Oil shopping USA vs France

Messages
510
Location
Brittany, France
Hello to everyone, As i've watched almost every possible youtube vid of people changing oil in their older Mercs and every oil related topic on benzworld, i started wondering why the oil choice is so vast and quite different in north America. Today i've spent time browsing on Walmart and it is crazy. Every possible flavour or commercial denomination exists. High mileage, HDEO, every imaginable viscosity from a lot of brands. Here if you go to Leclerc or Carrefour, what i believe is the equivalent of Walmart, you get : Total, Shell and the supermarket's brand in 15W40, 10W40, 5W40 and low saps 5W30 C2 and C3 and that's pretty much all. If you go to a specialized auto store you may also find some Castrol and maybe a jug of 0W20 at an insane price. xW30 and xW20 weight oils didnt even exist here before DPFs and low saps requirements. I wonder why they are standard in the USA while it's been exclusively xW40 here for decades. We don't have things such as HM oils and HDEO oils are mostly unavailable to the public or expensive. The smaller oil choice doesnt seem to be problematic. If you dont need something specific for a newer car you either pick the 10W40 or the 5W40 from Shell or Total. Im pretty sure that 95% of gas or older diesel cars on the road being beaters or not have their pans filled with these oils. What's your take on this ? I am very curious about what the oil market is like in other parts of the world as well.
 
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17,060
Location
Upper Midwest
On the other hand, the available oil grades and types are nearly irrelevant when considering oil for your Mercedes-Benz. What matters is the required approval, sure you can quibble over the winter rating but that's about it. Find the least expensive oil which carries the required approval (ignore those which say "recommended for" or do not have the approval listed in the required manner) and buy that.
 
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13,228
Location
1/2 hr N.E. of Detroit
Just south of us in Mexico, most-all motor oil sales are of conventional flavor. Here in the US, synthetic oils have grown leaps & bounds. Up in Canada, the Canadian members here pout that our USA oil jug prices are much lower than theirs. Answer me this Mr. Frenchman! Why do so many Europeans treat PAO as being junk oil? I've read that numerous times in the past several months. Here, PAO is considered a step-up. I'm still learning the oil curve talk and I'm guessing PAO is not respected well in diesel applications, like it is in gasoline engine oil applications? Is that why PAO oils are either Heaven or Hades-Gehenna-Sheol, with no Limbo in-between?
 

M119

Thread starter
Messages
510
Location
Brittany, France
I've been talking about PAO and "true synthetics" with mechanics as well as on french forums and honestly no one seems to care too much about that. I've heard about Motul using PAO in their oil but they're is no debate of synthetic vs conventionnal as only the 15W40 grade is a conventionnal oil and regarded as "lawn mower oil" while synthetic 5W40 has been a standard for decades. I heard about Motul using PAO but everything off the shelf labelled as synthetic is group III, even the highest spec oils.
 
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Messages
264
Location
Canada, Russia
I thought the choice of oils was very limited in Canada. Now I know that France is even worse. That is strange because in Russia you can buy almost any oil from any part of the world. Ironically, Petro-Canada oils are quite popular. And you can't find them in Canada.
 

M119

Thread starter
Messages
510
Location
Brittany, France
On the other hand it is enough to cover every vehicle on the road. If you want someting really specific there are always specialized online stores.
 
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Messages
17,116
Location
Silicon Valley
My take is that the US population keep their cars and drive their cars for a VERY LONG TIME, like, 15-20 years and 200k miles. Of course, the ownership transfer between different people but the statistic means you have a lot of different specs across the age, from 10w30 to 0w20 typically, and ocassionally 20w50 and 0w16. Also the synthetic for newer cars, older nice cars, cheap dino oil for cheap cars, etc. The oil burner and older cars also means people tend to change their oil more often than spec for exotic oil that cost more. Older cars with cheaper oil changed more often (because of oil burning), is more reasonable than newer car changed less often with exotic oil. Why the 0w20 and 5w30? We use more gasoline and we have CAFE mandating fuel economy instead of fuel tax favoring diesel over gasoline. It is cheaper for manufacturer to spec 0w20 than diesel with 5w40 or going turbo (until recently). That's what I see in a nutshell.
 
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M119

Thread starter
Messages
510
Location
Brittany, France
Thank you for your answer, it true that there is more Diesel than gas cars on the roads but the trend is evolving towards gas. And yes i feel like people are quick to junk cars here, for exemple people don't believe me when i say that my E250 has 480 000 kms on the clock, they want te see the odometer. A car with 200 000 kms is seen as a very high mileage one and probably not worth of driving and fixing for most people.
 
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Messages
17,116
Location
Silicon Valley
Originally Posted by M119
Thank you for your answer, it true that there is more Diesel than gas cars on the roads but the trend is evolving towards gas. And yes i feel like people are quick to junk cars here, for exemple people don't believe me when i say that my E250 has 480 000 kms on the clock, they want te see the odometer. A car with 200 000 kms is seen as a very high mileage one and probably not worth of driving and fixing for most people.
In the US there is almost no diesel passenger cars, other than something quirky like the VW TDI, and now we know how they get it to pass emission...
 
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6,353
Location
Suburban Washington DC
Originally Posted by PandaBear
Originally Posted by M119
Thank you for your answer, it true that there is more Diesel than gas cars on the roads but the trend is evolving towards gas. And yes i feel like people are quick to junk cars here, for exemple people don't believe me when i say that my E250 has 480 000 kms on the clock, they want te see the odometer. A car with 200 000 kms is seen as a very high mileage one and probably not worth of driving and fixing for most people.
In the US there is almost no diesel passenger cars, other than something quirky like the VW TDI, and now we know how they get it to pass emission...
What's quirty about a Jetta TDI? As for almost no, guess it depends on where you are. I see diesels from Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, even Chevy, all the time around here.
 
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5,325
Location
Paramount, California
Originally Posted by M119
Here if you go to Leclerc or Carrefour, what i believe is the equivalent of Walmart, you get :
Carrefour is not the equivalent of Walmart! Perhaps it's the equivalent of Target. Walmart Supercenters are ten times bigger than Carrefour stores. Everything is bigger in America. wink Except, the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas is a scaled-down version of yours. LOL
It's true that ACEA has been lagging in fuel economy. There are also a lot of diesel cars in Europe. That's why you see a lot of one-size-fits-all A3/B4 full-SAPS and C3 mid-SAPS thick oils for both gasoline and diesel engines over there. However, most European OEMs are now specifying 0W-20 for their new cars. You should see more and more 0W-20 on the shelves soon. Ten years ago you could hardly find 0W-20 at Walmart. Things quickly change. It's just like about ten years ago we didn't have smartphones. Europe will get there. wink However, it will be a while before you guys see 0W-16. Take pictures of it before you go home. wink All this said electric cars will probably take over in ten years.
 
Messages
113
Location
Portland, OR
I've lived in France as a kid. I remember my father on our 1989 Renault No. 5 did an oil change. He asked his coworkers about where to get motor oil, was told just get it from the gas station with your brand. So since he had an Elf oil card, he went to an ELF station, got oil. I forget where he got an oil filter from. I know on in later conversations with friends in Europe i've made, the consensus is that Euro-Makers try to do single spec oil for entire generations of cars, with that said, he jokes that Europe never really got small block V8 engines like the US had, so they didn't need to put in 10W-30 for everything...
 
Here in Spain, Carrefour has quite a nice range of oils, they usually have everything from 0W-20 to 20W-50, mostly as you would expect being a French brand, they sell mostly Total and Elf products. But their prices are usually too high, much cheaper to buy oil on Amazon or other online stores.
 

M119

Thread starter
Messages
510
Location
Brittany, France
Originally Posted by FordCapriDriver
Here in Spain, Carrefour has quite a nice range of oils, they usually have everything from 0W-20 to 20W-50, mostly as you would expect being a French brand, they sell mostly Total and Elf products. But their prices are usually too high, much cheaper to buy oil on Amazon or other online stores.
Strangely enough, supermarkets are the least expensive way of getting oil here, even cheaper than Amazon. All the 10W40 oils and some 5W40 are around 20€ and Total, Elf or Shell's 5W40 are more or less 30€, i never bought oil anywhere else. It's true that carrefour has a few interesting things, they have a 5W50 that a lot of people seem to love but the specs are a bit low for my application.
 
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Messages
5,544
Location
Atlanta,GA
US vehicles do not pay a tax based upon engine displacement so there's a good product mix of sub-2 liter to 5+ liter engines. Fuel taxes significantly lower vs France Hybrid powertrains have been widely available since the mid 2000's. Ownership period averages 6.5 years. Avg miles driven per year is 13,000 (21.600 km) Average age of a vehicle on the road in the US: 11.8 yrs The majority of states do not have a roadworthiness inspection. Basically we have an situation where there's a wide range of vehicles of various ages which lends to a wide range of oil choices.
 
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M119

Thread starter
Messages
510
Location
Brittany, France
Thank you BMWTurboDzl, i was curious about actual numbers. I am amazed by fuel prices in the US. In France the taxes are so high that a gallon of regular gasoline costs around $7.50 (1.50€ per liter) and a little less for diesel. E85 is becoming very popular because it's not taxed and is two to three times cheaper. That's the only fuel i use as my average mileage is 40 000 kms each year (avg mileage is 17 000 here).
 
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Messages
5,325
Location
Paramount, California
Apparently Renault recommends full-SAPS, high-HTHS ACEA A3/B4 xW-40 (RN0710) for its gasoline engines and and low-SAPS, high-HTHS ACEA C4 xW-30 or xW-40 (RN0720) for its diesel engines. RN0700 allows both ACEA A3/B4 (HTHS ⥠3.5 cP) and ACEA A5/B5 (HTHS ~ 3.0 cP), but it seems to be an older spec. This explains why they don't sell thinner oils in France. It's also interesting that they recommend thinner oil (ACEA A5/B5, HTHS ~ 3.0 cP) for break-in for factory fill in RN0710.
 
Messages
5,544
Location
Atlanta,GA
Originally Posted by M119
Thank you BMWTurboDzl, i was curious about actual numbers. I am amazed by fuel prices in the US. In France the taxes are so high that a gallon of regular gasoline costs around $7.50 (1.50€ per liter) and a little less for diesel. E85 is becoming very popular because it's not taxed and is two to three times cheaper. That's the only fuel i use as my average mileage is 40 000 kms each year (avg mileage is 17 000 here).
US may have low fuel taxes but imo Brittany has the best [censored] butter in the world! grin2
 
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