This post is derived from a personal experience in dealing with Ravenol, one of the most organised and knowledgeable automotive lubricant suppliers possibly in the whole of South Africa. But first, a little story.
So who in the car game, doesn’t aim to save a few hundered Rands whenever they can. When it’s service time, and your car is no longer under OEM warranties – you would be forgiven for skipping the dealership service by taking it to a trusted local workshop. Taking that one step further, would be sourcing OEM spec filters and lubricants to do this service, that is if your local mechanic allows you to do this. Chances are he will, so long as you take responsibility by signing Customer Supplied in your service book so that the responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders to source and purchase good quality filters and lubricants. I’m referring to not only engine oil, but automatic transmission fluids (ATF) and brake fluids as well.
Now you might just be tempted to phone your local spare parts supplier such as Midas, Masterparts or Goldwagen – and that’s exactly what I do for filters, but when it comes to fluids, I have been burnt quite badly by trusting a so called Mercedes Specialist supplier on the correct ATF to choose. On this occasion, I supplied the specialist with my VIN and would you believe that R1200 later – my automatic Merc would not shift gear! Wrong ATF oil – and the culprit was the specialist suppliers database which in this case was Fuchs Oils. The mechanic who did the work suggested I call Freddi at Ravenol, as he would be able to provide the very best technical knowledge and give me the correct ATF that met and exceeded the OEM specifications. Two hours later, I now had a car that changed gears smoothly again and solved my immediate problem. As for the incorrect Fuchs ATF from the “Mercedes specialist” – I was given a 50% refund. Why it was not a 100% refund is unknown, as I provided the VIN. Suffice to say that I will not be using Fuchs Lubricants and products for my Mercedes ever again – shame on them and Benzo in Parow for not fully accepting the failure.
However – one door closes and another door opens and so Ravenol to the rescue and I could not be happier with my Mercedes GL transmission smoothness. Ravenol ATF is my choice from now on.
Building on the positive attitudes and serious technical knowledge of the Ravenol Team, and I don’t use the phrase “serious technical knowledge” lightly! Whist I was in there, a Nissan GTR (yes, Godzilla) race car owner called in to the shop to discuss lubricant properties and viscosity when running ethanol based fuels. I may have missed a large part of this, but in short, Freddi is The Man when it comes to tech knowledge and I have never met anyone who stands so firmly behind his product before. In writing, not just talk.
So then next time you need to purchase synthetic engine oil or ATF or any automotive lubricants and fuel additives – call these guys first. The price is right, the product is excellent (German imported and locally blended SynPower) and the information you are provided will set you on the right track every time. No pun intended – but just to be clear – Ravenol brake fluids are found on the Le Mans circuit, their engine oils on the F1 circuit with the SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team.
Call the Ravenol team on: 021 447 3142
P.S. I have since purchased Ravenol engine oil for my Mercedes GL 350 CDI. It is Mercedes Benz approved to MB 229.51 and MB 229.52 and has a claimed 1% fuel economy saving. Not sure how I will measure that 1%, but I’m 100% confident that it will provide more than adequate protection until the next 20,000km service. I’ll let you know!
Author: Pierre Theron