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European Engine Oils Demystified Posted on Categories Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Are you using multiple oils for your European vehicle services? If not, please read this article very carefully. You absolutely can, and should, meet today’s stringent OEM service requirements. Avoid unwanted liability at your shop.

Automotive engineers firmly tell us that gas and diesel engines are designed differently. Different designs equal different operational functionality. Therefore, it is NOT advisable to use low SAPS (Sulphated Ash, Phosphorous and Sulfur) 229.51 oil in a regular SAPS 229.5 specification engine design.

Gasoline engine oils have, and need, a higher TBN (Total Base Number). A higher TBN is needed in gas engines since they produce acid, contaminants and deposits more quickly. This can be especially aggressive when poor quality fuels are utilized.

Diesel engine oils have a lower TBN number. Fewer contaminants per mile are produced with diesel engine/fuel designs. Therefore, additive packages for diesel engine oils are reduced to be ‘friendly’ to particle-capturing emissions filters. These characteristics are acceptable in diesel engines, but detrimental to gasoline engines.

In the end, using a diesel (low SAPS) engine oil in a gasoline engine (regular SAPS) application is wrong from an engineering perspective. Installing low SAPS oil (229.51) in a gas engine requiring regular SAPS (229.5) allows corrosion and deposit build-up, which will affect performance. This is most definitely not what the proud owner of an Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz or VW would appreciate from a trusted service provider.