The two most recent rounds of samples PQIA reported on provided a revealing insight that may help address the issue of potentially engine damaging motor oils in the Midwest market.
A particularly telling observation is seen when one maps the locations of the companies producing the motor oils that PQIA recently issued Consumer Alerts on. When this is done, it becomes clear that, with the exception of Everclear, which is manufactured in Ohio, the balance of the products come from companies in a relatively tight geographic area in the South side of Chicago to nearby Gary Indiana. As shown in Figure 1, this area is an epicenter of the potentially engine damaging motor oils sold in Illinois and some other states. And sadly, much of this motor oil is sold in low-income areas to people who least can afford to have their engines repaired and/or cars out of commission because they used harmful motor oils.
So what can be done to help protect consumers from these products?
The first step is awareness that there is a problem and in this case, understanding that a good deal of the problem comes from a cluster of lubricant manufacturers in the Chicago area. This is not to say that all motor oils manufactured in this area are bad, in fact they are not. Instead, it shines a light on an area that PQIA has identified as a hot spot of concern.
The good news is that PQIA has been in communications with the Illinois Department of Agriculture to help address the issue of substandard motor oils sold in the state and they have and will continue to take action. State inspectors are working to educate merchants about this deceptive practice to ensure these products are removed from store shelves. Understanding that the city of Chicago operates a Weights and Measures Department separate from the state, PQIA will reach out to that department in an effort to help protect consumers from bad motor oils manufactured and sold in their jurisdiction.
PQIA Consumer Alerts Referenced in Figure 1
|Bottled Brands, Chicago, IL
MAG 5 STAR
Viscosity Grade: “SAE 10-30”
|AP Lubes, Inc., Gary, IN
AP Lubes Supertech
Viscosity Grade: “5W20”
|Pro-Filling, Dolton, IL
Viscosity Grade: “SAE 5W30”
|Orion Lubricants Inc, Worth, IL
Viscosity Grade: “5W-30” and ” 10W-30“
|XPRESS LUBE PRO, Glenview, IL
XPRESS LUBE PRO
Viscosity Grade: “5W-30”
|New World Sales, Midlothian, IL
Viscosity Grade: “10W30”
|Not shown on map:
Everclear of Ohio, Ltd., Youngstown, OH
Viscosity Grade: “5-30”