acea a5/b5 oil

Hi,

My OH drives a Vauxhall Astra (1.4L petrol, 56 plate), which she has owned for a year, so it's time to change the oil for the first time.

I've run into two problems, eurocarparts lists two oil filters; one is slightly longer than the other; which do I need?

But my main concern is the oil. I saw some big drums at costco and figured that it would be cheaper in the long run to buy one of these. But I have since read the service booklet that came with the Astra and it says to avoid oils ACEA A1/B1 and A5/B5. The drum I bought is A5/B5.

What does all this A/B stuff mean and why is A5/B5 so bad? Should I be taking it back for a refund?

I also bought a drum of their "diesel oil" for my car and that appears to say it is A3/B3/A3/B4. What does all that mean?

TIA

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genuine vauxhall oil/filter is the way to go (and cheap too)

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Fred wrote:

==================================================================== I had no idea either (about the oil designations) so I did a quick 'google' and found this:

http://www.driverstechnology.co.uk/oils.htm

Part of the information seems to contradict Astra Manual information since it appears that A5 oils are one of the best grades:

"Put simply, A3/B3, A5/B5 and C3 oils are the better quality, stay in grade performance oils."

Cic.

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On Mon, 31 May 2010 07:42:57 +0100, Cicero wrote:

The fact that an oil is "better" does not mean it meets the manufacturer's specification for that vehicle.

Chris

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Cicero wrote:

A "better" oil might not be a suitable oil, for a number of reasons. ACEA A5/B5 oils "may be unsuitable for use in some engines" - http://www.lubrizol.com/EuropeanEngineOils/A5B508.html

John

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John Henderson wrote:

===================================================================== It seems odd that Vauxhall should advise owners to 'avoid' oils graded as ACEA A1/B1 and A5/B5 since they obviously have quite desirable characteristics - fuel economy and in the case of A5/B5 suitability for high performance combined with fuel economy. If there is any real danger to engines from the use of such oils one might expect Vauxhall to specify exactly which grade(s) they recommend rather than telling owners which to avoid.

I wonder what would happen if a warranty claim on a blown engine revealed that the engine contained one of the oils to be avoided.

Cic.

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On Mon, 31 May 2010 17:26:21 +0100, Cicero wrote:

[...]

They do, as do all manufacturers.

If an oil that was explicitly listed as unsuitable was used, there would be no doubt that they would refuse the claim, and correctly so IMHO.

Chris

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Chris Whelan wrote:

They do, of course - I wasn't thinking straight. I was side-tracked by the idea that Vauxhall would only advise people to avoid certain grades of oil rather than an outright prohibition.

Since Vauxhall seem to have introduced a grey area by only advising people to avoid certain grades they have created a golden opportunity for the lawyers to have a field day in muddy waters. Of course I'm picking up on the OP's use of the word 'avoid' which may not be how Vauxhall have actually worded it in their manual.

Cic.

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wrote:

It says: "use of engine oil grades ACEA-A1/B, ACEA-A5/B5 is expressly forbidden as they can cause long-term engine damage under certain operating conditions" but it doesn't say what these "certain conditions" are.

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Fred wrote:

==================================================================== Well that puts things in a very different light. It would be tempting fate to use the wrong oil(s) when they're so plainly forbidden.

I think I'll be having a closer look at the oil I'm using in my 306 as I've been trusting my local dealer to supply the correct oil since I started using diesels about 10 years ago.

Cic.

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wrote:

Yes, I found similar pages from google and, like you found, they suggest A5/B5 is the best of the bunch.

I wonder how many people don't know about these grades. I always though a 5w30 was 5w30. I'm going to look at the bottles in halfords and see what all those are.

The advice seems to be to take this back and go to the dealer. I am happy to listen to your advice. I hadn't thought of doing to the dealer because usually they have the reputation of costing twice everyone else. What do independent garages do though? Surely they don't keep a barrel of Vauxhall oil, a barrel of Ford oil, etc.

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Fred wrote:

I do, and a friend with a larger garage does the same. if you put the right stuff in there will be less likelihood of faults developing that can be blamed on you. Vauxhall oil bought through the trade club is very cheap in any case.

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wrote:

Crickey, you must have a room full of different oils. I phoned my Vauxhall stealer and my experience was much different to yours: they want 40-odd pounds ex vat for 4 Litres. The next size up is 20L and that costs over two hundred pounds; more than buying five four litre bottles. How much discount do they offer the trade? At those prices per litre, petrol begins to look cheap! ;)

Out of curiosity, I looked on the shelves at Halfords. Up to now I have always looked at the "diesel oils" aisle rather than the "petrol oils", so I was surprised to see that Halfords offer half a dozen colour-coded 5w30 oils: one for Fords, another for Audis, another for BMWs, another for Vauxhalls, etc.

I did buy some 5w30 oil once before but didn't notice it was one of many. I don't know if the others weren't sold then or if I just didn't see them! It was for a Ford and I do have a tiny bit left. It's a bit of a waste really each make having its own oil; there must be many part cans in people's garages that they cannot use when they change cars.

Interestingly, the own-brand 5w30s that are A3 rated are synthetic and the A1 oils are part synthetic, I think Castrol Magnatec did not follow this rule though. To give credit to Castrol, they do print the rating on the bottle "5w30 A1".

I think that with Castrol I needed "Edge" which is also 40-odd, so it looks like I have no choice; it's going to cost some money.

I have never noticed a problem when shopping for "diesel oil". Have I just been lucky with my experience that my cars have all wanted a similar oil, or is it that for some reason diesel engines are less fussy about their oil?

TIA

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Fred wrote:

the trade club does have some good discounts, the oil you need is about 3 quid a litre trade.

I think they all started specifying super oils to get the customers back in buying parts in dealers!!

The other problem is the makers have pressure to make longer service intervals and that really does need larger oil capacity and super quality oil.

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wrote:

And 10+ per litre to the public, ouch!

I don't mind the quantity, 4L is not much really, and I wouldn't mind using super oil, it's just a shame that each make has a different super oil, why can't they all use the same type of 5w30?!

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Just to say that I asked Vauxhall why A5 oil was not recommended and they said it is because of the additives in it but they didn't go into any further detail. HTH

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On Fri, 04 Jun 2010 08:48:39 +0100, Fred wrote:

Most drivers would change oil once a year at best. The difference between 20UKP and 40UKP over a year is pretty small in terms of car running costs; it's possible that the better oil might even improve fuel consumption to the point that it works out cheaper to use it!

If you think "Vauxhall" oil is expensive, I would suggest you don't consider running a VW on the extended service schedule...

Chris

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