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Best engine oils in Australia

We compared engine oils and found the best options for your car.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

The best engine oils in Australia

Engine oil is a vital product that helps keep your car running smoothly. It provides lubrication to minimise friction between your engine's moving parts and prevents wear and even serious damage.

There are a few types of engine oil on the market, including mineral oil, semi-synthetic oil and synthetic oil. When choosing the best option for your car, always consider the oil recommendation in your car's owner manual. You might also consider the oil's API or ACEA certification, viscosity and price.

For this list, we evaluated different engine oils from brands like Mobil 1, Nulon, Quicksilver and Penzoil. We picked products based on customer reviews and ratings. We also chose the engine oils for each category based on key product features.

Read more detail on our methodology below.


Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30

Best overall engine oil

Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Suitable for cars and trucks
  • Prevents sludge build up

Cons

  • Some customers received bottles that have leaked out during shipment
  • A little pricey

Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30 is our pick for the best overall engine oil you can get right now in Australia. On Amazon, it has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

This engine oil has a full-synthetic formula 5W-30 that uses the brand's signature Triple Action, delivering outstanding engine performance, protection and cleanliness. According to the brand, it helps protect critical engine parts for up to 10,000 miles while controlling oxidation to prevent oil breakdown.

Despite being expensive, this product is a favourite among car enthusiasts. It meets ILSAC GF-6 standards to help prevent low-speed pre-ignition. It also claims to provide heat protection up to 500°F or 260°C. Apart from being suitable for both cars and trucks, some testimonies said the oil has made their engine smoother and quieter.


Nulon Full Synthetic 5W-30 Low Emission Diesel Engine Oil

Best diesel engine oil

Nulon Full Synthetic 5W-30 Low Emission Diesel Engine Oil
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Has an energy and fuel-saving formula
  • Value for money

Cons

  • A few people said their engine became noisier after using the oil
  • Only suitable for turbo petrol/diesel engines

For the best diesel option, we recommend the Nulon Full Synthetic 5W-30 Low Emission Diesel Engine Oil. It has a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on productreview.com.au.

Nulon's Full Synthetic Low Emission Diesel 5W-30 engine oil is perfect for modern diesel engine vehicles with a Diesel Particulate Filter or DPF. It combines superb fuel efficiency and ultra-low SAPS formulation to ensure your engine has protection against wear and extreme temperature.

This engine oil contains Moly DTc to reduce friction while providing excellent engine cleanliness. Users said this has improved their vehicles' fuel economy, while others added that it made their engines run smoother with lower tapping noises. There were a few reports of engines getting noisier upon using this oil, but this seems to be an isolated issue.


Nulon Premium Mineral 15W40 Engine Oil

Best mineral engine oil

Nulon Premium Mineral 15W40 Engine Oil
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Anti-wear protection
  • Won’t break the bank

Cons

  • Not for heavy-duty engines
  • Some buyers received leaked bottles

We chose the Nulon Premium Mineral 15W40 Engine Oil as the best mineral option. This engine oil offers anti-wear protection and enhances detergency to prevent sludge formation.

Nulon's Premium Mineral Engine Oil makes cold starting a lot easier, while minimising engine wear. Apart from being able to maintain its viscosity at high temperature, this oil has antioxidants to prolong the life of the oil between drains.

This oil is formulated with virgin mineral base oils and high-performance additives to ensure optimal performance and engine protection. It is suitable for catalytic converters and as a running oil. It is also compatible with light-duty diesel and petrol. However, this isn't the best option for heavy-duty engines.


Mobil 1 FS European Car Formula Full Synthetic Motor Oil OW-40

Best synthetic engine oil

Mobil 1 FS European Car Formula Full Synthetic Motor Oil OW-40
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Provides engine wear protection
  • Customers said it has made their engines smooth and quiet

Cons

  • Cap is not secured according to some
  • Not cheap

Mobil 1's FS European Car Formula Full Synthetic Motor Oil OW-40 is our pick for the best synthetic engine oil. On Amazon, it has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 2,000 reviews.

This European formula engine oil claims to help control oxidation while preventing oil breakdown. Approved for many Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche vehicles, it offers superb turbocharged engine protection while reducing friction and preventing sludge build-ups.

This synthetic formula can extend your engine's life, even in extreme conditions. It also helps protect critical engine parts for up to 10,000 miles before oil changes. The uniform synthetic oil molecules have an advanced formulation for optimal internal engine heat protection, up to 500°F or 260°C and 40°F or 4.4°C. Some customers found the bottle cap a bit flimsy, adding that it tends to leak despite being tightly closed.


Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 0W-40 Motor Oil

Best thin engine oil

Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 0W-40 Motor Oil
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Provides stability under extreme conditions
  • Formulated for high performance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited availability

When it comes to thin engine oils, we recommend the Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 0W-40 Motor Oil as the best one. It has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

This fully synthetic engine oil offers oil stability and endurance under not-so-ideal conditions. It has optimal protection against viscosity loss and thermal breakdown and is approved for use in SRT engines.

Featuring PurePlus Technology, this is formulated to deliver faster low-temperature oil and extreme heat protection. Users said it has improved their cars' fuel economy while making their engines run smoother and a lot quieter. It is also affordable, but availability is limited. As of writing, it is only available online through Amazon.


Nulon Extra Thick Engine Oil 40w70

Best thick engine oil

Nulon Extra Thick Engine Oil 40w70
Image: Supplied/Finder

Not yet rated

Pros

  • Designed to reduce friction
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not recommended for heavy-duty diesel engines
  • Some said it requires more frequent oil changes

Nulon's Extra Thick Engine Oil is our choice for the best thick oil. It is a mineral formula that offers protection from severe conditions like heavy use in hot climates, racing and heavier loads.

With a high viscosity blend, this thick engine oil helps reduce signs of engine wear while minimising oil lost past the piston rings. It uses E1-, LPG and methanol fuels for improved protection, making it suitable for both worn engines and competition engines.

Reviewers were impressed by the oil's affordable price and high performance. It's got an extra thick viscosity for better protection under heavy load. While it isn't recommended for heavy-duty engines, this oil is more than enough for 6- and 8-cylinder performance as well as race conditions. It minimises oil burning and the need to top-up as well.


Amazon prices last updated on 1 July, 2022 at 12:39 pm
eBay prices last updated on 1 July, 2022 at 07:31 am

Methodology

11
Brands considered
45
Products compared
6
Best products chosen

Why you can trust our picks

For this list, we evaluated engine oils available in Amazon Australia. We looked into products from the following brands:

  • Amsol
  • Briggs & Stratton
  • Bynorm
  • Liquid Moly
  • Mobil 1
  • Nulon
  • Pennzoil
  • Penrite
  • Quicksilver
  • Redline
  • Valvoline

We then made a shortlist based on customer ratings and reviews (as of June 2022). We also considered each engine oil's key product features, including price, viscosity, your car's fuel type and API or ACEA classification. We came up with what we believe are the 6 best engine oils you can buy right now in Australia.

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. However, Finder may receive compensation when you click some links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners and why you can trust our guides.

Types of engine oils

Before we go any further, we should point out that the most important thing you can do when choosing engine oil is to check your car's owner manual. This will tell you which oil to use. This information can also sometimes be found on the oil reservoir cap on the engine. If you still can't find what you're looking for, the service department of your local dealership should be able to help.

There are a few different types of oil available:

  • Mineral oil. Also known as conventional oil, mineral oils are refined from crude oil. They're cheaper than synthetic oils and are generally better for older engines.
  • Synthetic oil. Synthetic oils are man-made products that have been refined and modified to make them more durable. They're more expensive than other options but will last longer, and they're suited to high-performance vehicles.
  • Semi-synthetic (or synthetic blend) oil. A combination of conventional and synthetic oils, semi-synthetic oils offer many of the same features as synthetic products but with a more affordable price tag.

The other main way to distinguish between oils is to check their viscosity. Viscosity refers to the oil's thickness, and you can see this listed on oil labels with classifications like "5W-30".

These number-and-letter formulas reflect an oil's Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) rating – the higher the number, the thicker the oil. An oil that's low in viscosity will flow faster, particularly when you first start your engine, but high-viscosity oils cope better at high temperatures.

So if an oil has a 5W-30 rating, the 5W reflects how the oil will flow at cold temperatures – the W stands for winter – while the 30 refers to its viscosity at hot temperatures.

How to compare engine oils

There are several factors you should consider before choosing an engine oil. Take the following factors into account when comparing your options.

What your car needs

Check the original equipment manufacturer's (OEM) recommended engine oil. You may be able to find this in the car owner's manual, on the oil reservoir cap or through the service department of your local dealership.

Retailers also make it easy to find the right oil. Browse engine oil online with a major automotive store and you'll be able to filter your search to find oils suitable for your car's make, model and engine type.

Viscosity

An oil’s SAE viscosity rating is always prominently displayed on the label. Check this rating to make sure it fits the recommended oil viscosity for your engine.

Type of fuel

The oil you choose will vary depending on whether your car runs on petrol, diesel or LPG. Check the label to determine whether an oil is suitable for your fuel type.

API or ACEA classification

Check the label to see whether there's an API or ACEA classification standard listed. This rating allows you to determine whether the oil is suitable for use in your engine, and standards are regularly updated as technology improves. We'll explain these standards in more detail further down the page.

Brand

The safest option when buying engine oil is to choose a recognised brand. This will ensure that you buy a high-quality product to maintain your engine and improve performance. You'll typically need to spend a little extra to choose a quality brand, but that added cost is still a whole lot cheaper than replacing an entire engine.

Price

If you’re buying mineral oil, you can expect to pay approximately $25-$50 for 5L for most products. Semi-synthetic oils are generally in the $30-$60 range for 5L, while synthetic oils are the most expensive of the bunch and are usually priced between $40 and $90 per 5L.

API and ACEA oil standards

As if engine oil labels weren't already confusing enough, there are a couple of other acronyms to keep an eye out for on the bottle. These are API, which stands for the American Petroleum Institute, and ACEA (which is the European Automobile Manufacturers Association). For example, you might see the terms "API SN/CF" and "ACEA C3/B4" on a label.

These terms refer to oil classification standards determined by these 2 organisations. These standards set minimum oil performance requirements, and they're regularly updated as oil and engine technology improve.

Under the API standard, which is most commonly used in Australia, the letter "S" is used for petrol engine oils and "C" is used for diesel. For petrol engines, SP is the latest standard and was introduced in May 2020. SN oil is for 2020 and older automotive engines, SM is for 2010 and older automotive engines, and so on as you work through the alphabet in reverse order. You can check out the full classifications here.

ACEA uses a different rating system, so check the latest classification on the organisation's website.

3 things to consider

There are a few other important factors to consider when choosing and using engine oil:

  • The importance of regular oil changes. Oil works hard to protect your engine, and over time, it can wear down and collect contaminants. This reduces its ability to protect your engine, which is why you need to change your oil regularly. As for how often it needs changing, check the manufacturer's recommendation. Find out more about how to look after your car with our 31 car maintenance tips.
  • How you use your car. Different driving conditions (such as towing heavy loads or spending lots of time in stop-start traffic) can also affect oil change frequency. To check oil levels, you can pop the bonnet and pull out the dipstick, while some modern cars will automatically notify you when the oil level gets too low.
  • High-mileage oil. If your engine has more than 100,000km on the clock and is starting to show its age, you may need to consider switching to a high-mileage oil. These products contain additives designed to reduce oil leaks and extend the life of an engine.

Best Engine Oils

Best Rated Engine Oils Brand: Nulon

Top rated for oil quality, Nulon won the Finder Award for the best engine oil brand this year. It also rated well for peformance, packaging design and value for money.

Frequently asked questions


Best rated engine oil brand award breakdown

Total Score Overall rating Value for Money Performance Packaging/Design Oil quality
Nulon 8.38 4.64 4.24 4.52 4.4 4.62
Penrite Oil 8.23 4.49 4.2 4.51 4.27 4.57
Other 8.2 4.56 3.88 4.56 3.96 4.64
Valvoline 8.17 4.43 4.12 4.59 4.41 4.61
AMSOIL 8 4.2 4.4 4.4 4.6 4.4
Castrol 7.93 4.31 4.08 4.37 4.12 4.35
Gulf Western 7.9 4.26 4.43 4.57 4.13 4.39
Shell 7.86 4.26 4.06 4.26 4.18 4.28
Mobil 7.79 4.29 4.08 4.27 4.06 4.18
Data: Finder Retail Brand Survey, 2020, Kantar. Metric out of 5 stars unless indicated. Methodology and more info. Kantar logo

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