Common Myths and Misconceptions About Engine Oil Debunked!

Engine oil is often regarded as the lifeblood of a vehicle, crucial for its smooth operation and longevity. However, amidst the wealth of information available, numerous myths and misconceptions about engine oil abound. These misconceptions can lead to confusion and potentially harmful practices. Today, we aim to debunk some of the most common myths surrounding engine oil in order to provide clarity and guidance for Australian drivers.

Myth 1: Thicker Oil is Always Better for Older Engines 

One prevalent misconception is that using thicker oil is beneficial for older engines with high mileage. While thicker oil may temporarily mask engine issues such as oil leaks and reduced oil pressure, it can also impede lubrication and lead to increased wear on engine components. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil viscosity and consider factors such as climate and driving conditions rather than opting for thicker oil arbitrarily.

Myth 2: You Can Extend Oil Change Intervals Indefinitely with High-Quality Oil

While high-quality synthetic oils can offer extended drain intervals compared to conventional oils, they are not immune to degradation over time. Despite claims of longevity, all engine oils eventually accumulate contaminants and lose their effectiveness. It’s crucial for Australian drivers to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended oil change intervals based on driving conditions and environmental factors, regardless of oil quality. Severe driving conditions may require more frequent oil changes and these conditions include driving on dirt/dusty roads, towing, repeated short trips and stop-start driving in heavy traffic.

Myth 3: You Should Always “Top Off” Engine Oil Between Changes

Some drivers believe that regularly adding oil between scheduled changes is necessary to maintain engine health. However, engines are designed to operate within a specific oil level range, and overfilling can lead to foaming, increased pressure, and potential damage to engine seals and gaskets. Instead of topping off oil frequently, it’s essential to monitor oil levels regularly and address any significant changes promptly.

Myth 4: Engine Oil Colour Indicates Its Quality

Many drivers believe that darker engine oil signifies poor quality or contamination, leading them to prematurely change oil based on colour alone. However, engine oil naturally darkens over time due to exposure to heat, oxidation, and contaminants. While excessively dark or murky oil may indicate the need for a change, it’s not necessarily indicative of oil quality. Rather than relying solely on colour, drivers should prioritise regular oil analysis and adhere to recommended change intervals.

Myth 5: Synthetic Oil Causes Engine Leaks

A common misconception is that switching to synthetic oil can cause engine seals and gaskets to shrink or deteriorate, leading to leaks. In reality, synthetic oils are formulated to be compatible with engine seals and are less prone to evaporation and oxidation than conventional oils. While switching to synthetic oil may uncover pre-existing leaks due to its superior cleaning properties, it is not the cause of leaks in well-maintained engines.

Navigating the world of engine oil can be challenging amidst the spread of myths and misconceptions. By exposing these common myths, Australian drivers can make informed decisions about their vehicle maintenance practices. Prioritising regular oil changes, following manufacturer recommendations, and monitoring oil levels diligently are essential steps to ensure engine health and longevity. By separating fact from fiction, drivers can optimise their vehicle’s performance and reliability.

At Gulf Western Oil, we know oil well and are one of the largest Australian-owned lubricants manufacturer’s, so give us a call on 1800 248 919 or fill in the form below and one of our friendly team members will be in touch.