Poll: Many Russians Ignore Oil Guidance


MOSCOW – A survey of Russian motorists indicates that a large proportion of them are not following original equipment manufacturers recommendations for viscosity grades and motor oil types when getting their passenger cars oil changed.

Victor Pushkarev, head of projects at the Moscow-based Autostat, told GBCs Commonwealth of Independent States Base Oils and Lubricants conference held here in May that the majority of Russian motorists get oil changes performed on their vehicles every 10,000 kilometers, use 5W-30 and 10W-40 viscosity grades of synthetic and semi-synthetic oils and are price driven when purchasing motor oil.

OEMs recommended use of the 5W-40 motor oil in only 6 percent of the active foreign-branded car fleet in Russia; however, Autostat found that 38 percent of foreign-branded cars used 5W-40 oils.

Likewise, although OEMs only recommended use of semi-synthetic engine oil in 12 percent of Russias active, foreign-branded cars, the survey found that 37 percent of those cars used semi-synthetic oils.

The Autostat results are based on a countrywide poll of 3,200 motorists conducted by the consultancy in 2017.

The consultancy found that Russian passenger cars consumed 232 million liters of engine oils in 2017, up 1.8 percent from 2016. Last year, the number of passenger cars on the road in Russia amounted to 32 million units, and it consisted of 32 percent Russian car brands and 68 percent foreign car brands, according to Autostat.

In its study, the consultancy found that while OEMs recommended 5W-30 viscosity grade in 61 percent of the countrys on-road foreign cars, this grade is used in 38 percent of active foreign cars.

We observed reversed trends when it comes to the OEM recommendations for Russian car brands. While the Russian car manufacturers recommended use of 10W-40 in 46 percent of the total fleet of on-road Russian car brands, this grade is actually used in 62 percent of this car fleet, Pushkarev said.

Manufacturers recommend use of synthetic oils in 86 percent of foreign passenger cars in Russia, according to Autostat.

However, our polls have shown synthetic oils are used in 60 percent of the countrys active foreign cars, Pushkarev revealed, adding that OEMs recommended semi-synthetic oils in 12 percent of foreign cars, but they were used in 37 percent.

When it comes to Russian car brands, the discrepancy was bigger: OEMs recommend use of synthetics in 50 percent of domestic cars, but this type of oil is used in only 27 percent of them, the consultancy found.

The discrepancy in the semi-synthetic oils used in the Russian passenger car fleet was narrower – 46 percent OEM-recommended against 69 percent in actual use. Autostat found that in 2017 the average price of imported 5W-40 synthetic engine oil was 1.98 rubles (U.S. $32) per four liters, while its domestic counterpart price was 1.42 rubles. The average price of imported semi-synthetic 10W-40 was 1.31 rubles in 2017, while its domestic counterpart was 0.76 rubles, according to the consultancy.

Autostat also found that 55 percent of passenger car owners in Russia preferred an oil change at every 10,000 km driven in 2017. Twenty percent changed oil at 7,500-km intervals, 8 percent at 5,000 km, 14 percent at 15,000 km, 2 percent at 20,000 km, and 1 percent at other intervals. In normal operating conditions technical maintenance and oil filter replacement is done every 15,000 km, Pushkarev said.

Cars on lifts at Nissan dealership in Russia.

Photo: Alexander Blinov/Alamy Stock Photo

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