The independent resource for information and insights on the quality and integrity of lubricants in the marketplace.

Archive 2013

Looking Back and Moving Forward

December 31, 2013

Right directionWith 2013 coming to a close, it’s a good time for all of us to reflect on the challenges and changes that came our way over the past year; what we have learned,  how we have grown, and changes we will try to make moving forward.

On reflection, one interesting thing PQIA observed in 2013 is how lubricant blenders and marketers respond when they hear PQIA issues an Advisory or Consumer Alert on their brands. Some hide behind layers of LLCs and unknown addresses, deny anything is wrong, attack the test results, or hope their silence makes it all go away. PQIA, however, tips its hat to those who step up, take responsibility, and make changes to assure consumers get what they expect and pay for.

One company deserving of such recognition is RelaDyne. Their response to

a Consumer Alert PQIA issued in April 2013 was commendable. That response will be the subject of a feature article in an upcoming column,”Doing the Right Thing.”

PQIA WISHES YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

NEWS12 Story on Bad Oils Now on YouTube

December 24, 2013

news12njlgAs we have previously reported, News12 New Jersey, in cooperation with the Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA), ran a three part investigative series on a serious issue all car owners should be aware of; bad engine oils in the market.

Since that story aired, PQIA heard from some who receive our news briefs saying they were unable to access the videos on the News12 website. To assure the videos are broadly available, NEWS12 New Jersey has now posted them on YouTube. Links to the YouTube videos for all three parts in the series follow below.

Click For More

Kane in Your Corner Puts Motor Oils to the Test… and Four Out of Four Fail!

December 11, 2013

news12njlgNews12 New Jersey, in cooperation with PQIA, has begun a three part investigative series on a serious issue all car owners should be aware of; bad engine oils in the market.

It’s a must see series, and for those outside the reach of News12 NJ, you can access the story on the News12 NJ and PQIA websites.

Click For More

Stay Tuned… News12 New Jersey Presents an Eye Opening – Three Part Series About Bad Motor Oils in the Market.

December 5, 2013

Next week, News12 New Jersey shines a bright light on a serious issue all car owners should be aware of; bad motor oils in the market.

In a three part series airing Tuesday through Thursday of next week, Walt Kane, Investigative Reporter for News12 New Jersey reveals some frightening facts that all car owners should be aware of and what they can do to protect their cars from bad motor oils.

It’s a must see series, and for those outside the reach of News12 NJ, you can access the story on the News12 NJ and PQIA websites next week. We will provide links as the story airs.

Click For More

The Spotlight is Now on 5W-20s

November 19, 2013

With many car manufacturers now recommending SAE 5W-20 motor oil for their newer model engines, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America is shifting gears to take a closer look at products in this viscosity grade. The 5W-20 grade currently represents roughly 25% of the passenger car motor oil market, and its use, along with 0W-20 is expected to grow steadily in the coming years.

The test data for the first eight 5W-20 samples examined by PQIA indicates some issues with Noack Volatility. Other than that, these samples are consistent with their stated specifications and claims.

So here is PQIA’s first look at the 5W-20s.

5w20nov21031

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

And more…a 5W-30 and 10W-30

November 19, 2013
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UPDATE: MICHIGAN CONSUMER COMPLAINT HOTLINE

October 30, 2013

Whereas the 800 phone number published in yesterday’s story “If You See it, Report it” will connect callers to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), PQIA has been advised by the MDARD that it’s best to call their Consumer Complaint Hotline at 1-800-632-3835 if you see the Bullseye motor oil, City Petroleum (dba CityStar) of Dearborn, and Star Petroleum of Detroit brands on the shelves in the state of Michigan. This Hotline goes directly to the office enforcing the Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Orders for these brands. PQIA has been told the department welcomes the calls and will follow-up to assure these products are taken off the shelves.

Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Orders prohibit the sale, offering for sale, or use of these brands in the state of Michigan. So again, if you see them on a retail shelf, let the MDARD know about it.

michsealAnd if you don’t have their CONSUMER COMPLAINT HOTLINE number handy, take a look at any gas pump in the state. The seal stickers on those pumps display the number.

If you are an oil distributor or a consumer you can join the effort to protect consumers from these products by keeping your eyes open, and when you see these brands on the shelves, make the call.

Images of the brands involved are available at the links below:

If You See it, Report it!

October 30, 2013

wordoutIn the past two months, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) issued Stop-Removal Orders for Bullseye and City Star Brand motor oils.  In addition to the short fills identified by the MDARD, PQIA has found the quality of these products is so bad that use in modern cars would actually cause damage to engines and transmissions.   

PQIA applauds Michigan for taking this aggressive legal action to protect its citizens by ordering these harmful oils off retail shelves. But orders and enforcement are two different matters, and Michigan can use your help.

There are hundreds of retail outlets in Michigan that could potentially carry these damaging oils, and randomly sending MDARD inspectors out to all of these sites is a challenging process. Hopefully those outlets that heard about the Stop-Removal Orders will stop selling these oils, but many don’t know, and some might not even care.  This is where industry participants and the consuming public can step up and help make a difference.

If you are an oil distributor or a consumer you can join the effort by keeping your eyes open, and when you see Bullseye or City Star on the shelves, say something.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has made it clear to PQIA that it will promptly send inspectors to all locations where these brands of oil are spotted.  Please join with us and call the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at 1-800-632-3835 sightings. Then drop PQIA a line as well so we can track the progress of this worthy effort.

But What About the Other States?

October 30, 2013

Whereas Michigan had enough evidence to order Bullseye and City Star off the Shelves… what more do other states need to do the same?

elphroomAs PQIA has been reporting for several years now, there are numerous brands of automotive oils on retail shelves across the USA that are of such poor quality that they can actually cause damage to modern engines and transmissions.  PQIA’s surveillance has found over a dozen brands of such oils lurking on retail shelves in many states, including Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Florida.  In fact, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America made a tour through Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania last week and observed a number of convenience stores selling Bullseye motor oil, a brand Michigan has ordered off the shelves.

img64And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  In many cases the oils are sold in independent gas station convenience stores operating under the banner of major oil company fuel brands, potentially leading consumers to associate the oil brands with the reputable brand of the fuel.  In addition, the products also appear to be targeted in lower income areas where they are sold to unsuspecting consumers for a small discount over major brands.

Several states have instituted programs to randomly sample and test oils sold within their state to assure quality, most notably Michigan, North Carolina, California, and Missouri.  In addition to packaged oils on retail shelves, state inspectors also sample and test bulk oil tanks at distributors and fast lube outlets.  When off-grade oils are found, these states take action.

PQIA applauds the efforts of these states, but we must ask – whereas  Michigan has collected enough evidence to order a brand off the shelves, what more do other states need to order those same brands off the shelves in their state?

Think about it, while Bullseye has been order off the shelves in North Carolina and Michigan, PQIA continues to find this brand on the shelves in Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York. In addition, we are told it is available in other states as well. 

Oil quality is a serious issue.  The automobile is essential to every working citizen and is usually the second most expensive possession they own after their house.  And every car depends on quality oils to operate.  Some of the oils that PQIA tested are so bad that they will destroy an engine in short order, and there is often no way for innocent consumer to know which oils are good or bad by just reading the labels.  Consumers need help from their elected leaders to find and remove the damaging oils from shelves and tanks, and state governments have an obligation to provide this basic protection.

The four states mentioned above have substantial data on the oil brands they have tested, and are willing to share details on their programs and experiences with other states.  PQIA is also willing to help by providing test result interpretations and claim assessments. All that is needed for the other 46 states is for them to step up to the plate and fight back against the unscrupulous marketers that are preying on their citizens.

Let’s hear from you – contact us at 732-910-0017 and let’s get working together now.

Michigan Orders Another Bad Motor Oil Off its Shelves!

October 7, 2013

img30PQIA tips its hat to Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Jamie Clover Adams, Director MDARD for their work to protect its citizens from engine damaging motor oils. In what is clearly starting to look like a crackdown to protect its citizens from lubricant manufacturers taking advantage of the citizens of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD)now issues a Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Order on all motor oils sold by Bullseye Automotive Lubricants, Inc. under the Bullseye brand.

While it’s good to see the state of Michigan is taking aggressive action to protect its citizens from some really bad – engine and transmission damaging products on the market, PQIA continues to ask, what are other states doing to protect their citizens from the slop sold in their states?

PQIA has issued Consumer Alerts and Don’t Buys on Bullseye Motor Oil and found the Bullseye, City Star, and other seriously deficient products sold in many other states, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

CLICK FOR MORE

PQIA Issues a Consumer Alert on Everclear 5W-30 Motor Oil

October 2, 2013

CONSUMER ALERT – The label on this product states it is a “5W-30” motor oil. In fact, PQIA’s test results show this product is not an SAE 5W-30 oil, and it lacks the critical additives needed to protect modern engines. In addition, the high levels of iron, aluminum, copper, lead, and silicon strongly suggest this product contains used oil.

Further, this product is labeled as meeting API SC/CC which are obsolete specifications. The API cautions the SC specification is “Not suitable for use in gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1967. Use in more modern engines may cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm.”

The product tested is manufactured by Everclear of Ohio, Youngstown, and was purchased in Arlington Hts. Illinois on September 11, 2013.

Click for details

Note: PQIA also issued a Consumer Alert on Everclear motor oil in 2011. Click for details

Consumer Alerts Issued on Super XXX Motor Oils

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America recently purchased bottles of Super XXX 5W30 and 10W40 motor oils in the Chicago market and issued Consumer Alerts on both. This is not the first time PQIA found serious issues with this brand. A consumer Alert was also issued on Super XXX 5W30 in July 2011 and its 10W30 in Jan 2013.

CONSUMER ALERT: Super XXX 5W30 – The label on this product states it is an “SAE 5W30” motor oil and “it is designed for use in older model automobiles requiring SB specifications.” In fact, PQIA’s test results show this product is not an SAE 5W-30, and does not meet any recognized specifications for motor oil, and it lacks the critical additives needed to protect modern engines. In addition, the analysis shows extremely high levels of silicon, which is often associated with abrasive contamination.

Further, API SB is an obsolete specification. The API cautions this specification is “Not suitable for use in gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1951. Use in more modern engines may cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm.”

CONSUMER ALERT: Super XXX 10W40 –  The label on this product states is designed for use in older model automobiles requiring SB specifications PQIA’s analysis shows this sample contains none of the critical additive necessary to pass SB specifications. The analysis also shows high levels of silicon, which is often associated with abrasive contamination. Further, API SB is an obsolete specification. The API cautions this specification is Not suitable for use in gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1951. Use in more modern engines may cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm.

The Super XXX products tested are manufactured by New World Sales, Midlothian, IL and were purchased in Arlington Hts. and Schaumburg, Illinois on September 11, 2013.

A Look at CAM2 15W-40 Diesel Engine Oil

imge1PQIA examined a sample of CAM2 Super HD PLUS 15W-40, CJ-4/SM diesel engine oil purchased in North Brunswick, NJ. The results of the tests conducted on this sample meet the requirements of an CJ-4/SM, SAE 15W-40 engine oil. Click for details on CAM2.sptlight

CLICK FOR ALL DIESEL ENGINE OILS EXAMINED BY PQIA

 

BREAKING NEWS: Michigan Orders City Star/Star Petroleum Motor Oils and ATFs Off the Shelves!

September 16, 2013

img103The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) issued Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Orders for motor oil and transmission fluid manufactured, packaged, and/or distributed by City Petroleum (dba City Star) of Dearborn and Star Petroleum of Detroit after finding the products did not comply with the Michigan Weights and Measures Act, 1964 Public Act 283.

The Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Orders prohibit the sale, offering for sale, or use of motor oils or transmission fluids manufactured, packaged, and/or distributed by City Petroleum (dba City Star) and/or Star Petroleum. These products should no longer be used, immediately be removed from store shelves or other product displays, and no longer be offered for sale. These products may cause damage to vehicle engines.

As part of an 11 month investigation, MDARD discovered that the motor oil and transmission fluids being sold by these companies do not contain the amount of product claimed. Additionally, the motor oil does not meet the viscosity labeled on the containers. For example, a container may say the product is an “SAE 5W30” motor oil, but does not meet that viscosity or other specifications for a motor oil.

“These two companies are selling sub-standard product and the Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Orders ensure Michigan consumers and business alike are getting what they pay for and protecting their vehicles,” said Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD Director. “When products don’t meet viscosity levels it can cause lasting damage to vehicles. So, it’s vital that consumers and business stop using or selling these products immediately.”

offtheshelves2The Stop-Use and Stop-Removal orders mean no City Petroleum or Star Petroleum motor oil or transmission fluid may be sold or used in the State of Michigan.

The City Petroleum and Star Petroleum products were primarily sold at small independent gas stations, discount and party stores. It is possible they were also sold in some oil change facilities across the state. Consumers can visit www.michigan.gov/mdard  and look under the “Hot News” section for photos of the product labels as well as information on what to look for when buying motor oil.

Note: PQIA reported on the poor quality of these products in 2011 and 2012.

BUT what about the Other States Selling City Star?

September 16, 2013

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America applauds the state of Michigan and Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD Director, for taking action to protect its citizens by ordering the removal of City Star motor oils and transmission fluids off the shelves and out of the fast lubes. This is a step in the right direction to protect what for many is the second biggest investment they make; their cars.

But what about the other states where PQIA also found and reported on serious issues with City Star motor oils and transmission fluids, and other brands? These states include Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana?

What are these states doing to protect its citizens from City Star and other engine and transmission damaging lubricants sold in their states?

You can be sure PQIA has and will continue to ask these questions by knocking on the doors at the Attorney General’s offices in these states and others to get answers. And when we do, you can also be sure PQIA will let consumers know the outcome.

Note: PQIA issued Consumer Alerts and “Don’t Buys” on City Star and others sold in the mid-west a number of times over the past two years. The state of Michigan was the first to take action and we remain optimistic that others will follow!

sixpkbd

CLICK FOR MORE

Click here to read what PQIA has to say about City Star.

API Sues Bullseye Automotive Products, Bullseye Lubricants and Carlos Silva for Trademark Infringement.

August 20, 2013

In addition to an injunction and other remedies, the API is asking for statutory damages of $1 million per counterfeit mark per type of goods sold.

img30Concern about Bullseye motor oil first surfaced in January 2011 when the Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) reported on a sample it purchased in Sturgis, MI. Based on extreme quality deficiencies, PQIA issued a CONSUMER ALERT on the brand stating that test results indicate the “product can cause damage to a passenger car engine.” Subsequently, PQIA purchased another sample of Bullseye in Austintown, OH   in July 2011 and a Consumer Alert was issued on that sample as well.  Finally, as a follow-up, PQIA purchased a third sample in March 2012 in Phillipsburg, NJ which was also of very poor quality.

With that, PQIA decided enough was enough and issued  a “DON’T BUY” on Bullseye motor oil.     

While PQIA found serious issues about what’s in the Bullseye bottles, the API alleges serious issues about what’s on the Bullseye bottles.

In July, 2013, the American Petroleum Institute filed suit against  Bullseye Automotive Products Inc., Bullseye Lubricants Inc., and Carlos Silva, Bullseye’s president. The suit alleges trademark infringement, counterfeiting, trademark dilution, false advertising, and unfair competition.

dsc_3431cIn July, 2013, the American Petroleum Institute filed suit against  Bullseye Automotive Products Inc., Bullseye Lubricants Inc., and Carlos Silva, Bullseye’s president. The suit alleges trademark infringement, counterfeiting, trademark dilution, false advertising, and unfair competition.

So whether you are looking at what’s in the bottle or on the bottle, PQIA says Bullseye is a DON’T BUY.  

PQIA Issues an Advisory on Lucas MAGNUM Long Drain Motor Oil SAE 15W-40

August 16, 2013

lucas1540Whereas the Lucas Magnum heavy duty diesel engine oil is labeled as an SAE 15W-40 viscosity grade, PQIA’s test results show the oil to be a 10W-40.

As stated in SAE standard J300, “Since each W grade is defined on the basis of maximum cranking and pumping viscosities as well as minimum Kinematic viscosities at 100’C, it is possible for an oil to satisfy the requirements of more than one W grade. In labeling either a W grade or a multiviscosity grade oil, only the lowest W grade satisfied may be referred to on the label.”

SAE J300 goes on to say “a manufacturer may not release a product if its CCS viscosity as measured by the manufacturer is less than or equal to the stated limit of the next lower W grade.”

Since the Lucas 15W-40 tested meets both the cranking and pumping viscosity specifications for 10W, this product should be labeled as a 10W-40.

Advisory…. Mislabeling of the viscosity grade may cause a consumer to use a grade of oil that is not recommended by the engine manufacturer and does not comply with the engine manufacturer’s warranty. Click for details.

Add CITGARD 600 to the Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oils Examined by PQIA

citgard600picadsAlthough the Petroleum Quality Institute of America recently posted results on a sample of CITGARD 500 15W-40 heavy duty diesel engine oil we picked in the field, the product tested was older vintage… API CI-4.

We have since tested CITGARD 600, a product formulated to meet current diesel engine oil specifications.

The results of the tests conducted on the sample of CITGARD 600 meet the requirements of an SAE 15W-40, API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CI-4, CH-4/SM.

Click for details on how CITGARD 600 looks side -by-side with other heavy duty diesel engine oils.

PQIA Tests Six Brands of Heavy Duty Engine Oil and They All Look Good

July 30, 2013

Click bottles for summary and detail test results for each brand.

hdeobtls

Buyers Take Note – Read the Labels

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America visited a convenience store in Savona, New York last month to take a look at the brands of oil on the shelves. What we found was the store’s private label brand, Arrow Mart Yellow Goose Motor Oil, and Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF).

What we didn’t find is of concern. 

Other than SAE 5W-30 shown on the motor oil label, these products do not reference any industry or car manufacturer specifications. Without this information, a consumer cannot determine if these lubricants are suitable for use in their vehicle and compliant with their warranty.

In addition,  while the manufacturer of this brand recommends the ATF for “automatic transmissions in all types of passenger vehicle service“, PQIA’s test results on this sample show the ATF does not meet the Brookfield viscosity specifications required by most transmission manufacturers for modern transmissions.

So remember, read the front and back labels of the motor oil and transmission fluid you buy and always consult your owner’s manual to determine what motor oil you should use. Click here for guidance on what to look for on motor oil labels.

Wisconsin and Alaska Not in on the Change

Wisconsin and Alaska did not adopt changes to NIST HB-130 requiring professional lubricant installers to provide customer with receipts documenting the SAE viscosity grade, API Service Category, and brand of motor oil used to service their customer’s cars.

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America recently published a number of articles about the changes to NIST HB-130 that took effect July 1, 2013 that help inform and protect consumers by requiring professional installers to provide their customers with sales receipts that document the SAE viscosity grade, API Service Classification, and brand of motor oil used to service their vehicle.  The PQIA articles included a map showing the states that adopted and will enforce the changes. The map was constructed from information published in NIST HB-130-2013.

Although Wisconsin is included in HB-130 as one of the states adopting the changes in the Method of Sale, PQIA has been advised by the state of Wisconsin that they adopted most of HB-130,  but did not adopt the changes as they apply to motor fuel or petroleum products in the Method of Sale. In short, this “idiosyncrasy” means Wisconsin does not currently require installers to provide customers with receipts documenting the SAE viscosity grade, API Service Category, or brand of motor oil used.

In addition, PQIA has been advised by the state of Alaska of an error in HB-130-2013 that was not picked up until after it was printed. Alaska should be listed as “yes” in the current (2013) edition of HB-130. That means the NCWM standard is used in Alaska, but from an earlier year; in this case 2006. Therefore, Alaska does not require installers to provide consumers with receipts documenting the SAE grade, API Service Category, and motor oil brand.

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America has reached out to each state listed in HB-130-2013 as adopting the new law and regulations to verify their status and we will advise if there are any additional changes.

At the same time, PQIA strongly encourages consumers to ask questions when they get their oil changed in Wisconsin and Alaska, or any other states for that matter that do not require fast lubes, new car dealers or other installers to provide information on their receipts showing the SAE viscosity grade and API Service Category of the motor oil used.

PQIA believes a consumer has the right to know what type of oil is used to service their vehicle. Moreover, documentation of such information may be required to support warranty claims should something go south with the engine.

See below for revised map, click to enlarge:

rev2map

The state shown in green on the map below adopted and are enforcing the new requirements. Those shown in yellow are likely to follow.

For more details on the states, see page 9-13, of NIST Handbook 130. The laws and regulations addressing lubricant labeling are included in the Uniform Engine Fuel Law, and Method of Sale Regulation.

Tell Them What You Sell Them!

July 9, 2013

img133The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) published a story on July 2, 2013, titled “Yesterday Was Good Day for Car Owners.” The story advised consumers that effective July, 1, 2013, twenty of the 50 states in the US now require that fast lubes, new car dealers, and others that change motor oil for a fee (installers) let you (the consumer) know the brand, SAE viscosity grade, and API service classification of the oil they use to service your car. This information is now required to be printed on the oil change invoices in 20 states. In addition, the installers must include this information on their bulk lubricant storage tanks and other containers.

The PQIA received a good deal of attention, and we fielded many phone calls and emails about this story. Although most of the callers expressed praise that 20 states adopted the changes to NIST Handbook 130, not surprisingly, others called with questions  about the 30 States that did not.

The following map provides additional insight about the status of the “other” states.

As shown on the map below, the states in green adopted the NCWM changes effective July 1, 2013. However, it is important to note that the states shown in yellow typically adopt and enforce NIST’s most recent standards over time. Further, whereas the states shown in red have law or regulations in force, they are not based on NCWM standards.

Although you may not be in a green state today, it’s likely coming to your state soon. Moreover, these changes are in the best interest of the motoring public.

For those interested in more details on the status of any state’s position with regards to adopting the most recent changes to the NIST Handbook 130 (green, yellow, or red in the map below), the NCWM provides an excellent resource to contact those directly involved with this issue at the state level. Click: http://www.ncwm.net/resource/state-directors

rev2map

CLICK MAP FOR LARGER IMAGE

For more details on the states, see page 9-13, of NIST Handbook 130. The laws and regulations addressing lubricant labeling are included in the Uniform Engine Fuel Law, and Method of Sale Regulation.

Why Not Tell Them What You Sell Them?

Interestingly, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America received a few calls about last week’s story “It’s a Good Day for Car Owners,” that were different from most. To paraphrase their comments, Consumers have no idea what motor oil specifications mean and providing such information on an oil change receipt, or labeling bulk tanks with this information is “worthless.”    

columbo

Just One More Thing…

Whereas PQIA’s research supports the claim that most consumers have no idea what motor oil specifications are, PQIA believes this is all the more reason why consumers should be made aware of specifications when they have their oil changed.  Doing so helps educate and protect them.

Much like nutritional facts on food labels and octane ratings for gasoline (each of which consumers had little familiarity with when they first appeared), visibility of these metrics in the marketplace increases awareness, as well as educates and helps consumers make informed buying decisions. Further, visibility (and state-enforced compliance) increases the probability that suppliers and installers will provide the appropriate lubricants for consumers’ vehicles.

PQIA firmly believes it is in the consumer’s best interest to be informed of the SAE viscosity grade, API service classification, and brand of engine oil used to service their vehicle. Moreover, consumers have a fundamental right to know what oil they purchase, so that they are able to make intelligent and informed buying decisions.

In addition to a consumer’s right to know the quality of the motor oil going into their car, the consumer also has the right to the documentation required to maintain the warranty coverage.  All car manufacturers specify oil quality in the owner’s manual, and they may deny warranty repairs if the car owner cannot verify that the proper quality of oil was used.

For these reasons and more, PQIA applauds the 20 states that adopted changes to NIST Handbook 130, effective July 1, 2013. We look forward to hearing that other states have followed.

To borrow a line from the late Peter Falk (Lt. Columbo), “Oh, oh, one more thing, before I forget….”

PQIA asks, “Understanding it cost very little to do, why would a fast lube, new car dealer, or any other lubricant installer object to labeling its bulk tanks or providing its customers with the receipt that documents the SAE viscosity grade, API service classification, and brand of motor oil used to service a customer’s car? ”

It’s a Good Day for Car Owners

July 2, 2013

img132Yesterday was a good day for Car Owners. It’s the day changes made to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce Handbook 130 took effect.

In short, the changes require that fast lubes, new car dealers, and others that change engine oil for a fee (installers) must let you (the consumer) know the brand, SAE viscosity grade, and API service classification of the oil they use to service your car.

This information must appear on the receipts consumers receive in those states adopting changes to Handbook 130 (see map below). Further, this information must also appear on the bulk tanks and other storage containers installers use to service cars.

imgb10

States Shown in Blue Adopted and Will Enforce Changes to Handbook 130 addressing lubricant labeling that Took Effect
July 1, 2013… Other States will Likely Follow

And if you think such information is basic to a consumer right to know, PQIA agrees and says this requirement is a long time in coming and installers have had a year to prepare for it.

In fact, the president of the Petroleum Quality Institute of America, Thomas F. Glenn says, “There is no way I would have the motor oil changed in my car without knowing the SAE viscosity grade, API Service Classification, and Brand of the product they use.”  Further, Glenn adds “I want to be sure the motor oil used to service my car meets the requirements set forth by the manufacturer to assure my warranties remained in place. And if the fast lube store, new car dealer or other installer servicing my car is unwilling to put such information in writing on my receipt, I would go somewhere else for an oil change.”

So once again, it’s a good day for car owners. As of yesterday, twenty states adopted and will enforce changes to Handbook 130 that require installers to document (on sales  receipts) the service classification, viscosity grade, and the brand of motor oil used to service their customer’s cars… And other states will likely follow.

Handbook 130 is a NIST publication. The content is the result of proposals that were voted on by the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM), which is made up of state and local regulators, industry and federal members (NIST staff serve as technical advisors). It is then up to each state individually to adopt that content.

Note to lubricant manufacturer and distributors:

Take note of the changes made to U.S. Department of Commerce Handbook 130 and the states that adopted and enforce it starting July 1. Keep your eyes open for fast lubes, new car dealers and other installers that do not comply. And, let PQIA know who they are.

The following are the changes made to National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce Handbook 130 that took effect July 1, 2013 in many states.

The label on any vehicle engine (motor) oil container, receptacle, dispenser, or storage tank, and any invoice or receipt from service on an engine that includes the installation of vehicle engine (motor) oil dispensed from a receptacle, dispenser, or storage tank, shall contain the viscosity grade classification preceded by the letters “SAE” in accordance with SAE International’s latest version of SAE J300, “Engine Oil Viscosity Classification.”

2.33.1.2. Intended Use.

The label on any vehicle engine (motor) oil container shall contain a statement of its intended use in accordance with the latest version of SAE J183, “Engine Oil Performance and Engine Service Classification (other than Energy Conserving).”

2.33.1.3.  Brand.

The label on any vehicle engine (motor) oil container and the invoice or receipt from service on an engine that includes the installation of vehicle engine (motor) oil dispensed from a receptacle, dispenser, or storage tank shall contain the name, brand, trademark, or trade name of the vehicle engine (motor) oil.

2.33.1.4. Engine Service Category.

The label on any vehicle engine (motor) oil container, receptacle, dispenser, or storage tank and the invoice or receipt from service on an engine that includes the installation of vehicle engine (motor) oil dispensed from a receptacle, dispenser, or storage tank shall contain the engine service category, or categories, met in letters not less than 3.18mm (1/8 in) in height, as defined by the latest version of SAE J183, “Engine Oil Performance and Engine Service Classification (other than Energy Conserving)” or API Publication 1509, ” Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System.”

2.33.1.4.1. Inactive or Obsolete Service Categories.

The label on any vehicle engine (motor) oil container, receptacle, dispenser, or storage tank and the invoice or receipt from service on an engine that includes the installation of vehicle engine (motor) oil dispensed from a receptacle, dispenser, or storage tank shall bear a plainly visible cautionary statement in compliance with the latest version of  SAE J183, Appendix A, whenever the vehicle engine (motor) oil in the container or in bulk does not meet an active API service category as defined by the latest version of SAE J183, “Engine Oil Performance and Engine Service Classification (other than Energy Conserving). “

2.33.1.5. Tank Trucks or Rail Cars.

Tank trucks, rail cars, and other types of delivery trucks that are used to deliver vehicle engine (motor) oil are not required to display the SAE viscosity grade and service category or categories as long as the bill of lading or other documentation provides that information.

For more, see: http://www.nist.gov/pml/wmd/pubs/upload/hb130-13-final.pdf

Another Batch of  ATFs, Consumer Alert Issued On Two

June 26, 2013

Three ATFs tested checked out fine. Consumer Alerts Issued on two. Click Bottles for more.

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CLICK BOTTLES FOR MORE

Keller-Heartt Supports PQIA

June 12, 2013

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA), is pleased to announce that Keller-Heartt, a leading lubricant marketer in the Midwest, has joined with other industry stake-holders in supporting PQIA’s efforts to help assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the market.

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Brian Mcgrath, Owner Keller-Heartt

Brian Mcgrath, President of Keller-Heartt says “Our decision to support the Petroleum Quality Institute of America was, in a large part, driven by the positive impact we have seen the organization make on the quality of lubricants in the market, particularly in the Midwest.” Whereas we suspected there are significant issue with bad oils in the Midwest market, PQIA’s testing and reporting shines a bright light on the depth and breadth of the problem and provides strong third party facts that consumers need to be aware of. In addition, PQIA is sending a clear message to lubricant manufactures and marketers that someone is watching.”  As we see it, Mcgrath says, “What PQIA is doing is good for consumers and good for the honest lubricant manufactures and marketers that have the best interest of consumers and end users in mind.”

PQIA President Thomas F. Glenn says “We welcome Keller-Heartt’s support and its commitment to quality demonstrated by its willingness, like all our supporters, to agree to our Code of Ethical Business Conduct. While it is clear we face serious challenges with poor quality off-spec engine oils and other lubricants in the market, we are encouraged to know that Keller-Heartt and our other supporters are willing to do something about it to protect consumers.”

About PQIA 

PQIAs mission is to serve the consumer of lubricants by testing and reporting on the quality and integrity of lubricants in the marketplace. It is expected that this improved visibility of quality will lead to wider conformance by lubricant manufacturers to specification and performance claims. PQIA supporters include Afton Chemical, Chevron, CHS Industries, CITGO, Eni USA R&M Co., Phillips 66, Lubrizol, Infineum, Lubricating Specialties Co., Pinnacle Oil, Universal Lubricants, Warren Distribution, Warren Oil, Safety-Kleen, Chemlube, G.H. Berlin Lubricants, Circle Lubricants, Leahy-Wolf Company, and now, Keller-Heartt.

About Keller-Heartt

Keller-Heartt is a full-service company recognized as a leader in the lubricant and absorbent industry since 1929. The company, based in Chicago, IL, has a highly-qualified, experienced staff which pays close attention to its customer’s  lubrication requirements. Keller-Heartt prides itself on superior service in all areas of petroleum distribution.Click for more on Keller-Heartt

FOR INFORMATION ON HOW YOUR COMPANY CAN HELP SUPPORT PQIA’S EFFORTS TO ASSURE THE QUALITY AND INTEGRITY OF LUBRICANTS IN THE MARKET,  PLEASE CONTACT PQIA AT tglenn@pqia.org, or call 732-910-0017.

Leahy-Wolf Joins to Support PQIA’s Efforts to Help Assure the Quality and Integrity of Lubricants in the Marketplace

June 4, 2013

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA), is pleased to announce that Leahy-Wolf Company has joined with other industry stake-holders supporting PQIA’s efforts to help assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the market.

img3b1Keanan Leahy, President of Leahy-Wolf Company, says, “We welcome the opportunity to help support PQIA as its efforts to assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the market aligned with our efforts to provide end-users with quality lubricants they can trust.”

To this point, Keanan adds, “Leahy-Wolf is in the solutions business, we find answers to customer’s needs. And from what we have seen, PQIA is proving it too is finding solutions to meet the needs of consumers. It is doing so by raising awareness about poor quality, off-spec lubricants in the marketplace and shining bright lights on products with problems.”

PQIA President Thomas F. Glenn says it “Welcomes Leahy-Wolf Company’s support and its commitment to quality demonstrated by its willingness, like all our supporters, to agree to our Supporter Code of Conduct. While it is clear we face serious challenges with poor quality off-spec engine oils and other lubricants in the market, we are encouraging to know that Leahy-Wolf Company and our other supporters are willing to do something about it to protect consumers from poor quality lubricants.”

About PQIA

PQIAs mission is to serve the consumer of lubricants by testing and reporting on the quality and integrity of lubricants in the marketplace. It is expected that this improved visibility of quality will lead to wider conformance by lubricant manufacturers to specification and performance claims. PQIA supporters include Afton Chemical, Chevron, CHS Industries, CITGO, Eni USA R&M Co., Phillips 66, Lubrizol, Infineum, Lubricating Specialties Co., Pinnacle Oil, Universal Lubricants, Warren Distribution, Warren Oil, Safety-Kleen, Chemlube, G.H. Berlin Lubricants, Circle Lubricants, and now, Leahy-Wolf Company.

About Leahy-Wolf Company

Established in 1946, and located in Addison, IL, the Leahy-Wolf Company is a leader in design, production and distribution of customized lubricants for a wide variety of customers in the Transportation, Construction, Industrial Manufacturing, Food Processing, and Metalworking industries. A third generation business, Leahy-Wolf’s value-added products and quality approach consistently delivers improved productivity and bottom-line results.

Adhering to the “best-value” approach, Leahy-Wolf partners with independent research labs and long-term suppliers to share technology, innovations, and to externally validate performance standards of products.

CLICK FOR MORE

FOR INFORMATION ON HOW YOUR COMPANY CAN HELP SUPPORT PQIA’S EFFORTS TO ASSURE THE QUALITY AND INTEGRITY OF LUBRICANTS IN THE MARKET,  PLEASE CONTACT PQIA AT tglenn@pqia.org, or call 732-910-0017.

CARING FOR YOUR CAR –
PQIA Adds Automatic Transmission Fluids to its Motor Oil Timeline

COPIES OF TIMELINE NOW AVAILABLE, See below

In an effort to help raise awareness about the importance of motor oil specifications, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America developed an easy to understand visual timeline illustrating the vintage of vehicles associated with each specification.

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CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW

Whereas PQIA initially designed the timeline to help educate consumers, we heard from many lubricant marketers and blenders saying the timeline provided them with a valuable sales tool when explaining specifications to their customers. Further, they asked PQIA to add Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) to the timeline. We did, and copies of the timeline are now available on request.

Results In on Two More Synthetic Motor Oils

June 3, 2013

img126img125The results of the tests conducted on each of these brands sampled meet the requirements of an API SN, ILSAC GF-5, SAE 5W-30 engine oil.

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

 

 

 


PQIA tested and reported on 24 samples of synthetic 5W-30 motor oils in 2013. The samples included those produced by major oil companies and independent lubricant manufacturers.

The results of the tests conducted on each brand sampled meet the requirements of an API SN, ILSAC GF-5, SAE 5W-30 engine oil.

Click bottles below for test results on all synthetic motor oil brands sampled by PQIA.

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Results Are In On the Second Batch Of Diesel Engine Oils – No Issues

May 22, 2013

hdeotruckThe Petroleum Quality Institute of America purchased numerous samples of heavy duty diesel engine oil (HDEO) at retail stores and the test results on the second batch examined are in.  This batch included HDEO from CITGO, NAPA, MileMaster, Traveller, and Sunoco.

While performance differences may exist among the brands tested, the viscometrics for the samples meet the required targets for a 15W-40. In addition, the total base numbers (TBNs), and additive levels for each brand tested are consistent with what one would expect to see for their stated API Service Categories.

Although each of the samples tested check out fine, it is interesting to see the different approaches taken in the additive packages.

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hdeo12Click here to see the test results on all of the Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oils tested so far by PQIA. And keep in mind, there are more to come.

 

 

 

Results Are In On the First Batch Of Diesel Engine Oils – All Look Good

May 8, 2013

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America purchased numerous samples of heavy duty diesel engine oil at retail stores and the test results on the first batch examined are in.

hdeo1

While you can be sure performance differences exist among the brands tested,the viscometrics for the samples meet the required targets for a 15W-40. In addition, the total base numbers (TBNs), and additive levels for each brand tested are consistent with what one would expect to see for their stated API Service Categories.

David Fenderson Joins the Petroleum Quality
Institute of America Advisory Board

April 17, 2013
davefenderson

David Fenderson, Vice President of Marketing, Industrial Sales, and Product Development for GH Berlin-Winward

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) is pleased to announce that David Fenderson, Vice President of Marketing, Industrial Sales, and Product Development for GH Berlin-Windward, joins the other prestigious companies on PQIA’s Advisor Board (AB) to help assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the market.

PQIA’s AB includes, Chevron, Infineum, Afton, Lubrizol, Warren Oil, Phillips 66, CITGO Lubricants, Lubricating Specialties Company (LSC), Pinnacle Oil, Warren Distribution, and now, GH Berlin-Windward.

PQIA’s President Thomas F. Glenn says “David helps round out our Advisory Board by bringing in the unique and highly valued insights, expertise, and experience of a lubricant distributor.” Understanding lubricant distributors touch close to 80% of the lubricants sold in the US, Glenn says,” David’s perspectives and advice add high value to our already strong and tremendously talented Advisory Board.”

David is serving as Vice President of Marketing, Industrial Sales, and Product Development for GH Berlin-Windward since the merger of the two companies in 2011. Prior to that, David served in a similar capacity with Windward Petroleum. David held the position of marketer principal at Maine Lubrication Service from 1985 until 2004 in which he managed the sales organization and led his company through several expansions and acquisitions. In 2004 Maine Lubrication Service merged with Windward Petroleum. David is a 1985 graduate of Hobart College and holds a BA in economics.

David Fenderson says “I am pleased to have the opportunity to serve on PQIA’s advisory board. We believe in PQIA’s mission and that PQIA has proven to be an effective and positive agent of change in the lubricants business,” Further, “the lubricant marketer has a significant responsibility in delivering quality API-ILSAC licensed products to the professional installer, we applaud PQIA’s progress in protecting the retail public.”

About GH Berlin-Windward

GH Berlin – Windward, headquartered in East Hartford, CT is a leading lubricant distributor in the Northeast. The company has been in business since 1920 and has distribution facilities in Harford and Canterbury, CT, Manchester, NH, Westbrook and Hampden, ME., St. Johnsbury and Rutland VT, Dover, NJ. and Syracuse NY. Lubricants marketed by GH Berlin – Windward include Mobil, Valvoline, Chevron, Castrol, Phillips 66, Shell, Petro-Canada, Peak, and Motorcraft. GH Berlin-Windward also markets lubricants, coolants, and ancillary chemicals under their own brand, Navi-Guard. For more information please visit www.windwardpetroleum.com or www.ghberlin.com.

About PQIA

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) is an independent resource for information and insights on the quality and integrity of lubricants in the marketplace. The institute tests and publishes brand specific data on its website at www.pqia.org. The Petroleum Quality Institute of America Advisory Board comprises leading professionals with prominence in a broad range of fields related to the lubricants business. Click for PQIA AB members

RelaDyne Expands Recall of Bullet

April 11, 2013

On March 29, 2013, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America issued a Consumer Alert on RelaDyne’s Bullet brand 5W-30 motor oil. Bullet brand motor oils were observed on the shelves at convenience stores operated by Gilligan Oil Company, United Dairy Farmers, and others in the Ohio market.

blltatfdasUnderstanding the fluid in the bottle falls far short of meeting its labeled, and notably obsolete specifications, and would likely cause harm to an engine, PQIA was pleased that RelaDyne took action to recall the product after we published the alert.

The recall included the 5W-30, 5W-20, and 10W-30 grades of Bullet branded motor oils. In addition PQIA appreciates the fact that John Matarese with ABC News WCPO in Cincinnati did a piece on this recall in an effort to help get the word out to consumers.

With the consumer’s best interest in mind, PQIA contacted RelaDyne following their announced recall of the motor oils to advise they should also examine the quality of their Bullet Premium Non-Detergent 30 Wt motor oil and Bullet Premium Type A Transmission Fluid still on retail shelves. Putting aside the fact that both of these products are labeled as meeting obsolete specifications that have not been suitable for use in automobiles for decades, the samples PQIA obtained appeared to be the same product as those recalled. It takes little more than a shake of the bottle and note of its solvent like odor to raise suspicions.

Subsequently, RelaDyne advised PQIA that it is also “replacing” the Bullet Premium Non-Detergent 30 WT motor oil and Bullet Premium Type A Transmission Fluid currently on the shelves and issued a press release about the recall the day after PQIA brought this issue to their attention.

Further, RelaDyne’s CEO informed PQIA that it will quarantine the recalled products pending receipt of test results from an independent laboratory to assure these products do not contain hazardous materials that may be harmful to consumers and/or the environment.

PQIA is pleased that RelaDyne is promptly addressing its quality issues. At the same time, we remain hopeful RelaDyne will revisit its decision to continue to sell obsolete engine oils and transmission fluids, that are, in RelaDyne’s words, “positioned only as an entry level, lowest price point product, and one that does not meet todays’ specifications for the customer looking for that level of product.”

PQIA believes such obsolete motor oils with a real potential to cause harm to most vehicles currently on the road have no place on retail shelves, especially when labeled “Premium” and containing no warning about their limited use.

Cancelled!

CanceledAs noted in last week’s issue of PQIA news, we found trouble in the drum when looking into complaints received about Silogram motor oils sold in the New York Metro Market. In taking it to the lab, PQIA found that the Silogram 5W-30 API SN, GF-5 tested did not meet the requirements stated on its label. As a result, we issued a consumer alert.

Inewbergn addition to PQIA’s findings on the Silogram oil, it should be noted that the API has cancelled several Silogram API certifications, as well as the Auto Club brand PQIA reported on in June 2012. (click for API cancelled list).
But buyer beware, although Auto Club’s API certifications have been cancelled, PQIA observed Auto Club motor oil bearing the API donut on the shelves at high traffic convenience stores in NY and NJ just this this past weekend.

Behind the Scenes

PQIA’s mission is to serve the consumer of lubricants by testing and reporting on the quality and integrity of lubricants in the marketplace. While our website and newsletters are important vehicles to achieve this goal, a good deal of our activity takes place behind the scenes.

In addition to testing and publicly reporting on the quality of lubricants, another effective way to serve consumers is to work to remove low quality potentially damaging oils from retail shelves. PQIA is very active in this regard, working behind the scenes with the EPA, Weights and Measures, States Attorney’s General, Consumer Affairs departments, and others to help protect consumers from lubricants that can cause harm to their engines, transmissions, and other equipment.

In addition, PQIA publishes press releases and reaches out to television stations, newspapers, trade journals, weblogs, and other media in an effort to inform consumers about the quality of products in the market.

We also field many questions each day that come in through our “hotline,” and follow-up on your concerns.

Keep in mind, we do it all with funding from our supporters.   

PQIA’s supporters are required to comply with our stringent Code of Ethical Business Conduct and are not exempt from our testing programs and scrutiny. They choose to support PQIA for one simple reason – they share PQIA’s passion for protecting consumers from unscrupulous and predatory oil marketers.

By funding PQIA’s activities, our supporters are helping to establish a level playing field where fair and honest competition advances oil technology and delivers quality products for consumers to choose from. Together, PQIA and its valued supporters are determined to make a difference in the lubricants market that will benefit everyone.

Please contact me at tglenn@pqia.org to find out more about how you can help support PQIA’s efforts to assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the market.

Thomas Glenn
President
Petroleum Quality Institute of America

RelaDyne Recalls Bullet

March 29, 2013

PQIA is pleased to report that RelaDyne has taken swift action to recall defective motor
oil sold in quart bottles under the “Bullet” brand name.

bulletsmal[2]On March 27, PQIA issued a Consumer Alert on Bullet 5W-30 motor oil when test results showed the product PQIA sampled did not meet the requirements of the obsolete SC/CC specification it claims, or any other industry recognized specification for motor oils. Further, the extremely low viscosity of the product tested, together with the lack of vital additives, would likely result in damage to automobile engines.

Bullet motor oil is distributed by Oil Distributing Co, Cincinnati, OH (a RelaDyne company)

RelaDyne was quick to respond    

PQIA received a call from Tony Garera, Director of Supply Chain for Oil Distributing Co, within a few hours of the announced Consumer Alert on Bullet. Garera assured PQIA they were looking into it and would take action.

Action Taken 

On March 28, Garera contacted PQIA to advise that they identified the products affected and were issuing a Product Recall. The recall is on Bullet 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40 grades.  “The product involved in the recall is identified with RED caps, (black caps are not affected).

In addition, Larry Stoddard, the CEO of RelaDyne contacted PQIA today with the following comments:

“Last year we had two suppliers of this product.  We source this and do not blend it ourselves.  We were given written confirmations of the specifications it was to meet.  The particular manufacturer of this recalled product in no longer in business and we purchased product from them only for a very brief time.  We have identified all of the product that was sold and to what customers.  We believe it is less than 150 cases. We have contacted each customer, instructed them to pull the product off the shelf, and we are currently in the process of replacing it with product that meets the specifications as claimed on the packaging.

This product was sold exclusively to the C-store market and not to lubricant professionals.  It was sold and positioned only as an entry level, lowest price point product, and one that does not meet todays’ specifications for the customer looking for that level of product.  Additionally it was only sold in our Cincinnati primary area of responsibility.

We are extremely serious and committed to providing the best products and services to our customers in all markets that we serve.  This was an isolated and unfortunate occurrence in which we have taken every reasonable step to rectify.”

Larry J. Stoddard
Chief Executive Officer
RelaDyne

CONSUMER ALERT!

March 27, 2013

bulletsmal[2]Bullet Premium Motor Oil
Distributed By:
Oil Distributing Co, Cincinnati, OH

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CONSUMER ALERT: Bullet Premium Motor Oil claims to be a 5W-30 and to contain detergents, protect against wear, and fight rust and corrosion. PQIA’s analysis of this sample shows that its viscosity is nearly 60% below the minimum requirements for a 5W-30, and it contains no detergents or anti-wear additives.

The test results show this product does not meet the requirements of the obsolete SC/CC specification it claims, or any other industry recognized specification for motor oils.

The extremely low viscosity of the product tested, together with the lack of vital additives, would likely result in damage to automobile engines.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Spotlight on Synthetics – Round Three

March 20, 2013

r3syn

The results are in on the third group of synthetic motor oils examined by PQIA.

The results of the tests conducted on each of these brands meet the requirements of an API SN, ILSAC GF-5, SAE 5W-30 engine oil.

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

If it’s Not on the PQIA Website, it has not Been Tested by PQIA

pinocIt has come to PQIA’s attention that some companies are trying to trade on the PQIA name by telling their customers and prospects that PQIA tested their product(s) and found them to be in compliance with their labeled specifications. Whereas this is not an issue with products PQIA has in fact tested and found to be in compliance, we understand that such claims are sometimes being made for products that PQIA has not tested and/or were not in compliance.

It is important to note that all products tested by PQIA are listed on the PQIA website along with PQIA’s comments with regards to the test data and the brand’s compliance to its stated specification and claims. If it’s not on the PQIA website, it has not been tested.

Please contact PQIA on our HOTLINE, or by calling 732.640.6797 if you have any questions about products tested by PQIA.

Let Us Know What You Think About the Quality of Synthetic Motor Oils… Visit the PQIABlog

CLICK BOTTLES BELOW TO TAKE A LOOK AT MORE TEST RESULTS ON BOTH MAJOR AND INDEPENDENT BRANDS OF SYNTHETIC MOTOR OILS… and visit the PQIABlog to let us know what you think about Synthetic Motor Oils.

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Spotlight on Synthetics

March 11, 2013

The results are in on the second group of synthetic motor oils examined by PQIA. The results of the tests conducted on each of these brands meet the requirements of an API SN, ILSAC GF-5, SAE 5W-30 engine oil.

batch2grppic

CLICK BOTTLES ABOVE FOR DETAILS

Synthetics are typically considered the top line in motor oils. They comprise products formulated with superior base oils (API Group III, and/or polyalphaolefins, esters, and others), and additives. Synthetic motor oils are generally said to provide enhanced engine protection from wear and deposits, longer service intervals, superior high temperature operation and cold-flow properties, improved fuel economy, and other features and benefits.

In addition to major oil brand products, synthetic motor oils are produced by a number of independent lubricant manufacturers. Test results on some of these brands and others will be made available in upcoming PQIA newsletters.

Click here for the test results on the first, and most recent round of synthetic motor oils tested.

Be Heard! PQIA Launches Blog…

imgd5The Petroleum Quality Institute of America is pleased to announce the launch of its new blog site: PQIAblog.com.

The blog was launched to expand PQIA’s educational outreach and enhance its communications with consumers, end users, lubricant producers, marketers, installers and others in the value chain. In addition, says Thomas Glenn, president of PQIA, “The PQIAblog provides our readers with an opportunity to interact with PQIA’s professional staff and other bloggers on the site.”

The PQIAblog, along with our other social media touch points provides PQIA with an opportunity to share our lubricant analysis stories and provide others with a chance to interact with PQIA’s professional staff and other bloggers.

Whereas the PQIAblog, along with PQIA’s other social media touch points will evolve to meet the needs of its audience, Glenn says “it will remain focused on serving the consumers of lubricants by testing and reporting on the quality and integrity of lubricants in the marketplace.”

Check out the latest posts and let us know what you think.  

Spotlight on Synthetic Passenger Car Motor Oils

March 5, 2013
The first round of synthetic motor oils examined by PQIA is brands offered by major oil companies. The results of the tests conducted on each of these brands meet the requirements of an API SN, ILSAC GF-5, SAE 5W-30 engine oil.
syntbtls1

 CLICK BOTTLES ABOVE FOR DETAILS

Synthetics are typically considered the top line in motor oils. They comprise products formulated with superior base oils (API Group III, and/or polyalphaolefins, esters, and others), and additives. Synthetic motor oils are generally said to provide enhanced engine protection from wear and deposits, longer service intervals, superior high temperature operation and cold-flow properties, improved fuel economy, and other features and benefits.

In addition to major oil brand products, synthetic motor oils are produced by a number of independent lubricant manufacturers. Test results on some of these brands and others will be made available in upcoming PQIA newsletters.

Silogram – Trouble in the Drum

March 4, 2013

silo234[1]In response to numerous calls received on the PQIA HOTLINE coming from the NY metro area where Silogram is sold, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America arranged for the purchase of Silogram 5W-30 API SN, GF-5 motor oil in drums, and we cracked the bung to see what was inside. In doing so, we understand why buyers were concerned, and we are issuing a Consumer Alert on the product tested.

The product tested did not meet the labeled requirements, and because of this, we are issuing a Consumer Alert on Silogram 5W-30 motor oil. Understanding, however, that consumers rarely purchase motor oils in drums, this alert is directed at automotive repair garages, fast lubes, and other installers in the New York metro area where this product is sold.

CONSUMER ALERT:

The label on this drum claims the oil is an SAE 5W-30 meeting the API SN and ILSAC GF-5 specifications. PQIA’s analysis, however, showed the oil is not a 5W-30, but in fact is a 15W or 20W-30. In addition, the test results show the oil contains more than twice the maximum limit of phosphorus allowed by the API and ILSAC specifications, and the TBN is well below the range typically seen in SN/GF-5 oils. The high level of silicon is also concerning and may be indicative of abrasive contamination. Because of the high CCS viscosity, this oil may cause harm to engines operating at low temperatures where a 5W-30 oil is required. CLICK FOR DETAILS

And let us know what you think by commenting on the PQIAblog.

It should be noted that Silogram had other serious quality issues which resulted in the company filing suit against its alleged supplier, Everclear of Ohio, LTD on March 1, 2012. The label on the Silogram product tested by PQIA, however, showed it was filled 10/2012, well after the suit was filed.

Another Round Of Synthetics

The results are in on the forth group of synthetic motor oils examined by PQIA.

The results of the tests conducted on each of these brands meet the requirements of an API SN, ILSAC GF-5, SAE 5W-30 engine oil. Click for details.

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Results on Three More ATFs

February 28, 2013

img119Test results are in on samples of Gulfpride, Certified and Traveller automatic transmission fluids (ATF). The results of the tests conducted on these samples meet the requirements of Dexron® III/Mercon®.

Click for details

 

 

More on MAXLife

img4[1]PQIA received a number of calls and emails following the update it published last week on the assessment of the Valvoline MaxLife DEX/MERC ATF. Understandably, due to the label on the product prominently stating “DEX/MERC,” and the Product Information sheet stating “Suitable for use in: Ford MERCON®” most of the questions were directed at asking if the Valvoline MaxLife DEX/MERC ATF did in fact meet the DEXRON® III/MERCON® specification.

The answer is no, the MaxLife ATF tested does not meet the MERCON® specification. This is because the viscosity specification for MERCON® is 6.8 cSt minimum @ 100°C and the MaxLife sample tested at 6.0 cSt. To this point, Valvoline responded to PQIA with a technical explanation regarding the use of synthetic base oils in the product, its shear stability, and why the product is suitable (click here for letter) saying MaxLife ATF will provide acceptable “even superior” performance in MERCON® applications and is “suitable for use” in these applications.

PQIA understands Valvoline’s position with regards to this issue and appreciates the company reaching out to us to explain it and to assure consumers the product is perfectly acceptable in MERCON® applications. PQIA does, however, remain concerned that the practice of referring to a specification where the data is not consistent with that specification opens the door for abuse.

If it’s acceptable for a supplier to say its product is suitable for use in applications where it does not meet the specifications for that application, how can a consumer really be assured that the product will perform similar or better than the original specification?

With the propensity of products on the market, and the harsh reality that there are some suppliers that place products on the market that do not meet implied and/or even stated performance requirements, PQIA’s position is that we cannot condone the reference to a specification when the product does not adhere to all aspects of that specification.

PQIA does, however, welcome suppliers to explain why they believe their failure to strictly comply with a specification does not adversely impact performance requirements.

Let us know what you think. Click here for PQIAblog

PQIA Updates its Evaluation of Valvoline MAXLIFE ATF

February 22, 2013

img6ePQIA initially issued an Advisory on MAXLIFE ATF based on the fact the product implied compliance with the Mercon® specification but did not meet the Mercon® viscosity requirement.

Valvoline has since contacted PQIA and provided a valid technical explanation as to why MAXLIFE ATF would provide acceptable performance in Mercon® applications. Based on this explanation, PQIA no longer believes an Advisory is necessary and has updated its evaluation of this product.

Click Valvoline letter below for details:

valltr213

RESULTS IN ON FIVE ATFs

February 22, 2013

PQIA tests five brands of automatic transmission fluids (ATF) and issues an Advisory on one.

Click for details

img111

Inconvenient Truths About Convenience Store Motor Oil

img1131[1]While most convenient stores carry quality motor oils, the inconvenient truth is that some turn a blind eye to quality, not knowing or perhaps caring about what is actually in the bottle.  These bad apples that put profit ahead of ethics, and sometimes the law, spoil the reputation of the typical hard working convenience store owner, and harm both the consumer and the lubricant industry.

 

Read more for Important issues every consumer should be aware of when purchasing oil at a retail store.  
Click here for more

 

RESPONSIBLE LABELING OF MOTOR OIL

February 7, 2013
The Petroleum Quality Institute of America Encourages Responsible Labeling of Motor Oils and Says There is Clearly Room for Improvement.

An area where PQIA sees considerable room for improvement in labeling is with motor oils only meeting obsolete API specifications (SA, SB, SC, SD, SE). Whereas there are certain applications where these products are appropriate, they generally have limited use and can cause harm to most passenger car engines. Unfortunately, PQIA frequently finds these products on store shelves with labels that not only lack any precautionary statements to advise consumers of their limited use, but instead use marketing terms suggestive of high quality motor oils. One example of such a brand is XCEL shown below.

The XCEL labels display terms suggestive of high quality and they lack any precautionary statements about the fact these products are not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automobile engines built after 1930. Further, whereas API SA oils are generally monogrades due to the lack of additives, consumers can easily assume these XCEL motor oils are appropriate for use in their vehicle because they are offered in multi-grade viscosities commonly required in vehicles currently on the road.

xcellbl3What the XCEL labels say:

  • Protects like no other
  • PREMIUM
  • SPECIAL
  • A multi-grade highly refined general purpose automotive oil
  • Formulated from a quality blend of selected lubricants to provide protection against oxidation and corrosion of engine parts.
  • This economical quality blended lubricant provides excellent and durable lubrication for automobiles and light truck engines to minimize oil consumption cost.
  • Recommended for older cars where a minimum amount of additive is required
  • API Service SA

What the XCEL labels don’t say:

  • Is not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1930.
  • Use in more modern engines may cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm.

CLICK GRADE BELOW FOR LABEL DETAILS AND TEST RESULTS

Xcel 10W30                                 Xcel10W40                               Xcel 20W50

Whereas marketers might argue they advise consumers accordingly by including the “API Service SA” on the label, the fact is, less than 1% of consumers are even vaguely familiar with the API Service Classification system. In fact, often when asked, many consumers erroneously relate the API rating to school grades and as such, believe and SA must be better than and B, C, or D.

So rather than fooling ourselves, or worse yet, taking advantage of the consumer’s lack of knowledge about the codes on labels that speak to quality levels, PQIA encourages the use of language consumers understand. The API recommends specific warning labels for many obsolete specification motor oils to clearly communicate the limited use for these oils, and PQIA applauds those marketers who use it. Click here for an example of responsible labeling of API SB engine oil.

RELATED ARTICLES

Follow-up tests on Golden Stallion

On July 11, 2012, PQIA issued a Consumer Alert on Golden Stallion Super Pro Plus 10W-30. Days after publishing the alert, PQIA received phone calls and a letter from, Dean Mohammad, president and CEO of US Global Petroleum, the manufacturer of Golden Stallion. The letter does not dispute PQIA’s analysis, but claims a limited quantity of bottles were incorrectly labeled and production was immediately stopped. Further U.S. Global Petroleum encouraged PQIA to proactively test its products and visit its facility to see its “state-of-the-art packaging equipment” in action.

In an effort to assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the marketplace, PQIA took US Global Petroleum up on its offer to visit its facility and proactively test its packaged and bulk products. We did so on two occasions, including September and October 2012 and randomly pulled samples of quart bottles from inventory and two samples from discharge lines leading to bulk tanks. Each of the samples tested meet their stated specifications as an API SN, ILSAC GF-5 for the 5W-, and 10W-30 viscosity grades.

Click here for the follow-up test results.

Five Automatic Transmission Fluids Tested, CONSUMER ALERT issued on one

January 24, 2013

PQIA recently put five brands of Automatic Transmission Fluids (ATFs) to the test. The results for one brand are concerning enough for PQIA to issue a Consumer Alert. The brand is Liberty Gold Plus ATF.

The viscosity @ 100°C for Liberty Gold Plus ATF is far below the typical specified viscosity for automatic transmission fluids. In addition, the test results for this sample show unusually high levels of silicon, iron, manganese, copper, and lead, indicating that this product may contain used and/or contaminated oil.

Also concerning is that the product label on Liberty Gold Plus says “A SPECIALLY FORMULATED TOP OFF FLUID” It is important to note that there is no such category as “top-off” oil, and use of this fluid could lower the viscosity of the transmission fluid to levels that could harm the transmission.

Click for test results on the five most recent brands of ATF tested.

PQIA Takes a Strong Stance on “Top Off” Oil

Alarms should go off when you read “Top Off” on the label

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America advises consumers to be cautious of motor oil and transmission fluids labeled or sold as “top off” oil.

According to Thomas Glenn, President of PQIA, “we are seeing an increase in the number of poor quality motor oils and transmission fluids in the marketplace with labels describing the products as “top off oil.” Glenn says the term “top off oil” is not recognized by any governing body in the lubricants industry as a specification or service classification defining the performance of such products.”

Of high concern, Glenn says, “PQIA’s test results show oils bearing the “top of oil” terms are often wolves in sheep’s clothing. Instead of referencing such globally accepted and required engine oil standards as SAE viscosity grades and API Service Categories, these so called “top off” oils prey on the consumer’s lack of knowledge about industry standards by simply ignoring them, or referencing obsolete specifications. They play on the appeal of terms consumers are familiar with and often hear when getting their oil changed.”

As an example, Glenn says, it’s not unusual for a consumer to hear a fast lube say they “topped off” the fluids (windshield washer fluid, power steering fluid, or coolant) when they get their oil changed. Because of this, it’s a familiar term and one that would seem to be a valued service. But whereas it’s true a car owner may need to top off these fluids and the oil in an engine if it’s down a quart or so, Glenn says the quality of the engine oil required to top off is no different than the quality of oil required for an oil change. Further Glenn adds, most of the so called “top off” oils PQIA has tested are so far off specification they can do damage to your engine.

So don’t fall for it. Alarms should go off when you read “Top Off” on the label. Whereas your engine oil may need to be topped off when low, the oil required to top it off is no different that the oil required for an oil change.  READ YOUR OWNERS MANUAL. 

CONSUMER ALERTS

January 7, 2013

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PQIA (AGAIN) ISSUES CONSUMER ALERTS ON SUPER XXX and LIBERTY GOLD PLUS SMO

There are two brands of engine oils in the mid-west that consumers should avoid at any price. These brands include Super XXX marketed by New World Sales in Midlothian, IL, and Liberty Gold Plus SMO sold by Pinnacle Brands, Chicago, IL.

imgbWhereas these products may be plentiful in convenience stores and priced a few cents lower than others on the shelf, they will likely cost you plenty in engine repairs if you use them.

PQIA tested these brands in 2011 and 2012 and found serious deficiencies with the products each time tested. Whereas the details of the most recent round of testing can be found by clicking on the bottles, in short, these brands are not fit screenhunter_7020feb-20222014-35to be used in any car engine currently on the road. In fact, if used, it’s likely the car will not be on the road for long. This is because these products have viscosities painfully lower than needed to protect an engine. In addition, they contain little to no additives to protect moving parts, and they have very high levels of silicon which is often attributed to abrasive contamination.

New Car or Old, Be it a Bentley or a beater…steer clear of these brands.

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