Published on March 31st, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Why Is Shell Lubricant In Tesco So Much Cheaper?

You have probably seen this for yourself, but why is the fully synthetic Shell Helix Ultra 5W-40 selling for just RM99.00 for a 4L can when the retail price in the spare parts shop and Shell fuel stations is about RM260.00. The difference in price of RM161.00 is strange and sounds like someone is getting played out. Or not!

Priced at RM262.00 at any Shell service station

Are Malaysians paying too much for lubricant?

Choosing the right engine oil for your car is a daunting task with so many options on sale and your mechanics recommendations always seems to be the best, however you must note that your mechanic will often propose the lubricant where he gets the best margin of profit.

At Tesco is retails for just RM99.00

It is obvious that this is an imported lubricant (the can says ‘Made In Italy’) and it carries all the global standards approvals, so why is it much much much cheaper.

Made in Italy, so it should be of good quality.

Well, our research with the industry reveals this. Tesco as a large supermarket chain buys this lubricant in bulk and ships it into Malaysia and so they are able to sell at a very low margin.

Also, this Italian product Shell Helix Ultra 5W-40 has some chemical properties in it that is suitable for European weather and for more modern engines like the latest direct injection engines. This means, all reconditioned used European cars should have no issue using this product.

The Shell Helix Ultra 5W-40 produced in Malaysia at RM260.00 is formulated to work with cars sold here and our humidity included. Experts suggest, if we are using an older vehicle then we are NOT good to go with the RM99.00 Tesco Shell. Something modern, say a 2013 onwards vehicle then also best to use the RM260.00 lube.

While there is a mountain of information to learn about the various lubricant choices and you can always ask the advice of a trusted mechanic (we also are in the dark about which is the best as we trust our mechanics choice), the first step is honestly quite simple: Look in the car manual and it will give the factory recommendation for lubricant and this is all you need to enjoy cheaper priced engine oil.

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