Penrite – Base Oils

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Updated: December 6, 2018

Engine oils are a mixture of base oils and additive. Like when baking a cake, using the very best ingredients will produce a product of exceptional quality.

Penrite has been blending engine oils since 1926. In fact, the name Penrite partially comes from the original base oil used – “Pennsylvania” crude, which at the time was considered the most refined crude oil in the world. Penrite founder Les Mecoles, at the tender age of 14 recognised this and laid a solid foundation that is still today the basis of every product manufactured by Penrite.

In over 92 years of production, Penrite has sourced the finest quality base oils from around the world and blended these with the latest additive technology from leading suppliers to produce the highest quality products on the market today.

Base oils or “Base Stocks” as they are sometimes referred to, are derived from either naturally occurring crude oil, or synthetically manufactured from non crude resources. The API (American Petroleum Institute) grade base oils into five categories (as per table below).

When looking at crude oil refinement, the more refined the base oil, the purer it becomes, yielding a better result in a finished product. Most modern engine oils can still be made from Group I base oil blended with additives. Using a Group II base oil, for which there are also a multitude of quality levels, yields a better finished product. This is because the base oil contains less unwanted impurities. Group II base oils are actually clear liquids and look similar to Vodka in appearance. Blended oils get their amber colour from the additive packs that are mixed with the base oils.

Base oils can also be a mixture of mineral and synthetic base oil, referred to as Semi Synthetic, Synthetic Fortified etc. This utilises the strengths of a synthetic base oil with that of a mineral base oil to produce a higher quality product than a plain mineral oil. Many modern specification engine oils are now manufactured from Group III base stocks, which although derived from crude oil, has been refined to the stage where the molecular structure of the carbon chain has been altered. These can provide outstanding performance levels for little more cost than a Group II base oil. Group IV and Group V base oils are manufactured industrially from non crude resources and are ultra-pure, containing no wax, sulphur or phosphorus that can be present in crude oil. They can also be manufactured to desired viscosities with identical molecule sizes that are highly shear resistant, resist thermal breakdown and have excellent cold flow properties. Hence, choice of base oil is extremely important in the finished product.

Base oils can make up between approximately 75 – 90 per cent of an engine oil depending on the application and specification required. The rest is additive that gives the oils it particular characteristics. There is also a difference in the types of additives used depending on the desired costing of the end product. There are some products blended to just meet industry specifications and others that are blended to meet the most arduous of manufacturer approved levels. The difference can be quite high in terms of performance. There can also be a difference in cost which is one way to pick the difference in quality from budget oil to premium performance product.

Some of the additives used in engine oils are:

  • Detergents
  • Dispersants
  • Friction Modifiers
  • Anti-Wear Agents
  • VI Improvers
  • Foam Depressants
  • Pour Point Depressants
  • Oxidation Inhibitors
  • Rust Inhibitors

Additives deplete during the life cycle of the oil, so therefore the better the quality, the better protection afforded to the engine during a service cycle.

Penrite has a range of Mineral, Semi Synthetic and Full Synthetic engine oils, including oils that are manufacturer approved for warranty use by companies such as Mercedes Benz, VW, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, GM, Ford and others. Creating and maintaining the world’s best standards doesn’t come from cutting corners or cost of material from your products.

Penrite’s Melbourne based technical team are available 7 days a week to answer your technical enquiries either by phone, email or live chat. Answering over 2500 enquiries per Month the team has expertise with vehicles across the ages from vintage to modern, motorcycles, marine, small engine, you name it! Your enquiry need not be limited to engine oils. The team will assist with enquiries covering coolants, ATF and gear oils, brake fluids, greases; the list goes on!

To find the right product for your application, visit http://penriteoil.com or download our Lube Guide Phone App for your mobile device