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25 March, 2021

Total Lube Guide gives you the good oil

Choosing the right fluids for your car, and refreshing them regularly, is the best form of preventive maintenance. It makes driving more economical, safer, and the peace of mind makes it even more enjoyable. Total Oil says it’s not unusual for people to wind up with the wrong fluids in their cars — that can be irritating right through to disastrous. When you use Total, it’s not just the product you’re getting, it’s the service too.


Total Oil NZ’s new Lube Guide will find the right motor oil, gear oil, axle oil, and brake fluid for almost any vehicle. Search with usual vehicle details or select make, model, and type from the options.

The beauty of Total Oil NZ is that we are both local, and global. Being the fourth-largest oil company in the world means we have access to the most advanced research facilities, while our local knowledge means we can speak your language too. Our customers know why we’re different — our unbeaten technical expertise and 24/7 support means you’re not just getting the best product, but the best service too.

The Total Oil NZ Technical team have been working hard to bring you the official Total / Elf New Zealand Lube Guide, officially up and running at It’s also available on the App Store (iOS) and Playstore (Android) to ensure you can get the right fit on-the-go.


Our technical department consists of Tony Blackburn, Craig Foothead, and Bob Foothead, who all have an abundance of knowledge of all thing’s lubricants. 

Tony Blackburn, Technical Manager

Tony started with us back in the year 2000, having just celebrated 20 years with the company. ‘T’ has been here since the Oil Imports days, through to Oil Intel, and now Total Oil NZ. Tony has a vast background of knowledge, with years of experience as a mechanic for automotive, heavy diesel and agriculture. If you’ve got any questions, Tony is your go to guy! T has a ‘small’ addiction to cars, and when he’s not working in the office, you’ll find him working on his cars.

Bob Foothead, Technical Support

Bob, a chemist by trade, has been at the support office since 2013 in the role of Technical Support. With a wealth of knowledge up his sleeve, Bob has a passion for everything in the industry. From oil extraction and production, to specifications and characteristics, Bob is a walking dictionary of all things Total Oil. Bob is also taking the lead on our ‘Good People’ pillar, making corporate responsibility a priority to us all. Bob spearheads the Lubricant Container Stewardship programme (amongst many other things!) that pushes both us and other oil companies in New Zealand to eliminate oil container waste, for a clean, green Aotearoa.

Craig Foothead, Technical Support

Craig has been at the support office since 2018 in the role of Technical Support after 3 years in Auckland in the Operations position. Craig spearheads taking the recycling up Henderson road every fortnight or so. When not dealing with general day-to-day phone enquiries, Craig ensures safety and technical data sheets are up to date and compliant, all HSNO info is correct, compiles fleet lists and other projects like website tech info, and the great Lube Advisor. 

With the Lube Guide, you’ll be able to find the recommended motor oil, gear oil, axle oil, and brake fluid for many automotive applications: cars, scooters, motorcycles, trucks and buses, public works vehicles, leisure boats, and agriculture equipment. You’ll be able to check all our oil specifications through the Safety and Technical Data Sheets linked to each product.

Using the tool is simple: Search your vehicle with manual search or choose your make, model, and type from the selection. From there, you’ll receive lubricants recommended by our expert engineers for use with your vehicle.

If you need help, please contact the Total Oil NZ Technical team on 0508 345 678 or email [email protected]


What else can the Total Oil NZ Technical Team help me with?


  • Help desk: phone, website (chat), and email questions. From staff and customers for product applications, product crossovers and product options. 

  • Oil Monitoring Results: review of analysis and advising staff and customers of the findings if any issues are found. 

  • Fleet lists: checking over fleet lists for customers of oil recommendations made by staff. 

  • Training: technical training for staff, customers, distributors, and resellers on oil specifications and applications. 

  • Product Consolidations: review of current customer products with the aim of consolidation. 

  • Customer site visits: educational sessions, product application and review, equipment research, future planning, oil monitoring storage and dispensing.

Tools and Information

  • TDS & SDS: we maintain files for technical and safety data sheets, updating to the latest versions where available. These are routinely updated on the website. 

  • Product Bulletins: written by technical staff to advise of product changes in specification or approvals. 

  • Reference and tech library: we maintain a large database of reference materials for oils and OEM information. 

  • Lube Advisor: online website for oil applications. We are working on a New Zealand version and aim to have this live from February 2021.


  • Oversee and manage the nationwide collection of Total drums and containers.


  • Product range review: regular review of new and old products to try and cover market changes or requirements. 

  • Metal working fluids: concentration and PH testing. 

  • Trends: by product, marketing, OEM and competitors. 

  • Specialty Fluids: new marketing and opportunities.

  • Product trials.


  • SDS & TDS updates to New Zealand H&S requirements. 

  • Product approvals: NZ Food Safety approvals both MPI and quality assurance.





Becoming fond of Fords part two – happy times with Escorts

In part one of this Ford-flavoured trip down memory lane I recalled a sad and instructive episode when I learned my shortcomings as a car tuner, something that tainted my appreciation of Mk2 Ford Escort vans in particular. Prior to that I had a couple of other Ford entanglements of slightly more redeeming merit. There were two Mk1 Escorts I had got my hands on: a 1972 1300 XL belonging to my father and a later, end-of-line, English-assembled 1974 1100, which my partner and I bought from Panmure Motors Ford in Auckland in 1980. Both those cars were the high water mark of my relationship with the Ford Motor Co. I liked the Mk1 Escorts. They were nice, nippy, small cars, particularly the 1300, which handled really well, and had a very precise gearbox for the time.
Images of Jim Richards in the Carney Racing Williment-built Twin Cam Escort and Paul Fahey in the Alan Mann–built Escort FVA often loomed in my imagination when I was driving these Mk1 Escorts — not that I was under any illusion of comparable driving skills, but they had to be having just as much fun as I was steering the basic versions of these projectiles.

Fear and loathing the blue oval – part one

The slogan went something like ‘There’s a Ford in your future’. ‘Bugger off!’ were always the words that sprung to my mind. Ford and I have never really got on in the manner of many of my friends, so I’d say my relationship to the brand was distant. The accelerating blur of passing time has helpfully blanketed memories of a few Ford encounters which I probably wanted to forget but I have to admit, now I look at them, they are re-appearing through the mists of time. What comes to mind more readily, to quote some uncharitable wit, is that the letters Ford could stand for ‘fix or repair daily’. Still, I have to ’fess up, there were several Fords in my past.