We Switched to ROWE, You Should Too

We recently switched to ROWE (pronounced Row-Va) motor oils and transmission fluids and we are thrilled with the results. Everything from the packaging to the performance has been superior to other brands we’ve used in the past.

Introduction to ROWE

Through the years we’ve watched some of our favorite oil brands be bought up by big multi-national companies who aren’t concerned with making top-quality oils for the European market, especially the diesel-powered market.

By comparison, Rowe is a relatively small, family owned oil manufacturer founded in 1995 and based entirely in Germany. Their primary manufacturing facility is a state of the art, modernized factory in Worms. Unlike many oil brands that simply relabel other companies’ products, ROWE does all their own manufacturing, including motor oils and coolant. In fact, they contract manufacture for many other, well known, international brands as well. They manage the entire production process – from the chemistry, to the blending, to the bottling – and therefore can control every step of quality.

Quality is the most important word inside of Rowe. Their founder and CEO, Michael Zehe, has always prioritized quality over market share. We had a chance to sit down and talk with Michael Zehe during a recent trip to Germany. His goal has never been to be the largest oil manufacturer, rather he strives to keep ROWE a premium, best-in-class product. He also described to us in detail how important following manufacturer approvals is when it comes to oil specifications. There are significant differences between the VW 507.00 and Mercedes 229.52, even though both are specifications for low-ash oils used in diesel engines with DPFs and SCR (AdBlue) systems.

IDParts & ROWE

When we first met with the ROWE team, we were impressed with the wide range of European specific oils they manufacture. For years IDParts has relied on a variety of manufacturers to fulfill the needs of the all the cars we support – some manufacturers make one oil, another manufacturer makes another transmission oil, etc. This meant we had to juggle suppliers and supply chains, some of which were not price competitive.  Being dedicated to the European market, ROWE carries a full line of manufacturer specific motor oils, transmission fluids & coolants. They also receive official manufacturer approvals whenever necessary.

CO2 Neutral Manufacturing

ROWE recognizes the importance of manufacturing and their climate footprint. To address this ROWE began a CO2 compensation program in 2017.  From 2017 onwards ROWE’s entire carbon footprint has been offset by support given to renewable energy projects in developing countries, including hydro-electric, wind and solar projects.

ROWE Diesel Motor Oils

All ROWE motor oils marked HIGHTEC are made with their latest-generation HC synthesis technology, meaning high performance and a wide range of possible viscosities. The top diesel approved motor oils are:

  • ROWE Hightec SYNT RS DLS – one of ROWE’s newest formulations made specifically for the needs of modern European diesel engines with advanced emissions systems.  Carries official approvals from Mercedes (229.51, 229.52), BMW (Long Life 04) and General Motors (dexos 2).
  • ROWE Hightech SYNT RSi – high performance motor oil for diesel engines that do not use a DPF or advanced emission systems. The weight of the oil is 5w40 weight for decreased engine wear, especially in the cylinder head.

ROWE Transmission Oils

  • ROWE ATF 9008 – specifically formulated for the ZF manufactured 8-speed transmission requiring Lifeguard 8 fluid. This transmission is found in many models, including the newest BMW diesels as well as many Chrysler models.
  • ROWE ATF 9005 – made for the “low friction” Mercedes Benz 7-speed automatic transmission, code 722.9 A89, requiring BLUE fluid meeting the 236.14 specification.
  • ROWE ATF 9004 – for 7-speed Mercedes Benz 722.9 transmissions that do not require low-friction fluid.  Red in color.
  • ROWE ATF DCG II DSG Fluid – the VW DSG transmission needs special fluid especially because it uses a wet-clutch pack.  Normal ATF can ruin the clutch pack and leaving the fluid in too long can cause buildup inside the transmission.  ROWE DCG II is made to deal with these challenges and keep your DSG operating for a long time.

ROWE Coolant

Coolant not only helps keep your car from overheating, it also prevents internal engine corrosion caused by electrolysis. Each engine is made using a different combination of materials – metals, alloys, steel, aluminum – requiring a different chemical package.  Using factory approved coolants is vital to keeping your diesel healthy on the inside.

  • ROWE Antifreeze AN 13 – made for the VW specification G13, Rowe AN13 is “purple” in color.  AN 13 can be mixed with most VW coolants, including G11, G12, G12+ and G12++.

Why We Switched

In addition to our preference to use one brand across all our vehicles we also appreciate that ROWE does all their own manufacturing. However, the biggest difference we’ve noticed is in our vehicles. Everything from our Volkswagens to the Mercedes Sprinters we use run smoother and quieter with ROWE oils.

  1. Can this be mixed to protect colder than -33F? The VW coolant if mixed 70% protects much colder.


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