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What does the acronym API stand for?

The acronym API stands for American Petroleum Institute. It sets the global quality requirements and testing criteria of lubricants, such as motor or gearbox oil.

Refilling motor oil: Can you mix motor oil in the car?

The mixability of modern motor oils with one another, regardless of the type, must be possible under any circumstances. For it is not always guaranteed that the average car driver will know which motor oil was used by the garage in an oil change.

Do you use different engine oils for petrol and diesel automotive?

There are different oil specifications petrol and diesel engines. For instance, the American Petroleum Institute (API) classify oils for petrol engines under the “S” (Service) categories and oils designed for diesel-engine service fall under API’s “C” (Commercial) categories. There are multifunctional oils available in the market that is suitable for both petrol and diesel engines.

After how many kilometres does oil have to be added?

There is no general answer to how often a motor oil has to be refilled. Oil consumption can vary greatly even with motors identical in construction. If there is no oil level control fitted, the oil level should be checked every time you refuel and correspondingly reacted to.

Which motor oil do I need to use?

What’s important in the selection of the right motor oil is the specification or approval given by the vehicle manufacturer, which can be found in the operating manual of the vehicle. If this is printed on the label of an oil, then this oil can be used for the respective motor. If you are not sure about this, contact us.

Why is multi-grade oil better than mono-grade oil? Is multi grade oil more expensive?

For most applications multigrade oil is the preferred option since it flows more readily at start-up and maintains lubricity at operating temperature. Multigrade oil is more expensive than monograde since it is formulated with a viscosity index improver or viscosity modifier to enhance the viscosity characteristics of the oil.

What is the difference between automotive gear oils and transmission oils?

Automotive gear oils intended for Hypoid Differentials are formulated to be very “slippery” to lubricate the hypoid gears effectively. Synchronized Transmissions are fitted with synchronizers to allow light and easy gear shifting. Synchronizers use friction to match the speed of the components to be engaged during shifting. Slippery gear oils can reduce the friction between the mating synchronizer surfaces and thereby effecting synchronizer operation negatively.

How do you select an industrial gearbox oil?

Many considerations have to be factored in selecting a gearbox lubricant:

  • Gearbox type: dimensions, the metal from which the teeth are made, sliding properties and gear ratio, open or closed casing, etc.
  • Operating conditions: depending on the load, vibration and shock levels, anti-wear and extreme pressure properties determine the choice of lubricant.
  • Service oil temperature: very low, moderate of between +20°C and +80°C, hot at more than +80°C and extreme at in excess of +120°C.
  • Possible effects that the gearbox’s environment might have on the lubricant: some oils have enhanced anti-corrosion properties to maintain the length of the fluid’s service life in the event of exposure to humidity, dust or other elements.
  • Possible effects that the lubricant might have on the gearbox’s environment in the event of a leak: biodegradability, food-grade or non-staining properties may be required.
  • Maintenance conditions: a synthetic fluid that can allow long intervals between oil changes and which guarantees high levels of operational safety can result in significant maintenance cost savings.
What are the main functions of a hydraulic lubricant?

The main function of the fluid in a hydraulic system is to transmit a force applied at one point to another point. The power must be transferred quickly and with precision.  All quality hydraulic fluids must be capable of fulfilling the following functions:The main function of the fluid in a hydraulic system is to transmit a force applied at one point to another point. The power must be transferred quickly and with precision.  All quality hydraulic fluids must be capable of fulfilling the following functions:


  • Transmit power: transfer of a kinetic or potential energy (movement or pressure)
  • Lubricate and protect: protection against wear on surfaces in contact in order to best fulfil these functions, a hydraulic fluid must have a certain number of properties, appropriate viscos metrics, shear stability, fluid behaviour, right viscosity and little variation in viscosity in relation to temperature.
  • Low compressibility (rapid de-aeration and low foaming) The viscosity grade has to be chosen depending on the in-service temperature. Actually, the in-service lubricant has to maintain a viscosity higher than 10-15 cts in order to lubricate the pump. OEMs’ recommendations have to be followed.
What criteria is typically used to select a hydraulic lubricant for use?

The choice of a hydraulic lubricant should take into account the following parameters:The choice of a hydraulic lubricant should take into account the following parameters:

  • OEM requirements
  • Appropriate viscosity
  • Is a high VI required?
  • Anti-wear properties (FZG level should be indicated)
  • In service fluid behavioural needs: shear stability, foaming properties, demulsibility.
When is it appropriate to use synthetic oil? What is it important to know about synthetic oils?

Unlike “mineral” oils which are manufactured by distilling crude oil and then subjecting it to special processing, “synthetic” oils are manufactured in the chemicals sectors by adding together identical molecules in order to obtain oils of varying levels of viscosity.

The main synthetic oils are synthetic esters that are often used to create biodegradable lubricants, polyalphaolefins (PAO), whose chemical composition makes them very similar to mineral oils, and polyalkylene (PAG), glycols which have improved lubricating capacities.

The main advantages of mineral oils – apart from the special benefits derived from their molecular composition (biodegradability for synthetic esters, for example) – include a better ability to withstand ageing (meaning a longer service life) and the fact that they can be used over wider temperature ranges, giving them more multi-grade properties than traditional mineral oils.

What is a general-purpose lubricating grease and what applications can it be used for?

To maximize grease lubrication effectiveness, minimize cost and minimize risk of application-induced failure, lubricant manufacturers have made an effort to formulate greases that cover a variety of automotive and industrial applications. These applications range from slow to high speeds, and from low to high loads. A general purpose (GP) grease is designed to meet a broad range of requirements.
It is grease manufactured to medium consistency with a medium viscosity base oil and medium wear, washout and oxidation resistance properties. Essentially, it is a product designed to fit the largest possible cross-section of grease lubricated components.

Topping up a lubricant in an industrial machinery?

Recommendation to ensure the cleanliness of the new oil when filling a machine.Recommendation to ensure the cleanliness of the new oil when filling a machine.


  • Check that you are using the same oil or grease as the lubricant already in use in the machine.
  • Use a clean container to transport the oil or a different grease pump for each grease type.
  • Clean the top-up area in order to keep all pollution generated by the top-up operation to a minimum.
  • Adhere to the recommended quantities and levels.
What must be known about the compatibility between different lubricants?

Before any change or complement of lubricant in machinery, it is essential to ensure their mutual compatibility. Before any change or complement of lubricant in machinery, it is essential to ensure their mutual compatibility.

A compatibility test carried out in a laboratory might be necessary.  Some well-known cases showing compatibility issues:

  • Synthetic oils based on polyalkylene glycol (PAG) are incompatible with mineral oils and other synthetic oils. Oils formulated based on PAG are also not all mutually compatible.
  • Ash-forming oils, for example oils containing zinc thiophosphate additives, are generally not compatible with ash less oils.
  • Replacement of fluid grease with oil.
  • Replacement of a grease by another incompatible grease
Will aftermarket additives improve the life and performance of my engine?

The answer is NO if you use high-quality engine oil. Reputable engine oils have been tested by international standard organizations and OEMs making it suitable for the recommended drain interval without adding any aftermarket additives. Furthermore, adding supplemental additives to the engine oil may well disturb the delicately balanced chemistry of the engine oil which will reduce the performance of the oil. For this very reason, most OEM engine oil warranties are voided when aftermarket additives are added to the engine.

Why should you buy from Absolute Lubricants?

We are your “One Stop Oil Shop”. As the biggest Valvoline Lubricants Distributor in South Africa, we stock a wide range of oils and greases. Our oils cater for any application, and if we don’t stock it we will find it for you.

Why should I spend that little bit extra and buy a high quality oil?

Oil only makes up on average 2% of the running cost of your equipment or engine, yet it’s literally the lifeblood of any machine. Skimping on the oil is the last thing you should do as it can compromise the performance and life of any machine.

Do you offer free delivery?

Yes we do, within a 100km radius of our warehouse.

Do you sell grease?

Yes we do, we stock a wide range of greases for all applications.

Can you send someone out to my premises to see me about oil?

Yes we can, our professional sales team is waiting for your call, and are more than willing to travel the distance to meet you face to see me about oil?

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