GSF advise garages to look at the C3 small print
Following a February survey, which made clear the challenges faced by garages in cost-effectively stocking suitable specification engine oils for today’s cars, GSF Car Parts are now asking garages to check their C3 oils more closely.
5W-30 was by far the most commonly used grade of oil used by the hundreds of independent garage respondents. Over 90% named it as the ‘one grade they use the most’. And ‘C3’ was named by many of those mentioning 5W-30.
ACEA C3 engine oils are suitable for diesel engines fitted with diesel particulate filters (DPFs). But whilst C3 is an extended service interval oil on some vehicle marques, this doesn’t mean a particular C3 will automatically be compatible will all vehicle manufacturers’ ‘long-life’ specifications - so GSF urge caution.
“Given its popularity, many suppliers are selling C3 on price which leads to some clever marketing that unfortunately can easily be misleading,” said John Wright GSF Car Parts’ Head of Garage Equipment and Customer Development. “The fact is, not all C3 is the same.”
For example, many 5W-30 C3 barrels will have reference to BMW Longlife-04 and BMW Longlife-01 service compatibility. However, many of these 5W-30 C3 oil labels will only recommend it for VAG group VW502:00 & VW505:00, which VAG group say are their normal service interval specifications.
Therefore unless it’s explicitly stated on the label, they would not meet the requirement for VAG group’s later long-life specifications VW504:00 and VW507:00 (also known as 504 and 507 respectively). The discrepancy occurs because VW introduced theses specs a lot later and with tighter tolerances.
Unlike lots of the 5W-30 C3 oils being sold to garages currently, the Vetech multi-fleet extended service life 5W-30 from GSF (5W30 ESL Pro) does cover the newer VW group specifications too, and unlike other 5W-30 C3 it is fully retrospectively compatible back to 2000 on (excludes V10 and R5 engines built before 2006).
This means many garages choosing to use it can cover a wider proportion of their long-life servicing requirement with this single product. Garages are advised to contact their local branch for more details.