CHARLOTTE – We’ve had a lot of people ask over the years if they have to use a certain brand of oil, gas or other kind of fluid because their owner’s manual, gas cap or oil cap say they have to.
No, you don’t. The short answer to this is that it’s a joint marketing move by the OEM, who likely struck a deal with the oil company. After all, vehicles rolling off the assembly line need oil and gas too.
You can think of the difference between petroleum-based products kind of like the difference between Coke and Pepsi. Both taste different because of the additives, but at the end of the day they’re both soft drinks. Petroleum products work the same way. Yes, Mobil1 uses different additives than Castrol, but a 5W30 motor oil is a 5W30 motor oil no matter who makes it. 87 octane fuel may have different additives at a Mobil vs. a BP, but again, both are 87 octane fuels. As long as your car gets the correct kinds of fluids, the brand which makes them is arguably irrelevant.
Perhaps most importantly, a manufacturer cannot void a warranty over what brand of petroleum products you use. Ford may tell you they want you using only BP products (BP, Amoco, Castrol, etc.) but they can’t stop you from using, say, Royal Dutch Shell (Shell, Pennzoil, Quaker State, etc.) nor can they void your warranty over it nor would they be right to tell you issues were caused for such a reason.