Engines need lubrication products with special formulation to accommodate different needs from different types of engines, which has to meet the application and working mechanism including type of fuels and operating temperature on which the engine is used. Therefore, lube oil is not only for lubricate but must be carefully selected.


    Lube oil was made by mixture of carefully formulated ingredients which include base oil of different types, mineral, semi-synthetic or fully synthetic base, mixed with various additives to increase lubrication performance of each types of product to meet different needs and functions where the oil will be used.

    It is not necessary that fully synthetic lubricant is better than mineral base lubricant, and not necessary excessive use of additives will make a lubricant perform better. The key point is balance of each and every materials used to formulate the lubricant which has to meet engine types, material on which the engines were made of, their working mechanism, operating temperature and fuels.


    Lube oil product is designed and formulated carefully to do specific jobs on specific types of engine. In general, lube oil must have following functions:

    • Protection – it must have the ability to protect engines moving parts from frictions.
    • Lubricating – it must have the ability to minimize power loss due to frictions.
    • Cleaning – it must have the ability to clean fuel carbon and other friction debris.
    • Cooling – it must have the ability to maintain cool working engine temperature.

    Apart of classified by the use and type of fuels used by the engine, lubricant is also divided by its viscosity. Viscosity itself is classified on an international standard. In general it is, divided by mono-grade and multi-grade oil viscosity.

    Example of mono-grade oil viscosity is SAE 40; which means that the lubricant will have a grade 40 viscosity on 100˚C. SAE 40 oil does not have a winter grade classification, meaning that it does not suit to be use in a cooler climate.

    Example of multi-grade oil viscosity is SAE 10W-40; which means that the lubricant will have the same grade 40 viscosity on 100˚C but it also have the ability to work on winter viscosity which will be on grade 10 oil viscosity. Therefore, SAE 10W-40 is workable cooler climate but maintain its protection duty during the operational temperature.


    Each lubricant product has its own standard classified by each industry on which the lubricant is meant to be used. Lubrication standard is set by engine specification from each OEM according to type of engine, size, power output, working mechanism, operational temperature and type of fuel use by each specific engine type.

    Example of lubrication standard:

    • API SN lubrication standard for modern 4 stroke gasoline fuel car engine. This lubrication standard can be use on car engine calling for API SN standard as well as for lower lubrication standard like API SM/SL/SJ, but not the other way around.
    • API CI-4 lubrication standard for modern 4 stroke diesel fuel engine. This lubrication standard can be use on diesel engine calling for API CI-4 standard as well as for lower lubrication standard like API CH-4/CF-4/CF/CD but not the other way around.

    The easiest way to chose proper lubricant is by following the lubrication standard recommended by engine maker; usually this information mentioned in the user manual book. However, this information may not always be relevant with how long the engine has been use, working typical of the engine and relative operational hour. Aging machinery and long working hour will affect types of lubricant suitable to use.

    Lubricant technician will play a major role to deter and recommend proper lubrication for each machinery based on the information collected from each engine.