JOSEPH DE LANGE – By e-mail
A friend tells me that in Europe diesel engine oil is often used in petrol-engined cars because that is believed to prolong engine life. What do you think?
There are a number of good quality multi-purpose oils that can be used in most petrol and diesel engines under normal operating conditions. The label on the can will state whether the oil is suitable for both engine types.
When engines are subjected to severe use, such as continuous stop-start driving, extreme heat or very dusty conditions then it would make more sense to use oils that are suitable for severe use. These oils are usually specifically formulated for either petrol or diesel use. However, some engines require oils specially formulated for that particular design, and one should not stray from the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Be careful when comparing European and local conditions. Our average temperatures are higher, and millions of our vehicles are exposed to altitudes in excess of 1 500 metres. This means that most of our oil is specially blended for these conditions.