Vehicle manufacturer guidelines on engine oil usage are more confusing than ever before, according to 59 per cent of independent garages taking part in a survey for GSF Car Parts.
The results revealed that 5W/30, sold in many different formulations, was the most popular grade used by garages, with nearly 90 per cent listing it as the ‘one grade they use the most’.
The remainder selected 10W/40, 10W/30, 5W/40 or 15W/40 as their number one.
Each week, 43 per cent of the respondents completes ten to 20 oil changes, with just 30 per cent undertaking less than ten.
To meet demand 53 per cent of the garages who took part say they stock three to five different oil formulations and 27 per cent stock more than five types.
55 per cent said their stocking policy gave them a coverage of at least 75 per cent on the cars they’re working on, leaving 45 per cent needing to order in oil for more than one in four of the cars coming through the workshop.
The split between short and long service interval oils proved fairly even, but slightly favoured the shorter lasting lower cost oil formulations.
Cost for garages
The survey results found that almost 60 per cent keep over £500 invested in oil stock, with 28 per cent keeping over £1,500 tied up in oil at any one time.
Just 18 per cent said they kept oil in bulk tanks of 500 litres or more.
39 per cent keep five litre containers and 36 per cent keep 20 – 50 litre containers, while 55 per cent keep oils in 199 litre barrels.
John Wright, GSF head of garage equipment and customer development, said: “This has been a fantastically useful exercise, thanks go to all the garages that took time to help give us this picture of the oil market.”
To view the full survey results, select ‘more details’ below.