Logo carsalmanac.com
15W40 oil: specifications
15W40 oil: specifications

What are the features of 15W40 oil? What are its characteristics, how to correctly decipher the marking? All these questions are of interest to drivers who are recommended to pour such oil into the engine at the service station. Any package is labeled, so this information will not be superfluous for the driver. The marking determines the viscosity of the oil, its purpose. Let's look at the markings and try to understand which engine oil to choose for the engine.

oil 15w40
oil 15w40

Oil readings

The most significant characteristic is the viscosity grade of a motor lubricant. It determines how intensively the oil will spread through the oil system of the car, as well as how it will change as a result of an increase / decrease in temperature. Note that the viscosity class does not indicate the quality of the product itself. There are many oils of the same viscosity on the market from different manufacturers. All of them are different in quality. However, it is impossible to determine the quality - there are no corresponding indicators. It is determined by the practice of application.

Designations in marking

In the 15W40 oil marking, the manufacturer gives us 2 parameters: 15W and 40. The first parameter says that the oil is winter (letter Wmeans Winter) and is intended for operation at temperatures not lower than -15 degrees. That is, at a temperature of -14 degrees, it will retain its viscosity and characteristics, which means it will allow you to start the engine without any problems, ensuring effective lubrication of friction pairs. However, at a temperature of -16 degrees, its viscosity increases, it becomes difficult for the pump to pump overly viscous lubricant, and it may not reach friction pairs. This contributes to the rapid wear of the engine as a whole.

Note that the number 15 in the name does not mean at all that the lower temperature limit is at -15 degrees. In this case, it's just a coincidence. Oils marked 10W40 can be operated within the range from -20 to +40 degrees. The lower the first digit in the marking of multigrade oils, the lower the lower temperature limit is and the more liquid the lubricant is. When working in winter, this parameter is extremely important, but in summer it is desirable to use a thicker oil. Semi-synthetic motor oil 15W40 is one of the most popular.

summer time
summer time

The second digit in the marking (40) indicates the upper temperature limit of the outside air, at which the oil will not lose its properties. In our example, 15W40 oil can operate in a temperature range from -15 to +40 degrees without losing its lubricating properties.

Winter, summer, universal oils

If only one of the values is indicated in the marking, then this indicates that the lubricant is not universal. For example, oil marked 15Wis winter, and it cannot be used at positive temperatures, because. can damage the engine.

Daylight savings oils are designated by only one number. For example, summer oil may be labeled 40, which indicates the upper temperature limit. Such oils cannot be used if the temperature outside drops below zero degrees. This is the disadvantage of seasonal oils - they need to be changed every season, and this is quite expensive.

15W40 oil is universal, as indicated by the marking indicating both designations. It is universal lubricants that are popular in Russia due to seasonal temperature fluctuations, because in summer the air temperature can reach +30 degrees, and in winter it can drop to -20 or even lower. At this time, many drivers may experience problems starting the engine, which is associated with an increase in the viscosity of the engine oil.

Viscosity grades are shown in the figure below.

shell helix ultra
shell helix ultra

Please note that SAE 0W40 oils are the most versatile, because can work at aggressively negative and positive air temperatures. However, you need to be careful with them. It is worth pouring such lubricants only if they are recommended by the manufacturer. Otherwise, they can harm the motor. In Russia, the most popular oils are 15W40 and 10W40. Certain brands of this oil are ideal for engines with mileage of 100 thousand kilometers or more. They also work well in both winter and summer. Of course, in very severe froststhey don't do well, but that doesn't stop the drivers.

In general, today universal oils completely replace seasonal ones. It is logical, because changing the lubricant every season is not only problematic, but also very expensive.

Which engine oil to choose?

The best oil for your engine is the one listed in the car manual. Manufacturers always indicate the viscosity and even the brand of lubricant that needs to be poured into the engine. The fact is that the manufacturer himself creates a power plant, taking into account a certain level of oil viscosity. The power of the oil pump, the size of the passage channels and other features - all this affects the speed of the lubricant in the motor. The wrong choice can be a headache for the driver and hit his wallet hard.

Also, when choosing a lubricant, you need to take into account the climate in which the car will be operated. If there are severe frosts, then the oil should be more liquid and designed for operation at low temperatures. In this case, 15W40 oil is perfect and is actively used by drivers in all regions of Russia.

which engine oil to choose
which engine oil to choose

It is also worth considering the condition of the engine into which the lubricant will be poured. The degree of engine wear plays an important role. The fact is that with strong wear of the friction pairs, the gap between them increases, and too thin oil will simply leak. Therefore, it is recommended to pour a more viscous oil into older motors. At the same time, old motors may have carbon deposits and differentdeposits in the oil system. For cleaning, masters advise using oils with detergent additives. In this regard, the Shell Helix Ultra product has proven itself well, which protects the motor and prevents the formation of pollution and precipitation.

Also, when choosing a lubricant, you need to consider the style of riding. For racing driving (sharp starts and high speeds), it is desirable to select a more viscous oil that forms a strong film between friction pairs. It will protect the motor from the consequences of heavy loads.

Misconception about viscosities

There is an opinion among car owners that the larger the temperature range of the lubricant, the better. That is, they believe that 10W40 is better than 15W40 oil. The price of the latter may be higher (or lower), although for some reason this is not taken into account. This is absolutely not true, because the viscosity class is not related to its quality. The viscosity grade does not even determine the basis of the lubricant. Any oil, including semi-synthetic, mineral or synthetic, can be rated 15W40.

Best greases in given viscosity

There are many products from different manufacturers on the market. Given that the 15W40 viscosity is popular in Russia, almost every brand is trying to put its product on the market with this characteristic. Some lubricants are the most popular.

Shell Helix Ultra

rimula shell
rimula shell

Quite a popular product that is actively used in Russia and is ideal for passenger cars, including models of the domestic VAZ brand. Also similarthe oil can be used in diesel and gasoline engines where API SG/CD specification is required.

The Shell Helix series as a whole includes budget oils with a good price / quality ratio. They have good antioxidant properties and also have detergent additives, so they are ideal for used engines.

Lukoil 15W40

engine oil 15w40
engine oil 15w40

The product from Lukoil with this viscosity is a fairly high-quality liquid, and it is made on a mineral basis. Its use is appropriate on forced engines that run on diesel or gasoline, but do not have a turbocharger. Also applicable to cars, trucks, buses.


  1. No oxidative reaction.
  2. No deposits in the engine.

Automotive manufacturers VAZ and ZMZ approve the use of this oil.

"Shell Rimula" 15W40

oil 15w40 price
oil 15w40 price

There are 2 types of grease from this manufacturer and with the specified viscosity: Shell Rimula R4 L and Shell Rimula R4 X. They differ in specifications and tolerances from automakers. Both products are actively used in cars of domestic and European brands, they are highly compatible with exhaust gas purification systems, and their use reduces the cost of servicing engines. If you believe the reviews, then Shell Rimula products are quite high-quality oils, but fakes are often found on the market, so whenchoosing, you need to pay attention to the canister.

However, it is quite difficult to distinguish a fake today. Fraudsters have learned not only to fake packaging, but also the product itself. As a result, many drivers operate fake oil without even knowing it. That is, there are no signs of poor quality at all, and the engine feels great.


Oils labeled 15W40 are very popular in Russia, and the reason for this is the climate. The above brands of motor lubricants are not the only ones. You can list them for quite a long time. Find out at the workshop which brand is right for you, and always use it in your engine. And in no case do not interfere with the oil! Then the motor will last a long time.

Popular topic