They say that ester-based oils are used in jet-engines, where the oil is sealed, and it never has to be changed.

If I use an ester-based oil as the lubricant for my Jetta 2.5L petrol, such as the Redline 5W40 brand, would I have to change the oil at all?

Could I just run on Redline forever, and simply top-up more, should any of it burn out?

  • 3
    Who is 'they'? A car engine is a very different beast to a jet, with totally different tolerances, materials and characteristics. I don't think one can be applied to the other.
    – Nick C
    Jun 24, 2013 at 9:58
  • This question has more answers on synthetic oil: mechanics.stackexchange.com/q/258/57
    – Bob Cross
    Jul 24, 2013 at 11:41

1 Answer 1


The short answer is that yes, you will still have to change your oil. As you say:

in jet-engines, where the oil is sealed [emphasis added]

The oil is not sealed in a car engine and, even if it doesn't wear out very quickly, it will still become dirty. Car engines and jet engines are very different beasts. You might be surprised to learn that some automotive oil manufacturers actually use ester-based oil in their synthetics! There's nothing magic about them.

This is a really good explanation of ester-based oils, although it is a little long: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/esters-in-synthetic-lubricants/

This is a really short, but not as helpful explanation from Mobil: http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Car_Care/AskMobil/What_Is_Ester_Oil.aspx

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