Mission Statement

PQIA’s 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.
The Petroleum Quality Institute of America
serves buyers and consumers of lubricants through
the support of:

Afton Chemical

Chemlube International


CHS Industries


Eni USA R&M Co. Inc.

Gulf Lubricants

Infineum USA L.P.



Lubrication Engineers

Lubricating Specialties Co.




Phillips 66

Pinnacle Oil

Reliance Fluid Technologies

Royal Mfg

Royal Purple


Universal Lubricants, LLC

Warren Distribution

Warren Oil

Lubricant Distributor Supporters



The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) Code of Ethical Business Conduct (Code)
is the cornerstone of the PQIA initiative as it clearly and strictly defines the standards by which PQIA and its management, employees, and supporter (“Supporters”) will conduct business in the lubricants marketplace.


The Petroleum Quality Institute of America's Advisory Board comprises a distinguished group of professionals with prominence in a broad range of fields in the lubricants business.

The role of the Advisory Board is to provide PQIA's management with guidance, advice, recommendations and counsel in how to best pursue PQIA's purpose and mission.

 Advisory Board Members

Click here for AB Members


Results in on Four API CK-4 Diesel Engine Oils
April 24, 2017  


The results are in on the first four samples of diesel engine oil PQIA observed in the market labeled with the new API CK-4 performance specification. Each of the samples examined meet the SAE J300 specification for an SAE 15W-40 along with the phosphorus and Noack volatility requirements needed to meet the new API CK-4 specification. The results of other tests conducted on the samples are consistent with the listed API Service Categories.





PQIA Enhances Website to Include User Friendly Search and Sort Features
April 24, 2017  


Visitors to the PQIA website can now search and sort PQIA's sample database by brand, date of sample, SAE viscosity grade, API Service Category, and the PQIA Sample Assessments.

The search feature also provides a direct link to the analysis reports for each of the samples tested by PQIA.

The following is a Quick Start Guide to using the search and sort feature:




Five 0W-20s and They All Look Good
April 11, 2017  


The results of the tests conducted on the five samples of SAE 0W-20 shown below meet the SAE J300 specifications a SAE 0W-20 viscosity grade and are consistent with the API Service Categories shown on the labels.




Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy STP SYN Full Synthetic Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Valvoline Full Synthetic SYNPower Castrol EDGE Full Synthetic


A Look at the 0W-20s Examined by PQIA in 2014 to 2017(YTD)
April 11, 2017  


Although SAE 5W-30 accounts for the majority of the passenger car motor oil (PCMO) consumed in the US, demand for the grade continues to decline as some of the leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) shift to lower viscosity grade PCMOs in an effort to improve fuel economy. The biggest beneficiary of the shift is SAE 0W-20. Currently accounting for roughly 10% of PCMO consumed in the US, demand for the 0W-20 viscosity grade is expected to nearly triple over the next 10 years. Because of this, the PQIA will be examining an increasing number of 0W-20s moving forward as more of these products populate retail shelves. CLICK FOR MORE.


Next Up: CK-4 and FA-4 Diesel Engine Oils
April 11, 2017  


The PQIA has received a significant number of inquiries from readers asking if and when PQIA will take a look at the new CK-4 and FA-4 diesel engine oils. The answer is “yes” we will be looking at both as they enter the market and PQIA already has samples in the laboratory for testing. Results for the first group of samples will be published in the next two weeks. CLICK FOR MORE.



PQIA Examines Five Brands of ATF, One Has Issues
March 24, 2017  


The PQIA Examines Five Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) Brands and Issues an Advisory on One


The results of the tests conducted on samples of MidWest Guard, NaviGuard, SuperS Custom Plus, and Vantage shown below meet the requirements for DEXRON® III/MERCON®.


The sample of PolyGuard tested does not meet the specification for a Type A transmission fluid, as the product is labelled. In addition, Type A Automatic Transmission Fluid is obsolete and not suitable for use in automatic transmissions manufactured after 1957. The label on this product does not provide any warning to consumers about this limited use.




MidWest Guard Navi Guard SuperS
Custom Plus
Vantage PolyGuard
Type A



PQIA Examines Four More Motor Oil Samples, All Check Out Fine
March 17, 2017  


The results of the tests conducted on the samples below meet the SAE J300 specifications for the SAE Viscosity Grade listed on their product label, and are consistent with their listed API Service Categories.




CarQuest Navi Guard Ultra Navi Guard Elite CITGO Supergard


The PQIA Examines Five Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) Brands  and Issues an Advisory on One
March 9, 2017  


Advisory: The MORGAS ATF D/M label states that the product is suitable for use in transmissions where DEXRON® III or MERCON® is specified. PQIA’s test results for this sample do not meet the DEXRON III and MERCON specification for Flash Point and Kinematic Viscosity at 100ºC. CLICK FOR DETAILS


Note: This is not the first time PQIA has found issues with this brand. In fact, on February 24, 2017, PQIA issued a Consumer Alert on MORGAS SAE 5W-20 motor oil.


The Other Four ATFs; No Issues


The results of the tests conducted on samples of the brands shown below meet the requirements for DEXRON® III/MERCON®.



MileMaster National PolyGUARD Parts Master


Enhanced Sample Reports


PQIA is pleased to announce an enhancement to the reports it issues on the brands tested. The enhancement is in direct response to those who have visited the PQIA website and asked us to include a visual representation of the critical test data tied to specifications.


Moving forward, in addition to the actual test data PQIA shows on the reports, the sample report pages now include horizontal bar charts showing where the sample test data falls relative to specifications. Click on the bottles in this newsletter to see the graphics in action.



PQIA Examines Five Samples of 5W-20; Issues One Consumer Alert, One Advisory
FEBRUARY 24, 2017  



The results of the tests conducted on this sample do NOT meet the SAE J300 specifications for the SAE Viscosity Grade listed on the product label, and are NOT consistent with the listed API Service Category.


The Kinematic Viscosity @ 100°C is 14% lower than the minimum viscosity specification for this SAE grade. In addition, the Volatility result is substantially higher than the maximum allowed in the SN specification.


It should also be noted that the back label states this product "is compatible with SN, SM, SL and ILSAC GF-5 service classification." when in fact it does not meet any of these specifications.


Use of this product in the majority of vehicles on the road today may cause unsatisfactory engine performance. CLICK FOR MORE



SuperS Custom Plus SAE 5W-20 SJ


Advisory: The results of the tests conducted on this sample meet the SAE J300 specifications for the SAE Viscosity Grade listed on the product label, and are consistent with the API SJ Service Category. It should be noted, however, that API SJ motor oils are intended for use in vehicles built prior to 2002. Although not stated on the labels, consumers should be aware of its limited use. Further, whereas the labels state, "For use where an SJ motor oil is recommended," and "is compatible with API approved engine oils," the labels do not claim this product actually meets any API Service Categories.


The high level of silicon in this sample is unusual and may indicate contamination with abrasive material. CLICK FOR MORE



Other 5W-20s Recently Examined


The results of the tests conducted on samples of the brands shown below meet the SAE J300 specifications for the SAE Viscosity Grade listed on the product labels, and are consistent with the listed API Service Categories.




Five More Samples From the Midwest-Consumer Alert Issued on One
FEBRUARY 6, 2017  


PQIA examines five more motor oil samples purchased in the midwest and issues a Consumer Alert on one and an Advisory on another. Cautions consumer not to Buy SUPER XXX Platinum 10W30.


Consumer Alert: A Consumer Alert is issued on SUPER XXX Platinum “10W30 API SM/GF-3” manufactured by Chi-Town Lubricants located in Dolton, IL. The results of the tests conducted on the sample DO NOT meet the SAE J300 specifications for an SAE 10W-30 viscosity grade, and ARE NOT consistent with the referenced API SM Service Category. Use of this product in automobile engines may cause harm to most vehicles currently on the road. CLICK FOR DETAILS




Advisory: An Advisory is issued on PolyGUARD All Season 5W-30 API SF/CC manufactured in PolyGuard Products Division located in Medina, MN. The reason for the Advisory is that the product is labeled as meeting an OBSOLETE API Service Category (SF/CC) and the labels fail to give consumers adequate warning about its potential harm to more modern engines. With regards to the API SF Service Category, the API states: “CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1988. May not provide adequate protection against build-up of engine sludge.” CLICK FOR DETAILS




Other motor oils examined in the most recent round of samples from the mid-west region are shown below:

Vantage Everest MidWest Guard


PQIA Issues Consumer Alerts on Two AntiFreeze/Coolant Samples
JANUARY 27, 2017  


Two of the five coolant/antifreeze samples recently examined by PQIA fail to meet their label claims for freeze point protection.


Polar Zone: Test results on the sample of Polar Zone examined has a freeze point of -2.2°F. This freeze point is above the labeled claim stating “Protects to -20°F,” and well above the industry standard of -33.5°F. In addition, the pH at 12.12 is 1.12 higher than required to meet the ASTM D-3306 specification.


Super XXX: The freeze point of the product tested is -15°F. This is higher than the product’s labeled claim of -34°F and is higher than the industry standard of -33.5°F. The test results are not consistent with a new coolant based on the standard specifications stated in ASTM D-3306 and ASTM D-4985. The level of degradation acids (glycolate and formate) in the sample tested are unusually high. In addition, the concentration of chloride is 228% higher than the maximum level of 25mg/L as stated in ASTM D-3306 and ASTM D-4985 for a new coolant.



Antifreeze/coolants recently tested by PQIA that are consistent with the labeled claims:


Note: Major Brands Oil Company contacted PQIA saying that the results of the tests conducted on its product in 2015 were not reflective of the company’s current quality and encouraged PQIA to proactively test its Performance Antifreeze & Coolant currently in the market. PQIA did so and purchased products from two locations in Michigan. Click Performance jugs above for test results on the samples.

Smitty’s Supply to Pay $755,155 in Consumer Protection Settlement
JANUARY 27, 2017  


The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has obtained a consumer protection settlement against a Louisiana Company, Smitty’s Supply, Inc.

Based on random product testing conducted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) that began in 2012, it was determined that samples of Smitty’s Custom Plus™ Motor Oil products sold within the State of California “did not meet the specifications represented on the label.”

The Final Judgement states that “There were several violations for selling, or offering for sale, petroleum or automotive products of a different grade than represented on the label and adulterated or mislabeled product that does not meet the latest automotive manufacturer’s recommended requirements as indicated on the label.”

The total settlement was in the amount of $751,155. This includes civil penalties of $555,000, investigative and other costs of $196,155.

In addition to the $751,155, the Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction requires Smitty’s to develop and implement a quality assurance program to ensure that the lubricants it sells or distributes in the state of California comply with industry standards and all state and federal laws. The QA program must also include that Smitty’s places a traceable date and batch number of every product to assure that the quantity and location of products sold or distributed in California can be traced.

Importantly, the quality assurance program must also be maintained in writing and explained to Smitty’s employees involved in the management, blending, testing, packaging, transportation and others involved with its lubricant products. Further, they must acknowledge, by signature, that they will abide by the QA program requirements.

Click for Details: Settlement – Smitty’s Supply, Inc., dba Smitty’s, a Louisiana Company


PQIA Issues Two Consumer Alerts on ATF
JANUARY 11, 2017  


PQIA examines five samples of automatic transmission fluid purchased in the Midwest market. While the results of the tests conducted on three of the samples meet the requirements for their labeled claims, PQIA issues Consumer Alerts/Don’t Buys on two. The two samples are branded under names all too familiar to PQIA. One is the Everclear brand ATF. This is the fourteenth time PQIA has issued Consumer Alerts on lubricants marketed under the Everclear brand. Further, this product has been ordered off the shelves in the states of Georgia and North Carolina. /span>

Click for More...






The Petroleum Quality Institute of America is able to serve buyers and consumers of lubricants in part through the support of lubricant manufacturers, marketers, and others. Please contact us at the link below if you too would like to sponsor PQIA's efforts to help assure the quality of lubricants in the marketplace. Click here to contact us about how you can help supporter PQIA's efforts
or call us at

Report Concerns About Lubricant Quality to PQIA
Information provided is Treated Confidentially and
Callers can remain anonymous


email PQIA at:







Royal Purple Joins to Support PQIA


Reliance Fluid Technologies Joins to Support PQIA 


PQIA Welcomes the Support of JAX to Help Assure the Quality and Integrity of Lubricants


L.F. Powers Joins to Support PQIA

Ocean State Oil Joins to Support PQIA

Keller-Heartt Supports PQIA

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

PQIA Adds Automatic Transmission Fluids to its Motor Oil Timeline

David Fenderson, from G.H. Berlin Joins the Petroleum Quality Institute of America Advisory Board

API cancelled several Silogram API certifications, as well as the Auto Club brand

RelaDyne took swift action to recall defective motor oil sold in quart bottles under the "Bullet" brand

Responsible Labeling Of Motor Oil...Room For Improvement

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



May 12, 2012 - PQIA Moves Forward With Bulk Oil Testing Program

May 2, 2012 - Bad Engine Oils are Not Hard to Find

Apr 25, 2012 - PQIA Issues a "Don't Buy" on Bullseye Motor Oil

Mar 22, 2012 - Silogram Lubricants Files Suit Against Everclear


Jan 2012 -  Check your oil

Sept 19, 2011  - The Petroleum Quality Institute of America Issues Consumer Alerts On Six Motor Oils


Mar 15, 2011 - PQIA Issues Consumer Alert on Everclear Motor Oil

March 2011 - Who Can You Trust

Mar 11, 2011 -  Are you Harming your Enspensive Ride with Engine Oil Made for Cars Built in the 1930?

May 25, 2010 PQIA Takes up the Issue of Line Wash Misuse




Read the

Unless this is your car, you could be damaging your engine with obsolete oil made for cars built in the 1930!





 Do you have an article of interest or a whitepaper that you would like to share with the PQIA community? Please contact us