Engine Oil Buying Guide

Like if this Guide is helpful
Engine Oil Buying Guide

High-quality engine oil is an essential part of car maintenance. When engine oil is replaced in proper intervals, it creates a film between the various moving parts in the engine in order to reduce contact between moving parts as much as possible. This reduces friction, and therefore wear and tear, on expensive engine components. Engine oil also serves as number of other uses, including: cooling the engine, improving the seal between components, and inhibition of corrosion over time. Almost all engine oils are made from petroleum-based components, which are then combined with other bases. Engine oil is used in almost all motor vehicles, construction and farming equipment, and a variety of non-road vehicles and electrical components.
Engine oil can be purchased from a number of sources, including auto parts stores and mechanics. However, purchasing engine oil online is a more effective way to get exactly the right type of oil. Before purchasing online, however, it is important to learn and understand the different types of engine oil, as well as which types are best for certain situations.


Types of Engine Oil

Engine oil is not a “one size fits all” product. There are different types of oil for different vehicles, and different grades of oil depending on how much the car owner wants to spend. The following is a breakdown of the major engine oil categories:

Vehicle Engine Oil

Vehicle engine oil is specifically designed to work in vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and boats. It should never be substituted for non-vehicle oil or another type of oil. Doing so could cause permanent damage to the vehicle and put its passengers in serious danger.

Non-Vehicle Engine Oil

Non-vehicle engine oil is typically used for equipment such as snow blowers, lawn mowers, go-karts, etc. Typically, non-vehicle engine oil comes in one viscosity, which can be altered as needed by pre-mixing the oil with gasoline before use. It is important to use non-vehicle engine oil when appropriate because the level of lubrication can differ from that of vehicle engine oil.


Composition of Engine Oils

After differentiating between vehicle and non-vehicle engine oil, each oil can be further broken down into mineral oil, synthetic oil, and partly-synthetic oil.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is the oldest and simplest form of engine oil, and is most commonly used in older vehicles. While mineral engine oil is the most common and most versatile engine oil available, it does have a number of disadvantages. Mineral oil will thin out and become too dirty to be useful far faster than synthetic or partly-synthetic engine oils, meaning the car owner will need to change mineral oil more often. On the other hand, mineral oil is less expensive than synthetic and partly-synthetic oils.

Partly-Synthetic Oil

Partly-synthetic engine oil is a hybrid of mineral oil and fully-synthetic oil. One of the biggest benefits of partly-synthetic engine oil is the fact that it lasts significantly longer than mineral engine oil, without the expense of fully-synthetic oil. This hybrid oil is the most commonly-used oil in cars built today, and offers better performance and a lower long-term cost than mineral oil.

Synthetic Oil

Fully-synthetic engine oil is, as the name suggests, made completely from synthetic components. Synthetic oil lasts significantly longer that mineral or part synthetic oil, can survive more extreme conditions, and is ideal for engines used in industrial situations.


How to Choose the Correct Engine Oil

Choosing the right engine oil comes down to the vehicle the oil will be used for and the amount of money that is available for the purchase. The following are some of the major factors to consider.


Viscosity refers to the thickness of the engine oil, particularly at specific temperatures. Most engine oils have multigrade viscosity, denoted by two figures separated by a “W”. The newest cars use 5W30, while older cars use 20W50.


Additives improve the lubrication performance of the engine oil. They can also help improve viscosity, oil lifetime, etc.


Specification is a two letter identifier, with the first denoting what type of engine the oil is for, and the second letter denoting the quality of the oil. The higher the second letter, the higher the quality of the oil.


How to Buy Engine Oil on eBay

While there are a lot of different engine oils available on eBay, it is easy to search for a specific type. First, navigate to the main eBay website, then type a specific oil in the search bar; for example, "part synthetic engine oil". Buyers can also find deals by selecting the deals on the Automotive & Boats tab or on the Automotive Tools tab.



Engine oil is one of the most important purchases for regular vehicle maintenance. It is worth investing time to determine the right type of oil, and to purchase that oil from a reputable seller on eBay. In addition, car owners should remember to take their vehicles in for regularly-scheduled maintenance.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides