A follow up to my article on Thursday about how automakers give different oil recommendations for the same car on different continents.
One person wrote in asking if Mobil 1 European Car Formula was safe to use as a GM dexos2 oil. They pointed out that it appeared to be the same as Mobil 1 ESP, which Mobil claims is dexos2-rated over in Europe.
The answer, unfortunately, is no. Mobil 1 European Car Formula is not the same as Mobil 1 ESP, and it is not rated for dexos2. However, Mobil 1 European Car Formula is rated for the older GM European standards, GM-LL-A-025 and GM-LL-B-025 (also known as OPEL-LL-A-025 / OPEL-LL-B-025 respectively).
Aside from US and China, Mobil 1 European Car Formula is indeed sold in Europe (shocker – truth in advertising!). But it is sold as Mobil 1 Protection Formula in Europe, which is a cheaper blend than Mobil 1 ESP.
While Mobil 1 ESP is sold over here, it is not sold in the United States in 40 weight oils. ESP (X1) is only sold as 0W-30 and 5W-30 here.
Here’s the MSDS (data/spec sheet) for Mobil 1 European Car Formula. Strangely it wasn’t available on the Mobil 1 USA site… I had to go to China, but the even more oddly, the Chinese MSDS notes it’s the same blend sold in the United States. Hey Mobil, fix that, you sell the oil in the United States, it should be on the United States site!
Even more strange, despite being sold at every Walmart nationwide, Mobil 1 European Car Formula is totally missing from the United States version of the Mobil 1 web site.
And here is the Mobil 1 ESP MSDS. Note they are clearly different in ratings and performance, and Mobil 1 ESP is indeed better than European Car Formula. It has more diesel detergents and more automaker ratings (including dexos2, for the ESP 0W-40 blend – but again, ESP 0W-40 is not sold in the United States… only 0W-30 & 5W-30).
On the plus side, if you have a GM LNF engine, you can use Mobil 1 European Car Formula, per Opel’s recommendation that I noted in the aforementioned previous article.
There probably are many other American engines that work just fine with 40 weight oil, someone should hammer the Euro car manuals and make a list!
Hopefully Mobil 1 will fix their web site, and add both the European Car Formula product page and MSDS… particularly the MSDS since I am pretty sure that there are legal requirements for them to do so.
Legal: What you put in your car is your call. I’m obligated to say that you make your own decisions and that the safest oil for your car is typically the one stated in the manual that came with your car. I’m not responsible for your oil choices, both inside and outside of manufacturer specification.
Update: Mobil got back to me and confirmed that European Car Formula is being discontinued. It’s being replaced with a new formulation, Mobil 1 FS 0w-40.