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At Millers Oils we get asked a lot of questions about using oil that “meets specification” versus “OEM approved”, and its effect on vehicle warranty. So, we’ve put together a short blog to help answer questions and dispel the myths.
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, i.e. the company that made your vehicle.
As well as industry standards for oil, such as the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), OEMs often have their own standards or specifications for oil that can be used in their vehicles. These specifications are available to oil blenders, who can then formulate products that meet the criteria. If an oil has been formulated in line with the OEM specification, it is described as “meets specification”. An oil is OEM approved if it has been submitted to the vehicle manufacturer for testing, and they have confirmed that it meets specification.
An industry organisation called the Verification of Lubricant Specification (VLS) monitors the market and checks compliance of products to industry and performance standards. This means businesses and consumers can have confidence in the claims that oil blenders make.
For more information, visit http://ukla-vls.org.uk/
Quick answer: No, an oil that meets specification will not invalidate your warranty. Detailed answer: In 2003, the European Commission introduced the Block Exemption Regulation, which is a law that stops unfair activities that prevent competition. In the context of oil, it means motorists can have their vehicles serviced or repaired in any chosen workshop without invalidating their manufacturer’s warranty, so long as the work, parts and oil are of appropriate and matching standard to that of the manufacturer.
So, if an oil meets the OEM specification, it is the same standard as the OEM approved oil and will not invalidate your warranty.
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Viscosity is crucial for optimum lubrication, and can change due to contamination or oxidation.
Oil can become contaminated by environmental factors such as water, dust and debris, as well as by other oils.
Wear metals in the oil offer an insight into not just the health of the oil but the health of the machine components. High levels of a certain metal can indicate that a particular component may need replacing soon.
Additives such as anti-wear, anti-corrosion etc. become depleted over time as they fulfil their purpose in the oil.