Engine Oils You Buy on eBay Are Right for Your Vehicle

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How to Make Sure the Engine Oils You Buy on eBay Are Right for Your Vehicle

Buyers who are planning to purchase engine oil via eBay should take the time to consider if the oil is right for their vehicle. There is a range of different engine oils produced and sold on eBay and not all of them are right for every car. In general, it is necessary to become familiar with the types of oil that can be used in a vehicle before purchasing new oil. It is also possible to take a vehicle to a mechanic and ask for a recommendation, although this is neither necessary nor budget friendly as the information is usually present in the owner's manual of the car.

Most if not all types of engine oil are available on eBay so buyers should check the owner's manual, check the different specifications for oil, and then make a decision before purchasing oil. Different variations of engine oil include different viscosity levels, additives, types of oil, brands, and oil grade. Each of these factors should be researched in order to select the right engine oil for a vehicle.

Is Standard Car Oil Right for Your Vehicle?

Standard car oil includes most of the engine oil sold for vehicles. These oils are usually multi-grade, meaning that they are formulated for both winter and summer use. Standard engine oils are designed for lightweight vehicles such as cars, minivans, small sedans, and other normal road vehicles. They are not typically intended for off-road SUVs or sporting vehicles. Most cars work well with a multi-grade oil viscosity between 5W-20 and 5W-40. Anyone driving in very cold areas should choose a 10W-20 oil as an alternative.

While not suitable for every vehicle, these oils are standard, require very little research, and are suitable for most engines. The multi-grade viscosity allows the oil to be used in winter and summer without difficulty, and the oils are generally inexpensive and easy to find in large and small amounts on eBay. Most vehicle owner's manuals recommend some form of this oil, which is usually referred to as 'conventional' or 'premium conventional'. However, buyers who choose standard oil still have to choose between different oil grades before purchasing engine oil on eBay.

Choosing Engine Oil Based on SAE Viscosity

SAE viscosity is the flow rate of the engine oil. There are calculations that can be performed to determine the exact flow rate of any engine but this requires knowing the heat, speed, and friction of the engine. Viscosity mostly determines the actual physical thickness of the oil. Because oil thins as it warms and thickens as it cools, it is important to have oil that is not too thin in hot engines and in hot temperatures but that is not too thick in winter. Many people change oil for winter and summer, but some types of oil, which are known as multi-grade, are suitable for both winter and summer. Winter viscosity is labelled with a W, while summer viscosity is simply labelled with a number.

A 10W-40 oil is resistant to cold and heat but is mostly suitable for temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, 5W oils are generally the most recommended for vehicles due to the fact that they are resistant to thickening and thinning at different temperatures, but not as thin as 10 or 20W oils would be. However, every car manual should include an oil recommendation for a specific viscosity rating.

Knowing Oil Additives

Oil additives include anything that is added to the oil in order to give it a certain characteristic or feature. Most multi-grade oils actually have additives to help them thin and thicken according to the temperatures. Other oils feature additives to help clean the engine, help prevent blockage, to extend the life of the engine, and more. Importantly, most vehicle owners should purchase oils with a few additives only. Too many chemicals can be a bad thing so try picking only the additives that are really necessary.

Oil Additive


Mileage Extending

Help to seal the engine and improve the lifespan of older engines


Help to clean engines by inhibiting rust, deposits, and corrosion

Viscosity Index Improvers

Prevent oil from thinning at higher temperatures


Help to break up deposits and sludge

Antiwear Agents

Help to lubricate parts and prevent wear and tear

Friction Modifiers

Reduce friction and can improve fuel economy

Pour Point Depressants

Reduce the formation of wax particles in oil to improve flow

Foam Reducers

Reduce the formation of foam in the pan for better lubrication

Rust Inhibitors

Help to prevent rust from forming


Prevent oils from thickening, improve emissions

Many engine oils on eBay are sold with some additives already in place. Others require the additives to be purchased separately and added to the oil. For anyone who is purchasing oil and additives separately, it is important to consider that the viscosity index should be no less than 70 per cent oil at any time. This means that no more than 30 per cent of the oil in the engine should be comprised of additives. Many oils are sold at 90 to 95 per cent viscosity, depending on the amount of additives included.

Selecting the Right Engine Oil Type for Your Vehicle

There are many different types of engine oils available on eBay including synthetic, part synthetic, enhanced, organic, and more. There is also a range of other options that might leave buyers confused without the right information. Usually, the oil type preferred by the car can be found in the owner's manual although not all manuals list the oil.

Synthetic Engine Oil

Synthetic oils are fully man-made and are often made for higher-end engines. While not necessary for average cars, synthetic oils offer many benefits, including better flow at different temperatures, fewer deposits, and superior performance. However, they are not right for every engine as some engines require mineral oils. Usually, it is a good idea to check the owner's manual for clarity on the subject.

Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil

Semi-synthetic oils include any oils made of part mineral and part synthetics. These oils are often preferred by many drivers as they are slightly of higher performance than organic oils. Semi-synthetic oil is generally a popular oil type because it can be used in most vehicles, although some might require full synthetic or full mineral oil, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

Mineral Engine Oil

Mineral or organic engine oils are cheaper than other oil types but are mostly quite rare due to being more expensive while offering lower performance than semi-synthetic oils. Some older cars perform better with mineral oils although this is not necessarily true. Mineral oils can mostly be skipped for road vehicles unless the owner's manual recommends them for the vehicle.

Enhanced Engine Oil

Many oils available on eBay are sold as 'enhanced'. This term simply means that the oil includes additives to either make it multi-grade oil or give it any of the features listed above under oil additives. These oils can be purchased on eBay or buyers can choose to purchase standard oil and additives separately. Multi-grade oils are sometimes sold as enhanced and, importantly, these cannot be made at home using additives.

Knowing the Engine Oil Grade

The oil grade can be considered to be a guide to the viscosity level. Multi-grade oil features two levels of viscosity, meaning that it can be used in hot and cold temperatures. An example would be 5W-20, which means that the oil can be used in winter and summer. Single-grade oil has a single viscosity and must be changed for cold or hot temperatures in order for the oil to function properly. An example would be 5W oil for cold temperatures and 20 oil for warm and hot temperatures. Most buyers purchase multi-grade oil for ease of use but some choose to purchase single-grade oil for slightly better performance at a certain temperature. Because most oil should be replaced every four to six months, changing the type of oil with changing temperatures is not normally a problem.

Buying the Right Engine Oil for Your Vehicle on eBay

Once you know what engine oil your car requires, you can easily look it up and purchase it on eBay. You can start your search by typing in the engine oil you are looking for and consider specifying grade, viscosity, and brand if you prefer a popular brand of oil. From there you can choose an amount of oil ranging from one to five or more litres.

Read the full eBay description to make sure that the engine oil is what you think it is before you make a purchase. Another consideration is that you may want to consider purchasing the oil from a local eBay seller in order to cut down on shipping time and cost of postage. Some sellers might also allow you to drive and pickup the oil if you live nearby. Once you have checked your options, you can make your purchase.


There is a range of different oils available on eBay but not all of them are right for every vehicle. Most buyers who are looking for engine oil for a road vehicle can choose standard multi-grade oil for 5W-20 to 5W-40 but these are not right for every automobile. Some heavy vehicles require a higher viscosity rating if the engine gets hotter or if the vehicle is used in colder environments.

Buyers should check the owner's manual to determine which type of engine oil is recommended for the vehicle. Choices include different viscosity ratings, different additives, and different oil grades such as synthetic, part synthetic, and full mineral, although the last is rarely required. Different grades offer different properties, cost different amounts of money, and are suitable for a range of different vehicles. Using all of this information, buyers can quickly and easily decide on a type of oil that is right for their vehicle and buy it on eBay.

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