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A Series- Which Engine Oil?


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Hi all,

Just bought my first Manta...a really nice A-series. First thing she needs is a good service.

Have got everything together...except the engine oil. Do I need to use a 'classic' engine oil, or is that

only really a label? What engine oil do you guys use? Engine is a standard 1.9.



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Castrol GTX 20w/50 was a safe bet in the past. One Manta Guru used to swear by Mobil One synthetic (expensive). I tried cheapo Motor Factor 20w/50 oil for a while with fair results.

The secret seems to be regular changes at as little as every 6000 miles and don't neglect the filter. If the oil on the dipstick has gone black change it regardless.

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yes the engine was designed to run 20/w50 so i would stay away from thinner oils and cheap supermarket stuff unless its an oil burner , wouldnt really bother with a synthetic , look for a quality oil, castrol merit , duckhams , comma & millers oils are all pretty good i would recommend using your local factors as you normally save a couple of quid over the retail prices :thumbup

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Yes I'll second the 20w50 on the 1.6 and 1.9 CIH's even though I used a different one in my 1.9 B!

In theory you could use 10w40 since the engines are fundamentally the same as the 2.0S and 2.0 GTE which because of their hydraulic cam followers, need the lower viscosity. Not forgetting that you couldn't get 10w40 in the early 70's and trying to get a fully synthetic 20w50 nowadays is unlikely, so using a semi synthectic 15w40 like Castrol GTX magnatec (the castrol GTX in white bottles are mineral oil/not synthetic) in an early CIH would also be an option and synthetic oils don't turn black anywhere near as quick as mineral oil. This is what I used in my 1.9 early B series (same engine as A)

As for the classic label, some it's just a thick engine oil with a 'classic' name, others do actually have some kind of additive like the redex and other stuff you can buy to stop knocking and smoking. I drank a bottle of the latter but I'm still on 40 a day so it doesn't work :lol:

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I've used Duckhams Q 20w50, the classic one. This year I'm using a Unipart 20w50 mineral. The recomended oil service interval in the A is every 3000 miles (3 months), with a filter change every 6000 (6 months). I do mine once a year which is usually about 1500 miles, at the start of the season when the car comes out of hibernation.

The original owners handbook for my A states

"Year around use

Multi-viscocity engine oil SAE 10W-40, 10W-50 and 20W-50

General Motors specification GM-6136M

Summer operation

SAE 30 HD engine oil or multi-viscocity engine oil as above

Winter operation

SAE 20W-20 HD engine oil or multi-viscocity engine oil as above"

I hope this helps.

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