Refueling/pouring oil into the engine motor car. Energy fuel concept.

Vehicle Lubricant & Additives 101

Your car is a machine that needs yearly care and attention. Investing in the right products and services ensures that you get the most out of your vehicle. Without proper maintenance, your car may not perform well or will require significant repairs sooner rather than later.

One of the most important things you can do for your vehicle is to educate yourself on the importance of lubricants and other additives that keep your vehicle running smoothly.

At MNOP, we provide lubricants and other products for fleets and drivers in the PNW. The following article will give you a great overview of vehicle lubricants. If you don’t know much about the additives and lubricants that are necessary for your vehicle, don’t worry! Keep reading, and you are sure to catch up quickly.

Why is Vehicle Lubricant Necessary?

Without the right amount of vehicle lubricant in the right spots, your vehicle may not run properly. Or, your vehicle will wear down fast due to lack of necessary “nutrients,” so to speak.

You should never neglect vehicle lubricant if you want your vehicle to have any kind of longevity. Investing in a little bit now will ultimately pay off in the long run.

Vehicle lubricant plays four primary roles:

1 – Control friction and wear and tear on your engine
2 – Protect your engine from rust
3 – Cool the pistons
4 – Protect engine oil stored in the sump from combustion gases

A hand filling car power steering fluid

Different Types of Lubricants

Lubricants are typically divided into two categories — monograde and multigrade. The distinction between the two is based on viscosity and temperature control.

⇩ Multigrade Oils

Multigrade oils maintain their viscosity within a set temperature range. These oils offer the best of both worlds since they maintain their performance in both temperature extremes. For an oil to be considered multigrade, it must meet a low and high-temperature requirement for maintaining optimal viscosity.

⇩ Monograde Oils

Monograde oils do not have any temperature requirements. These oils thicken quickly as temperatures decrease and thin out as temperatures increase. Monograde oils are usually reserved for either hot or cold temperatures, while multigrade oils can perform under either extreme.

Driving Through Forest - Aerial View

Most Common Vehicle Lubricants

There are three lubricant types every vehicle driver needs to be aware of:

⇩ 1. Engine Oil

Your engine oil needs to be changed on a regular basis, especially if you drive or commute often. Every car differs slightly in the frequency required, but most vehicles need to have their oil changed every few thousand miles. Consult your owner’s manual for a precise recommendation or ask a trusted mechanic.

⇩ 2. Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid has several purposes. It cleans and protects your vehicle’s transmission by cleaning and protecting metal surfaces from wear, conditioning your gaskets, enhancing cooling functions, and increasing rotational speed.

The type of transmission fluid your vehicle needs depends on the make and model. You may not know what type your vehicle takes because it does not need to be changed that often. You want to have your transmission fluid changed about every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.

⇩ 3. Grease

Grease is used for any moving parts on your vehicle. It helps minimize friction, grating, and wear and tear. Grease is usually reserved for parts on your car that can’t otherwise be treated with lubricants or other fluids.

Can with car engine oil pouring black background

Brand Comparisons

If you’re looking for a high-quality lubricant, you have plenty of options on the market to choose from. Below you’ll find some brief descriptions of the most popular lubricants we carry at MNOP.


Phillips 66 has been a worldwide producer of lubricant products since 1905. For over 100 years, this brand has serviced multiple industries with high-quality lubricants that get the job done. With so much success, it is no wonder Phillips 66 is known for its “Trusted People. Trusted Products.”

Uses & Benefits:

Below you will find several industries that rely on these Phillips 66 brand lubricants every day.


  • Automatic Lubricants: the perfect solution for complex or hard to reach places./li>
  • Compressor Oils: best in demanding environments or for extended service performance.
  • R&O Oils: R&O inhibits rust and oxidation growth and is specially developed for agricultural industrial equipment.
  • Food Grade Lubricants: these high-quality base oils meet strict food grade specification.
  • Gear Oils: These oils provide protection from wear and tear, particular for heavier loads. They also work great in extreme temperatures.


  • Coolants: Phillips 66 offers heavy-duty consumer and commercial antifreeze/coolants.
  • Engine Oils: For any vehicle, these engine oils offer superior protection. They are maximized for both fuel economy and wear protection.
  • Transmission Fluids: Phillips 66 transmissions fluids are consistent, smooth, and perform well, even under extreme conditions.


  • Hydraulic Fluids: These synthetic fluids are environmentally sensitive and one of the most efficient oils Phillips 66 produces.
  • Metalworking Fluids: This fluid is great for achieving pristine surface finishes, extending tool life, and resolving waste disposal issues.
  • Turbine Oils: With superior protection against oxidation, varnish, and sludge, this highly efficient turbine is a must have for any industrial space.


Kendall Motor Oil has been an industry leader for more than 125 years. Founded in 1881, Kendall’s was built on the goal of refining local grade crude oil into kerosene, lubricants, and greases. They exclusively offer titanium-strength engine oils, giving drivers a new way to reduce friction and protect their engines.

Uses & Benefits:

Kendall is another leader in multiple industries, providing high-quality lubricants to the following industries and many more:


  • Gear Oils: Kendall gear oils are specially formulated to provide extended gear life for both automotive and heavy duty vehicles operating in varying conditions, speeds, and temperatures.
  • Greases: Kendall provides a multipurpose great that is manufactured with superior quality base oils that resist water washout.
  • Transmission Fluids: This fluid offers smooth-shifting and ensures a long service life for your vehicle.
  • Hydraulic Fluids: Kendall’s hydraulic fluid is oxidation resistance, protects against wear and corrosion and is resistant to foaming.


You will find this brand in commercial and industrial settings. These lubricants are used for vehicles, heavy equipment, and other industrial applications. North American Lubricants are known for their high-quality performance.

Uses & Benefits:

Here are some great products you might consider for your next lubricant from North American Lubricants:

  • Puratech (Automotive Lubricants): This lubricant delivers peak performance for your vehicle and the ultimate protection under demanding driving conditions.
  • Puramax (Heavy Duty, Commercial & Industrial): Puramax helps protect and extend the life of your equipment while also increasing efficiency.
  • Puresyn (Synthetic Lubricants): This 100% synthetic engine oil is great for high performance.
  • Puregreen (Eco-Friendly Lubricants): This ‘green’ product aids in environmental conservation without sacrificing superior lubricant performance.
  • Performance Chemicals (Aftermarket Chemicals): This product helps fight sludge and improve your vehicle’s overall performance.
  • Guardsman (Food Grade Lubricants): This lubricant exceeds the food industry requirements in the United States for health and safety.


JAX is a leader in the lubricant industry. JAX is known as the lubricant that “Gets it Done.” For over 60 years, JAX has been providing food-grade and industrial lubricants with integrity and pride.

Uses & Benefits:

One of the best things about JAX products is their line of environmentally friendly lubricants known as ‘Bio-Guard.’ This line of products is primarily used for commercial vessels. JAX uses these products to mitigate the harmful effects of conventional lubricant leakage. JAX lubricants are also used in mining, forestry, agriculture, and other industries to minimize environmental impacts while maintaining superior performance.

MNOP Vehicle lubricant guide - truck fueling up

MNOP | Trucking & Fleet Lubricants | Portland, Salem, & Eugene

Marc Nelson Oil Products is a commercial fuel supplier offering bulk fueling options, fuel delivery, lubricant delivery, tank sales and rentals, and cardlock services. When it comes to maintaining your commercial fleet, we have the fuel and lubricants you need to keep the wheels moving.

Since 1936, MNOP has been the first choice for thousands of satisfied customers. Our commitment to high-quality fueling products and customer satisfaction has made us the preferred fuel supplier in the Pacific Northwest.

We own and operate four bulk plants and 11 automated commercial fueling stations in Oregon, with convenient 24/7 access to fuel. We also offer inventory management monitoring systems through SmarTank and WESROC. Additionally, ask us about our lubricant and fuel test analysis kits for a trusted evaluation of the fluids in your vehicles.

Check out our Fuel Products Page for more information about our fueling products. Check out our wide selection of lubricants over on our Lubricants Page. If you have a specific question about a product or service related to your fleet and fueling needs, please give us a call.

For additional information on our products and lubricants check out the following articles:

The Pros & Cons of Non-Ethanol Gasoline
Environmentally Friendly Lubricants
Biodiesel FAQ’s

For more, check out the great resources over on our Blog Page.

Get in touch with our team at MNOP today! We offer outstanding customer service and prompt responses to your questions. MNOP is here to help!

Reach our team today at (503) 363-7676 or toll-free at (800) 523-7676.

Contact Us

We strive to make our customers as happy as possible by being the best supplier we can be and consistently exceeding their expectations. Our goal is to make our customers happy! Stop by and see us at any of our 11 locations in Oregon. We're proud to serve Gresham, Hillsboro, Salem and beyond!
Contact e-mail:
(503) 363-7676
1977 Claxter Road NE, Salem, OR 97301
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