by water causes the clear oil to turn milky white. 

The occurrence of this oxidation will affect the power generated and the engine can be damaged.

Best Engine Oils for Cars 2

The 10 best engine oil recommendations for cars

Next, we will recommend the ten best engine oil products for cars that we determine based on how to choose above. These products are carefully selected by considering product quality, buyer reviews, and the level of trust in the seller. Our products are sorted by popularity in the marketplace

1. Exxon Mobil - Mobil 1 FS X2 5W-50

For extreme sports enthusiasts such as car racing or off road, we recommend this product. This oil can help performance and protect tough engine work. 

So, while driving you will still feel a comfortable pull. This oil is also suitable for those of you who often pass through extreme hot and dry areas. The pull remains steady for all terrains.

  • Basic material: Full synthetic
  • Quality standard: API SN, SM, SL, SJ
  • Thickness: 5W-50
  • Size: 1 liter and 4 liter

2. Lucas - Semi-Synthetic 10W-40

This oil is one of the best because it can protect the car engine from wear and tear due to heavy performance.

 In addition, this oil is able to maintain a stable engine temperature so that engine performance is more frightening and runs smoother. The most interesting thing is that this oil can reduce the noise problem in your car.

  • Basic material: Semi-synthetic
  • Quality standard: API SM, SL, SJ, CF
  • Thickness: 10W-40
  • Size: 946 ml and 4 liters

3. Castrol - GTX Diesel 15W-40

The main problem with diesel cars is dirt from the combustion engine which often makes the exhaust black. 

With Castrol mineral oil, you won't find that problem anymore. This oil can also protect the engine from wear, prevent the oil from thickening, and clean your engine optimally. You can also drive more quietly.

  • Basic material: Mineral oil
  • Quality standard: API CH-4
  • Thickness: 15W-40
  • Size: 1 liter and 4 liter

4. Total Energies - Quartz 9000 5W-40

This oil with Age Resistance Technology provides optimal protection, performance and durability. This oil can make car engines more durable and resistant to high oxidation.

The formula provides complete protection for the car engine, even in extreme use. Equipped with features that keep the engine clean, you don't need to change the oil more often! You can also use this engine oil for diesel and gasoline engine types.

  • Basic material: Full synthetic
  • Quality standard: SN API
  • Thickness: 5W-40
  • Size: 1 liter, 4 liter and 5 liter

5. Shell - Helix Ultra 5W-40

If you are looking for the best diesel oil, choose this product. This car oil can be used for gasoline and diesel engines. Active Cleansing Technology is able to clean the car engine optimally.

This oil provides protection against high residues. You also don't have to worry about black vehicle smoke. Your car engine will stay clean like new!

  • Basic material: Full synthetic
  • Quality standard: API SN, CF
  • Thickness: 5W-40
  • Size: 1 liter and 4 liter

6. Repsol - Elite Injection 10W-40

Repsol Elite Injection is intended for high-activity modern car engines. This oil is recommended by car companies such as Mercedes and VW. 

The formula is able to protect the engine from rust and wear, and makes its use more durable. As a result, the cleanliness of the engine will be maintained. Feel the smooth engine of the car from the first start!

  • Basic material: Full synthetic
  • Quality standard: API SL, CF
  • Thickness: 10W-40
  • Size: 1 liter and 4 liter

7. Idemitsu - SM/CF 10W-30

If you have a Japanese car, you can rely on Idemitsu oil as a lubricant. Formulated from quality ingredients, this product has top quality. You can immediately start the car engine in cold weather conditions because the texture remains runny at low temperatures.

However, this product can also withstand high temperatures. Idemitsu oil is suitable for use in four-wheeled vehicles from Japanese manufacturers. For example for Mitsubishi, Mazda, Nissan, Honda, Toyota and others.

  • Basic material: Mineral oil
  • Quality standard: API: SM/CF
  • Thickness: 10W-30
  • Size: 1 liter and 4 liter

8. Shell - Helix HX3 20W-50

Shell Helix HX3 20W-50 has a special formulation called Active Cleansing Technology. This technology is able to protect and clean old car engines, both gasoline and diesel. 

The high viscosity can reduce the leakage that is common in high-mileage cars. Your performance will stay strong and avoid wear and tear problems.

  • Basic material: Mineral oil
  • Quality standard: API SL, CF
  • Thickness: 20W-50
  • Size: 1 liter and 4 liter

9. Pertamina Lubricants - Fastron Techno SAE 10W-40

In addition to fuel, Pertamina also issues oil products whose reliability has been recognized worldwide. With the content of nano guard, this oil is able to protect every corner of the engine so that the engine works more optimally.

Fastron Techno is suitable for those of you who are looking for premium quality local products at affordable prices. You can use this oil to reduce wear and keep the engine clean.

  • Basic material: Full synthetic
  • Quality standard: SN API
  • Thickness: 10W-40
  • Size: 1 liter and 4 liter

10 Pertamina Lubricants: Mesran Super SAE 20W-50

This Mesran Super SAE 20W-50 oil from Pertamina is a superior product from Indonesia. This oil is able to prevent the formation of sludge deposits and can maintain the cleanliness of the piston.

This ability is due to the presence of detergent dispersant, anti-wear, and anti-oxidation addictive substances.

If you have a car from the 90s, you can rely on Mesran Super SAE 20W-50 Oil. These vehicles demand the use of quality lubricants and have high performance.

  • Basic material: Mineral oil
  • Quality standard: API SG/CD
  • Thickness: 20W-50
  • Size: 800 ml, 1 liter and 4 liter

Frequently asked questions about engine oil for cars

In addition to discussing how to choose and recommend products, we also collect some popular car engine oil questions. Come on, find out the answer together here!!

When should the car engine oil be changed?

You can change the engine oil of a full synthetic car engine after reaching a distance of 10,000 km. This distance generally applies after six months of use.

If the engine oil contains minerals, you will need to replace it after 5,000 km of use. Meanwhile, automatic car engine oil can be replaced within 4-6 months after use.

In addition to mileage and usage time, the frequency of using a car to carry heavy loads is also a benchmark for changing engine oil. 

If the car is often used for these activities, you should often check the oil dipstick to ensure the quality and quantity of the oil. This is because the oil evaporates and thickens faster in cars that are often used to carry heavy loads.

What are the characteristics of a car engine oil that needs to be changed?

There are several signs that indicate you need to change your car's engine oil immediately. For example, the sound of a noisy engine or a knock, dirty oil, and the smell of oil in the car.

After traveling 10,000 km or black exhaust smoke, you also need to change the car engine oil. In addition, you can see from the oil dipstick on the engine block.

If the color of the oil has started to blacken and thicken, it means that your car's engine oil needs to be replaced.


In this article, we have recommended good car oils, both gasoline and diesel car engine oils. With various types of viscosity, basic oil ingredients, and their respective advantages, choose the oil according to the needs of your car engine. 

Do not forget to always change the oil regularly so that your car engine is more durable and long lasting. Happy driving!

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