How to deal with lubricant brand recommendations from vehicle manufacturers

We often get the question, specifically from OEM workshops, if they are obliged to use the lubricant brand recommended by vehicle manufacturers. The short answer is: no.

The European Commission has formulated several rules regulating competition for the automotive aftermarket. These rules impact the purchase and use of lubricants within European member states. They are aimed at benefiting the end-consumer, but affect all car workshops and car repair shops.

Below an overview of the most important elements of the European Block Exemption Regulation for the automotive aftermarket, regarding the use of lubricants and recommendations made by manufacturers:

Can a vehicle manufacturer impose the use of its own lubricants and other fluids or those of a specific lubricant brand for its vehicles? No.

The lubricant brand choice can be made freely, and cannot be imposed by the vehicle manufacturer, unless the vehicle manufacturer is paying for the work, like in the case of recall jobs. 

Can a vehicle manufacturer recommend the use of a specific lubricant brand, or other fluids, for its vehicles? Yes, but it is no more than a recommendation, the use of the recommended brand is not obligatory.

Car mechanics are free to choose what lubricant brand they use. Unless, like mentioned above, the vehicle manufacturer is paying for the job.  Of course, it is recommended to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines what the type of oil is concerned, but not the brand.

Does the warranty become invalid when the lubricant brand recommendation is not followed? No, the warranty cannot be withdrawn because a different lubricant or fluids brand was used, given that the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation for the engine oil type is followed.

Each vehicle manufacturer recommends a certain type of engine oil regarding quality and technical performance, to fit the engine design. This has to be respected, but can be engine oil from different brands.

Conclusion

Each car mechanic, whether working in an independent workshop or in a OEM authorized workshop, can freely choose the lubricant or fluid brand to use, as long as the products respect the technical specifications defined by the vehicle manufacturer.

The leaflet “Purchase and use of lubricants within the European Union”, created by the Independent Union of the European Lubricant Industry (UEIL), tells more about these rules.

Finding the right Wolf lubricant

Wolf lubricants are technology-enhanced motor oils, developed to meet the latest OEM requirements and taking into account market drivers such as the aim for more fuel economy, more durability and less CO2. Specifically the WOLF OFFICIALTECH lubricant range meets and exceeds the high specifications of Original Equipment Manufacturers.

Don’t know what type of oil to use for what car, or looking for the Wolf alternative for another lubricant brand? Try our user-friendly recommendation tool on www.wolflubes.com: give in vehicle specifications and we will tell you what engine oil to use, or we will give you our alternative for a different lubricant brand.

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