Motorists who are unsure which top-up oil to use in their car can now use a special text service to find out – while they wait.

Recent research commissioned by Chevron Global Lubricants, part of Chevron Limited, which owns the Havoline brand, has shown the introduction of extended warranties and differing service intervals has left motorists confused about which top-up oil to use. Many are even delaying topping-up and risking unnecessary damage to their vehicle as a result.

To answer this problem, Chevron Global Lubricants, one of the world’s leading producers of lubricants, has launched an SMS text service for passenger cars – one of the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Customers can text their registration number to a special number that is located next to the Havoline display and the correct Havoline oil grade, recommended by the vehicle manufacturer for the make and model of their car, will be texted back to them while they wait. Customers will also be sent a “get me home” choice of oil, for emergency use should the driver be caught short or supplies of the best oil for his vehicle not be immediately available.

The SMS service number is now available in forecourt shops across the Texaco branded retail network and at selected retail outlets. It can also work for cherished plates and will cost drivers only fifty pence per text plus the standard network charge.

A recent Chevron study revealed that 66 percent of motorists either don’t check their oil at all, or only at infrequent intervals. For those who choose not to take any action, 60 percent are unaware that using the wrong type of lubricant can cause excessive wear under the bonnet.

Brian Hayes, marketing manager for Chevron Global Lubricants UK, said: “These results show us there is a lack of awareness regarding the need to check and top up your engine regularly, and clearly concern among the motorists in choosing the correct oil for their car. This is hardly surprising given that, with ever more complex engine technology, leading manufacturers like Chevron have had to develop an much increased range of engine oils. Ten years ago, the three oils from the Havoline range would have met the requirements for 95 percent of the cars on U.K. roads. Today, the Havoline range encompasses some 13 different engine oils. This new service removes any confusion, with motorists no longer having to search out handbooks, or find car details such as engine type, model, and year of manufacture.”

The service will cover about 95 percent of U.K. car models with response time measured in seconds, so motorists can get the most up to date oil recommendation when they need it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The service is initially available for U.K.-registered passenger cars only, although future enhancements will allow the system to be used to identify light commercial and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.