Motul Explained

When we made the decision to switch over from LIQUI MOLY to Motul oils a few months back, we knew it was going to be a challenge. We launched with LIQUI MOLY almost three years ago, and at that time it was also a relatively unknown brand of motor oil in Australia. It now has a loyal following, particularly in the BMW community, so our decision to move away from the brand may look a bit odd from the outside. Although we still hold LIQUI MOLY in very high regard, we believe Motul oil -- and particularly their 8100 series -- is some of the highest quality motor oil in the world today. That’s what it came down to. We’ve had a lot of questions and scepticism from our customers as to why we’ve made the change, so we thought it was important to go into detail and thoroughly outline our decision. We also thought it would be useful to provide some insight into the manufacturing process, and what makes a truly excellent oil.  

It’s also important to note that we don’t consider oils to be our core business. People don’t come to us for oils. We have a particular focus on providing our customers with OEM-equivalent maintenance parts at reasonable pricing. Products like our Motul oils and our recently-added Autoglym range allow us to provide greater value and convenience to our customers.

The Decision

This isn’t simply a marketing gimmick. We’re real car enthusiasts here, and we spend considerable amounts of time researching the products that we use and sell. We stand by the fact that we will only sell products that we would fit to our own BMWs.

There really are hundreds of options for oil on the market today, all of which are widely accessible, and most of them are perfectly fine for people that view their cars as nothing more than A-to-B transportation. We discussed whether we should offer our customers a standard, cheaper oil, but we decided it made more sense to differentiate ourselves by offering our customers what is simply one of the best oils available. We should sell what we put in our own BMWs.

Motul is known widely throughout the motorcycle racing and high-end Japanese tuner communities, but has never been closely aligned with BMW owners, despite their 8100 oils meeting BMW’s own Longlife approvals. Some may label it as arrogance, but we would rather introduce an alternative brand and help educate fellow owners about its benefits, than just offer a better-known brand that is simply not as good. We don’t make decisions based on what will look good for our sales numbers. For us, it’s about providing the best quality, at the best prices, and the rest will follow from there. We know that Motul isn’t the cheapest oil that we can offer our customers, but we believe that quality is worth paying for, and makes for cheap insurance. Here’s why:

The Science

It’s worth noting that the word ‘synthetic’, when in the context of motor oils, refers to the process and not the material. The quality of oil is determined right at the beginning, with the ingredients for the base stock. Almost all high-end oils sold at the retail level in Australia are based on Grade 4 stock, which is a synthesised petroleum-based oil (derived from crude), and made in high volumes by companies like Exxon-Mobil. Very few motor oil manufacturers use a Grade 5 base stock (the highest grade available), which are called Esters and are commonly synthesised from vegetable oils and animal fats. The base stock used in the top tier Motul motor oils is a Grade 5 synthetic Ester that is predominantly derived from coconuts. Motul manufacture their own base stock, which, although more expensive, means they can ensure the quality right from the beginning.

The Benefits

The main advantage over other grades is that these Grade 5 Esters are polarised, which is to say that they are magnetised. They are attracted to metals and form an electro-chemical bond, whereas lesser oils only form a lubricating film at operating temperatures. The Esters leave a film of oil molecules over metal components, providing far superior lubrication during start-up, where most engine damaged is caused. This film of oil also helps safeguard from engine failure in situations where there is a drop in oil pressure. All commercial jet planes use synthetic Ester-based lubricants in their turbines.

One of the biggest advantages is that Esters also have far greater stability in high temperatures over other grades of oils, and have greater oil film strength. Petroleum-based oils evaporate when they exceed their operating temperature, carbonising and sticking to components. Even if burned, Esters do not leave deposits in the motor. Motul also add special anti-foaming properties to their oils, which is important for high-revving motors. This improves the lubrication and cooling of the motor under extreme stress, making these oils a particularly good choice for track work and spirited driving.

Motul’s series of oils combine the best base stocks with the very best additives, as well as using a special type of proprietary ingredient blending technique that makes their products superior to anything currently on the market today. This is why we sell, use, and recommend Motul oils.

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