What Type of Oil and Fluids Are Required For My Car?

I had a customer that had his Cadillac CTS in the shop and noticed there was a sticker in the window from a quick lube service facility and they put 10W/40 in his engine. Is this a problem? Aren’t all oils the same? When questioned, the customer didn’t know the reason why they used 10W/40 in place of 5W/30. It’s his car and he should expect that no matter where he brings it to he will get the correct fluids for his vehicle. Unfortunately that’s not what happens everywhere.

To get back to, Is this a problem?…This used to be a simple answer, but today with the advent of Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and tighter engine tolerances not all oils are the same and could actually cause damage, or problems with your engine. Gone are the days that 1 or 2 different viscosity oils could be used on all the vehicles on the road. New GM vehicles specify Dexos1™ oil. GM has approved quite a few oil manufacturers’ oils that meet the new specifications. Here’s a chart with the companies currently licensed that meet the new standards.
Licensed Brands

It is important to make sure you get not only the correct viscosity of oil, but oil that meets the manufacturer’s specifications. This is true as well for all the other fluids on your vehicle- transmission, differential(s), and power steering… A good source is your owner’s manual on what fluids your vehicle takes. How long your car lasts could depend on it.

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