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


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


Diesel Engine Oil

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

Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) is pleased to announce JAX has joined PQIA's growing list of lubricant manufacturers, marketers, additive suppliers, and others in helping to assure the quality and integrity of motor oils, transmission fluids, and other lubricants in the market.

JAX, based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, is a manufacturer and supplier of industrial, synthetic and food-grade lubricants for machinery and processes. Click for more.

 0W-20s and More
July 3, 2014

PQIA tested the following brands of 0W-20, 5W-20, and 5W-30 motor oils. Only one has an issue.

Click bottles below for details.












June 12, 2014


Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced today that his office has joined the Missouri Department of Agriculture's Division of Weights and Measures in a crackdown on mislabeled and fake auto-engine products. Koster filed lawsuits against five St. Louis-area retailers for selling engine products knowing the products either misrepresented their contents or could seriously damage consumers' cars. 

The following retailers are being sued for continuing to sell suspect products in violation of the Stop-Sale order:

Unique Mark, 9641 St. Charles Rock Road
- Shell, 4903 Goodfellow Blvd.
- Phillips 66, 5003 Goodfellow Blvd.
- Kenny's Discount, 5477 N. Kings Highway
- Quality Market, 2708 N. Florissant Ave.

Koster's lawsuits seek to permanently ban the retailers from selling these products in the future, and restitution for consumers who purchased the products after the Stop-Sale Order and for any resulting harm to the consumers' cars. The lawsuits also seek civil penalties and the payment of costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of the cases. CLICK FOR MORE

Note: With regards to the "Royal" brand mentioned in the release, it should be noted that the "Royal" product sited is not associated or affiliated with Royal Mfg Co Tulsa, OK or Schertz, TX. The Pinnacle Platinum product sited, which is manufactured by Pinnacle Brands, is not affiliated or associated with Pinnacle Oil in Indianapolis, IN.  


May 19, 2014

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America issues DON'T BUYS on motor oil and transmission fluid manufactured and marketed by Everclear of Ohio. Test results reveal serious issues with the Everclear 10W-30, 10W-40, 5W-30 motor oil, and the Everclear Automatic Transmission Fluids (ATF). 

Each of the Everclear products tested have high levels of silicon which is typically associated with abrasive material. In addition, two failed to meet their labelled viscosity grade and each of the motor oils contained high levels of metals (iron, copper, tin, aluminum). These metals are typically found in used oil.

This is not the first time PQIA has alerted consumers about Everclear lubricants.

The first Consumer Alert was issued on Everclear 5W-30 in a press release in March 2011. Another alert was announced in July 2011 on its 10W-30. That was followed by a Consumer Alert on Everclear's automatic transmission fluid in August 2012, and in October 2013 PQIA announced a Consumer Alert when it found Everclear's 5W-30 did not meet its labeled viscosity grade and was contaminated with material strongly suggestive of used oil.


May 19, 2014
While Everclear motor oils and transmission fluids remain on the shelves in Ohio... the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services took clear and decisive action in December 2013 to get these products off the shelves in their State. They did so by issuing Stop-Sale Orders for Everclear 5W-30, 10W-30 and 10W-40 motor oil. In addition, Everclear Automatic Transmission Fluid was also pulled from sale for failure to meet any recognized specifications.

So Why Doesn't the State of Ohio take action to protect its citizens from these products?

PQIA opened communications with the Federal Trade Commission office in Cleveland Ohio early in 2011 regarding Everclear motor oils and other motor oils with serious deficiencies that are sold in the State. Whereas the Ohio FTC office expressed concerns about the issue, they are reportedly "resource constrained," and, sadly, declined to take action. Although PQIA appreciates the Ohio FTC office's comments suggesting that action might be taken in the future, PQIA remains very concerned that automobile engines and transmissions will be damaged while consumers wait.

With that, Buyers Beware of Everclear Motor Oils and Transmission Fluids sold in Ohio or any other state. 

Bad Motor Oils Still on the Shelves

May 9, 2014

News12 New Jersey - Kane In Your Corner, in cooperation with PQIA, ran a three part investigative series exposing a serious issue all car owners should be aware of. That issue being dangerous motor oil for sale at gas stations and convenience stores; some of it was so contaminated that it could seriously damage a car or void its warranty.

http://www.pqiamerica.com/mgclicksd.gifNow, five months later, a Kane In Your Corner investigation finds the brands that did worst in lab tests do not appear to have kept their promises to make things better.

MaxiGuard Motor Oil:  NSUMER ALERT
The label on the product tested shows "10-40", implying that the oil is 10W-40 motor oil.  In fact, the viscosity for this product is 50% below the minimum requirements for 10W-40 oil.  In addition, the test results for this product show the oil lacks the critical additives necessary to protect engines from wear, sludge, rust, and corrosion, and contains high levels of potentially abrasive silicon.  Use of this oil will cause damage to automotive engines. It is also important to note that the bottle does not contain 1 quart/946 ML of motor oil. Instead, it contains approximately 825 milliliters. Whereas the volume in the bottle should be expressed in liquid measure, it displays content as dry weight of 740 grams.

Note: The Petroleum Quality Institute of America has issued several Consumer Alerts and "Don't Buys"on the MaxiGuard brand highlighted in the Kane in Your Corner news segment. PQIA is pleased to hear the manufacturers of MaxiGuard motor oil, Bass Oil Chemical, have assured News12 NJ Kane in Your Corner they will address the issue and that they say the State of New York's Department of Weights and Measures recently visited its facility to discuss the product.urers of MaxiGuard motor oil, Bass Oil Chemical, have assured News12 NJ Kane in Your Corner they will address the issue and that they say the State of New York's Department of Weights and Measures recently visited its facility to discuss the product.

April 23, 2014
PQIA to Discuss Substandard Motor Oil at the 99th National Conference on Weights and Measures Annual Meeting this July

PQIA will present data to state and local weights and measures officials from across the country at the 99th NCWM Annual Meeting this July showing the magnitude of the problem. They will also discuss possible ways to improve collaboration between their programs and state regulatory agencies.
April 29, 2014
More 5W-20s - Click bottles below for details

PQIA has completed another set of analyses for 5W-20 motor oils. No issues were found in this set. Click here for specifics about these brands. In addition, the test results for the last 27 samples of 5W-20 are now consolidated in a single table for convenient review. Click here for all 5W-20 tested to date. 


April 16, 2014
Bad Motor Oils Exposed - Four Month Follow-up


In December 2013, News12 New Jersey, in cooperation with PQIA, ran a three part investigative series on a serious issue all car owners should be aware of bad engine oils in the market. 

Four months after Kane In Your Corner investigation exposed harmful motor oil for sale in New Jersey, the bad brands are still on the market. CLICK FOR MORE

Motor Oils Put to the Test

 Motor OIl Regulations

Buying the RIght Motor OIl
March 17, 2014
PQIA Issues a Don't Buy on Orbit Type A Transmission Fluid

Last week, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) announced "Don't Buys" on three viscosity grades of Orbit motor oil. PQIA now issues a Don't Buy on Orbit's Type A Automatic Transmission Fluid.

Test results show the sample is more than 70% below the minimum viscosity requirement for a Type A ATF.In addition, the flash point is 24°C below the minimum requirement for a Type A ATF. Use of this oil will cause damage to automatic transmissions.It should also be noted that Type A is an OBSOLETE specification intended for use in General Motors automatic transmissions built prior to 1957. Click Transmission Fluid Time Line

March 13, 2014
PQIA Issues a Don't Buy on Orbit Motor Oil 

PQIA has uncovered a fraudulent brand of "Motor Oil" on retail shelves in Missouri and Indiana, and likely available elsewhere throughout the Midwest, that is capable of destroying your car engine in short order.  The brand is Orbit and it's manufactured by Orbit Oil in Gary, Indiana.

PQIA's analysis of the Orbit samples show the products are extremely thin, as much as 74% below the minimum viscosity requirements for their implied viscosity grade.  Motor oils this thin are not able to adequately separate and lubricate moving engine parts and can lead to rapid wear and even engine seizure.  In addition, the samples tested lack the critical additives needed to protect car engines from wear, sludge, rust and corrosion, and may contain abrasive contaminates.  Accordingly, PQIA has issued a "DON'T BUY" for Orbit brand motor oils. 

These fraudulent oils should not be added to your car engine, and if you see this brand in your area, please contact PQIA via our hotline. 

Orbit  5-30 
Orbit 10-30 
Orbit 10-40

Orbit 5-30 
Orbit 10-30

Orbit 10-40

Note: The labels on the products tested prominently display what a reasonable person would believe to be a viscosity grade (i.e."5-30"), implying that the oil is a 5W-30 motor oil. None of the products tested come close to the implied viscosity grades shown on their labels.

February 27, 2014
Michigan AG Announces Felony Charges Against Four Individuals for Intentionally Selling Mislabeled Motor Oils

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced felony criminal charges against four Wayne County individuals for allegedly selling intentionally mislabeled motor oil products to retailers across the state.


Schuette charged Moussa Kaddouh, 58, of Dearborn; Ali Kaddouh, 34, of Dearborn; Joe Kdouh, 61, of Dearborn Heights; and Ayman Faraj, 36, of Canton, with felony charges for intentionally selling an improperly labeled commodity as well as misdemeanors for possessing an uncertified measuring device to sell commodities.   


City Petroleum, based in Dearborn, sells wholesale motor oil and transmission fluid products labeled “City Star” to retailers throughout Michigan. Brothers Moussa Kaddouh and Joe Kdouh own and operate the business and employ Ali Kaddouh, Moussa’s son.

Star Petroleum, based in Detroit, sells wholesale motor oil and transmission fluid products labeled “Star” to retailers throughout Michigan. Star is owned and operated by Faraj. City Petroleum and Star Petroleum are not affiliated.


The product sold allegedly contained used motor oil instead of new motor oil. In addition, the bottles were under filled. The felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. 


It should be noted that PQIA’s analysis of these motor oils, beginning in 2011, not only indicated the presence of used motor oil but also other serious deficiencies that would likely result in damage to a car engine.  




January 16, 2014
Ashland Responds to PQIA's Advisory on Valvoline NextGen Conventional 5W-20 Motor Oil

On January 8, 2014, PQIA issued an Advisory on a sample of Valvoline NextGen Conventional 5W-20 motor oil. The reason for the Advisory is that the sample tested failed the Noack Volatility requirements for an API SN/ILSAC GF-5.

Thom Smith, Vice President Lubricant Technology Ashland Consumer Markets, sent PQIA a letter on January 10th outlining Ashland's position on the analysis of the Valvoline NextGen 5W-20 sample and the Noack Volatility test. The letter was accompanied by an email noting that Mr. Smith would call PQIA to discuss their position. Mr. Smith contacted PQIA on Jan 15 to review the letter and its position.  

Published with Ashland's permission, its letter to PQIA on this subject can be seen by clicking the letter at the right.

The essence of Ashland's position is expressed in Thom Smith's statement:  

"As you are aware, the ASTM D5800 test results can vary significantly from one piece of test equipment to the next. We have experienced variances between calibrated units in excess of the published reproducibility when testing commercial formulations. We believe that this may explain the extreme difference in test results that we are seeing."

Whereas PQIA respects Ashland's position with regards to this issue, PQIA's approach is to use the industry standards when we perform an analysis. The industry standard for Noack Volatility is ASTM D-5800, Procedure B.

January 8, 2014
Results in on Second Round of Testing on 5W-20 Motor Oils

The results of PQIA's second round of testing on 5W-20 motor oils are in and an Advisory is issued on one sample tested (Valvoline NextGen
®) as it does not meet the volatility requirements for an API SN/ILSAC GF-5.  More
October 7, 2013
Michigan Orders Another Bad Motor Oil Off its Shelves!

PQIA 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 Elerts 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.

October 3, 2013
PQIA Issues Consumer Alerts on Two Brands of Motor Oil Purchased in the Chicago Market
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 and other contaminants.
CONSUMER ALERTSUPER XXX 10W40 The label on this product states "it 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." 
CONSUMER ALERT - EVERCLEAR 5W-30: The label on this product states it is "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 strong suggest this product contains used oil.

Spotlight on Synthetics
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.


Know What Oil You are Buying

Whereas most of the oils on the shelves are good quality, there are some that can destroy your engine.

Yes, you heard it right, destroy your engine. So read the labels. Some of the oils on the shelves are made for cars built prior to 1930 VIDEO


The service rating of passenger car and commercial automotive motor oils is classified by the American Petroleum Institute (API). The program certifies that engine oil meets certain Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) quality and performance standards. The service rating is shown in the API "Service Symbol Donut" on the product label.

As shown in the illustration at the right, engine oils with an API SA Service Classification were formulated for use in cars built prior to 1930, and are now obsolete. Yet, there are still not hard to find in retail outlets. Read on about what you need to read on the labels.



 News Continued...
May 2, 2014
The Petroleum Quality Institute of America Welcomes the Support of Dennis K. Burke, Inc. 
March 25, 2014
L.F. Powers Joins to Support PQIA's Efforts to Help Assure the Quality and Integrity of Motor Oils and Other Lubricants in the Marketplace
March 7, 2014
Ocean State Oil Joins to Support PQIA's Efforts to Help Assure the Quality of Motor Oils and Other Lubricants in the Market
March 3, 2014
PQIA Completes Third Set of 5W-20 Motor Oils
PQIA Issues an Advisory on Lucas MAGNUM Long Drain Motor Oil SAE15W-40
Reladyne - Doing the Right Thing
PQIA Tests Six Brands of Heavy Duty Engine Oil and They All Look Good



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

Click Bottles for Details
Consumer Alerts



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


email PQIA at:







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





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