Want to know which grade of oil your car uses? Here’s an app for that

One of the most important and frequent activities that form a part of any regular car service is changing the lubricants and surprisingly, most of us know very little about the details of these life-blood fluids that go into our cars.

So how crucial are lubricants to our cars and how complex is their development and research? To put it in simple terms, while a wrong grade of lubricant can result in the complete seizure of the component that it goes into (like the engine, the gearbox, the clutch or the brakes), delayed changing intervals can reduce the life of that component up to 30%. Need a real life example? Why do most taxis sound like flour mills by the time they cross 80k kms? Why are engine rebuilds so frequently needed in many commercial buses and cars?

While most lubricant manufacturers adhere to the global SAE and API standards of manufacturing and maintaining lubricant grades, the amount of knowledge that needs to be transmitted to you and me to understand them is miniscule and insufficient, and when I say this, I do not mean jazzy ad material which claims that your car can go to the moon and back without needing an oil change!

Shell has been among the world’s pioneering oil and lubricant manufacturers and has taken an interesting initiative to educate us on the kind of lubricants that our car requires, their change intervals and their specific technical properties as well, in a pretty innovative manner, by launching something all of us are pretty familiar with. Also read: Guide to engine oils – synthetic or mineral?

It is an online app that can be downloaded free of cost to your iPad, Tablet or Android phone.

This app, called “Lube Match”, though in its nascent stage at the moment, has various tabs which have simple drop down boxes through which you can choose your car, see the various grades of oils that it requires, maintain the history of your oil changes and understand the differences between the different types of Shell lubricants available for your car.

Going forward, Shell intends to include an alert feature that will remind you of oil changes, a store locator to enable you to locate the store closest to you and order your lubricant or drive down to the nearest store.

It’s a useful app to have, even if you aren’t buying Shell oils particularly, as it helps keep track of your car and its oil changes and types of oils needed for it. It makes the choice a lot simpler. Also read: Should you buy a used car that has done over 100,000 km?