Buying Engine Oil Sydney CBD - Is 'homebrand' and Valvoline from Woolworths Still Quality?

Topping up a 2000 model vehicle, but I am quite far from any Autobarn, Repco and SCA. What other options do I have if I'm in the Sydney CBD? Is the stuff you get at a Shell petrol station cheaper/better?

Considering just the homebrand from Woolies/Coles, similar to this or this.

TIA for any advice.


  • If it’s a standard sort of car and being 20 years old, that oil will be fine.

  • What other options do I have if I'm in the Sydney CBD?

    There's an SCA in Bondi and Alexandria. Both are a 10min bus ride from Sydney CBD. There's a Repco in Camperdown. Also 10min bus ride from Sydney CBD.

    That said, you'll be fine with the home brand oil. Wont find anything cheaper at SCA. Make sure you check your car manual for the oil spec though. It's possible that 20W/50 isn't going to work.

    • Thanks - didn't even think to check if my car has specific requirements.

    • Sorry just a follow-up. Manual recommends 10W-30, is it right to say as long as the first number is 10 or under I'm good to go?

  • If it meets the standard required by your car it's fine.

  • InB4: brand snobs turn up and this devolves into another E10 misinformation shitfest…

    If it’s a near 20yo car, then yes, the oil would be fine. Some moron will turn up in a min and try to tell you otherwise, and pull bullshit quotes or made up mileage figures. Ignore them… what is important is you get the correct category and weight range of oil to suit your car. Search online or if it still has the owners manual, it will be in there.

    It will say something like SJ 10w40.

    If the oil you want to buy meets those recommend numbers, it’s fine to use.

    • Cheers. Yeah I noticed whilst trying to google it, people get very intense over this stuff. I've found SAE 10W-30, 20W/50 is a nogo then? (And E10 is totally fine right..) Thanks again.

      • I would try and keep to the same “30” rating in the oil. This is the oils hot viscosity. The W part is a winter rating for the oil and not that important (in Australia). 5w30 or 10w30 should be ok. Even up to 10w40 would be fine. If the engine has a lot of km on it, maybe a 15w50 at most. Depends if you’re in Qld or Tasmania.

        What you shouldn’t do is mix synthetic oils and mineral oils, but mixing two different grades of the same type isnt much of an issue, ie, mixing some 10w30 in with some 5w30 would be ok.

        • Perfect. Thanks mate, really appreciate the help.

        • +1 vote

          W actually signifies the viscosity during cold test, most ppl think it means either winter or watts(?) but is just the cold flow. It does matter just as much because if the oil galleries are small, like on a modern engine, the oil won’t flow well when the engine is cold.
          And the comment about mixing different grades and types of oil is ridiculous.

        • @Test Tickles:

          The W stands for winter not weight
          The W or winter number

          This was taken from the Belray Oils website. So, if an oil company calls it Winter… But yes, it does refer to the characteristics of the oil when cold. If we lived in Siberia, 0w would be a good choice. If we lived in the Middle East, 20w would be fine.

          And sorry about the comment of not mixing synthetic with mineral oils. I was just going on the advice from the oil reps that come in to work. Can you enlighten me as to what part of my statement was “ridiculous”?

          So, yes, you can safely mix synthetic and conventional oil. But barring an emergency, it's not a great idea.
          Amsoil Website

          However, we would not recommend mixing oils as a general practice because oils are complex mixtures of additives and base oils that can be destabilized.
          Mobileoil Website

        • @pegaxs: You're discussing the issue with a person using marketing websites as sources of information. Do you rtealkly want to be discussing the issue with someone who is posting marketing as as sources of information?

          For example the first thing they claim is mixing oils is bad and this comes straight from the website of a synthetic oil manufacturer. I know this will stun and amaze you but the maker of synthetic oils claims you shouldn't mix real oil with what they're selling and you should just buy it all from them.

          • @Diji1: Are you for Real dude

            I'm studyu Automotives and our book clearly memtions not to mix multigrade oils with synthetic oil

            Now if you know something thats fine comment with what u know
            But dont try to misguide someone with info you aren't sure about

        • @Diji1:

          If not from the oil company sites, where do you suggest I get the info from? An automotive forum? From a bunch of opinionated, knuckle dragging, bottom lip always open, armchair mechanics? And I am happy to discuss anything with relevant sources and I would consider oil companies as a great souce of information on oils, because they make the stuff. Some back yard mechanic's opinion, I don’t trust so much.

          And the suppliers that come into work say the same thing. These are oil companies that sell both types. They have no reason to push one over the other. So why do you think they suggest not to mix even their own oils? The reason they have given to me, independent of each other is that synthetic oils can be degraded in performance when mixed with mineral oils. So, any benefit you hoped to derive from using a synthetic oil can be reduced by mixing regular oil in with it.

          I wasn’t saying "don't", I was saying "shouldn’t". And if you think this is a whole marketing scam, you need to invest in some more tinfoil hats…

          And now that I cant trust Belray, what does the "W" mean in oil grades?

        • +1 vote

          W is the cold test number, oil companies can call it whatever they want but the SAE doesn’t.
          The W number is also governed by the engine design, I wouldn’t want you putting 20w50 in my car when the recommendation is 5w30, using your example of Saudi Arabia, if I were to own a Porsche or other high performance car. Better let the car company engineers work this out and file their advice for best results. Otherwise you’ll owe me a new engine

        • @Test Tickles:

          Ok, so what does the SAE call the "w" part of the oil grade? What is the correct word that the "w" stands for?

          And OP is talking about a near 20yo car here. Not a new model Porsche or high performance car. There is a chance that OP's engine is getting a bit tired and the tolerances have changed to become a bit larger, so adding a bit of thicker oil isn’t going to do much in OP's instance.

          The other thing that OP is asking is if they can "top up" not "replace entirely". So adding a bit of 20W50 in order to get them out of trouble until next service would be fine. The car is obviously eating oil or leaking it and adding a slightly thicker oil may assist in slowing that down.

          And if anything, I think you need to go back and re-read what I have had to say… Just in case you missed it, here is a TL;DR

          what is important is you get the correct category and weight range of oil to suit your car.
          I would try and keep to the same “30” rating in the oil.
          5w30 or 10w30 should be ok. (Strangely enough, this is what is in the 2000 Toyota Camry owners manual)
          mixing some 10w30 in with some 5w30 would be ok.

          called it…

          and this devolves into another E10 misinformation shitfest…

        • What you shouldn’t do is mix synthetic oils and mineral oils

          They mix fine. You can find products where they use a blend. Even the proper synthetics (PAO/Ester) will mix with mineral. Its the additive packages that differ and can have undesired results when mixed.

        • @pegaxs: is a good place to read up on oil. Most mechanics/diesel fitters I've known don't possess a great deal of knowledge on the subject as not much is taught at trade school. You can also pick up a lot from the technical helpline some oil companies run for their industrial customers.

        • @JIMB0:

          Cheers for that site, I will check it out.

          And yes, you are right, a lot of mechanics don't know much more about oil other than trades school and reading owners manuals. I will too admit to not knowing much more about oil other than what the reps tell me when I ask about it or the parts I have researched on my own. It ins't comprehensive by any stretch, but this thread has set me off on a learning spree.

          And yes, synthetic oils and mineral oils mix fine, I will agree with your post on that. I would sooner add synthetic to top up a car with regular oil than to do it the other way around. Of all the reps i have spoken too over the years, they all tend to agree, yes, it's ok to do it, but if you are running full synthetic oils, adding regular oils will just minimise any benefits the synthetic has over regular oil.

    • brand snobs

      These people are usually clueless people subconsciously repeating advertising messages.

  • The shell service station will have 10w-30 just get a smaller bottle till your near a bigger outlet

    • Ah this has become the best way. Should be fine to just top up with another brand but same oil type?

  • make sure you pick up blinker fluid at the same time

  • 20w might be a bit too thick at start up, but should be alright at this time of year.

  • Just make sure that it meets the viscosity requirement for your engine (e.g. 10W30, 20W50, etc) and it also carries the equivalent (if not higher) API grade required for your engine (e.g. API SL, etc). As long as the oil is suitable and you have the oil changed according to manufacturer's schedule, your engine will be fine.

  • Using 20w50 in my 1998 Honda Civic and running smoothly no problems at all

  • I personally wouldn't use these brands, call me a brand snob but I prefer to use materials from companies that actually invest in development and research. This doesn't just apply to oils btw.

    But at the end of the day, the most important thing is regular oil changes when time or distance is met and not starving your engine of oil. So you should be fine with the home brand stuff.