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

Chevron

CHS Industries

CITGO

Eni USA R&M Co. Inc.


Gulf Lubricants

Infineum USA L.P.

JAX

KOST USA

Lubrication Engineers

Lubricating Specialties Co.


Lubrizol

Oronite

Petro-Canada

Phillips 66

Pinnacle Oil

Reliance Fluid Technologies

Royal Mfg

Royal Purple

Safety-Kleen

Universal Lubricants, LLC

Warren Distribution

Warren Oil




Lubricant Distributor Supporters

   

CODE OF ETHICAL BUSINESS CONDUCT

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.
 

PQIA CODE

PQIA ADVISORY BOARD
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

 



PQIA Releases National Survey Findings on ATF
June 21, 2017  

 

METUCHEN, NJ - June 21, 2017 - The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) today announced the findings of a national survey (Automatic Transmission Fluid - Survey 2017) focused on the quality and integrity of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in the US market.

According to Thomas F. Glenn, President of PQIA, "The findings of the survey are eye-opening. They show that the lubricant industry and consumers recognize there are significant issues around quality and integrity of automatic transmission fluid in the US market and that action can and should be taken to address them."

Key findings from PQIA's survey reveal that off-spec, potentially transmission damaging ATFs are a significant issue in the minds of buyers and sellers of ATF, and misleading ATF labeling is the leading reason why. With that, Glenn says," The survey reveals an interesting dichotomy between the high levels of concern around labeling but a fairly low concern about actual quality. This suggests that if the industry can get labeling in order, there may not necessarily be significant issues with the quality of ATF in the market."

The Most Concerning Issues About ATFs in the Market
For those unfamiliar with ATF, it's a vital lubricant that performs many functions enabling a transmission to operate. Without ATF, nearly all cars on the road would come to a halt. But as critical as ATF is to the proper operation of a vehicle, the PQIA survey reveals there is considerable confusion among buyers and sellers of ATF about the products in the market. This is because where Dexron® III/Mercon® fluids used to be the leading types of automatic transmission fluids (ATF) in the US market, these ATFs are being replaced by a splintering number of newer OEM specific ATF requirements, including ATF+4, Mercon V, Mercon LV, Dexron VI, ATF DW-1, ATF T-IV, SP-IV, Matic S and Matic D and K, Toyota ATF-WS, Honda DW (ZF), Diamond SP-IV, and others.

What used to be a fairly simple matter of selecting the right ATF for your car has become much more complicated. For these reasons, and others identified in PQIA's survey, the industry can and should do more to protect the interests of consumers, installers, and others buying and selling automatic transmission fluid. And from what the survey reveals, a good start is in educating buyers and sellers, and improving the labeling of ATFs in the market.

CLICK FOR REPORT


If you are having problems viewing the flipbook,
please click here.
The PQIA says the next step is to turn the information and insights from the survey into action and it will do so by taking the lead to develop an ATF Quality Improvement Leadership Council comprising lubricant and additive manufacturers and distributors, OEMs, installers, consumers, industry associations, and the media.

Contact Tom Glenn at PQIA if you would like to participate on the council.


 

Thank You to Our Supporters 

The PQIA thanks its supporters for their continuing contributions to help assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the market, and we would like to once again acknowledge their unwavering commitment to quality and protecting the interests of the motoring public.

CLICK HERE FOR SUPPORTERS

 

Result in on Four ATFs and Five Antifreeze/Coolants, and PQIA's Thought on the AAA's Synthetic Motor Oil Report
June 19, 2017

The results of the tests conducted on the most recent samples of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) check out fine. The samples are consistent with their labeled claims.
Click Bottles for Details


A Look at Five More Antifreeze/Coolants
Click Bottles for Details
         



PQIA's Thoughts on the AAA's Synthetic Motor Oil Report

The American Automobile Association (AAA) released a comprehensive research report announcing that "synthetic oil outperformed conventional oil by an average of nearly 50 percent in its independent evaluation, offering vehicles significantly better engine protection for only $5 more per month when following a factory-recommended oil change schedule."  
 
The Petroleum Quality Institute of America applauds AAA's efforts to help educate consumers about motor oils and found their report to be very interesting and informative. 
 
While PQIA believes most would agree that full synthetics do provide a higher level of engine protection than conventional motor oil, and there is bench and engine test data to support such claims, the devil is in the details. And although such details as the brands tested, why they were selected, and how the AAA defines "premium" among the brands tested are not made available in the research report, these are important factors to consider. This is particularly the case with regards to the definition of "premium" since a number of motor oil manufacturers now offer three tiers of synthetic motor oils, including synthetics, high mileage synthetics, and synthetics offering significant extensions in oil change intervals. 
Further, PQIA feels it is important to note the following with regards to the eight industry-standard ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) tests the AAA used to evaluate the quality of synthetics and conventional engine oils:  
  • Some of the tests in the study are highly variable (i.e. MHT-4, 1 sigma can be as high as 15 units) and may not be included in the upcoming ILSAC GF-6 specification. 
  • The TFOUT is not an industry accepted test because it does not predict field performance as opposed to liking certain chemistries.  The test has not been used as part of ILSAC Specifications which began in the early 1990's. 
  • The value of KO Shear on a 5W-20 is minimal since oils are formulated at the top of specification and rarely shear out of grade, and are typically significantly above minimum. Directionally, however, a full synthetic motor oil would outperform a conventional. 
  • The TEOST 33 provides limited information to support claims about synthetics out performing conventional motor oils. 
  • The Brookfield test yields minimally valued insights in the performance differences between synthetic and conventional.
Another important point for consumers to consider is that the AAA report says "synthetic oil outperformed conventional oil by an average of nearly 50 percent in its independent evaluation, offering vehicles significantly better engine protection for only $5 more per month when following a factory-recommended oil change schedule." PQIA advises consumers that a key part of this statement is "when following a factory-recommended oil change schedule." As such, it does not say synthetic motor oils can last 50% longer.  

Again, PQIA applauds the AAA for its efforts to help educate consumers about motor oils, and PQIA understands there is bench and engine test data to support the advantages of synthetics over conventional motor oil.

Links to related stories
Lubes-n-Greases September 2014
Beyond "Synthetics"

Lubes-n-Greases August 2014
Four 5W-30s and They All Look Good
May 30, 2017  

 

The results of the tests conducted on the four samples of SAE 5W-30 shown below meet the SAE J300 specifications for a SAE 5W-30 viscosity grade and are consistent with the API Service Categories shown on the labels.

 

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

 

 

Five 5W-20s and They All Look Good
May 19, 2017  

 

The results of the tests conducted on the five samples of SAE 5W-20 shown below meet the SAE J300 specifications a SAE 5W-20 viscosity grade and are consistent with the API Service Categories shown on the labels.

 

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

 

 

Consumer Alerts Issued on Three "Q Motor Oil®" Viscosity Grades
May 11, 2017  

 

Q Motor Oil 5•30, 10•40, and 10•30

The test results on samples of the Q Motor Oil® brand indicate the products are NOT suitable for use in virtually all automobile engines currently on the road. Use of the products in automobile engines will likely cause harm to the engine. Similarly, although the back label on the products state “Suitable for Moderate Diesel Engines,” use of these products in diesel engines will likely cause harm to the engine.

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

 

 

Results in on Five Brands of 5W-20
May 4, 2017  

 

The results are in on five brands of 5W-20 and the tests conducted on the samples meet the SAE J300 specifications for the SAE Viscosity Grade listed on the product labels, and are consistent with the listed API Service Categories.

 

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

 

 

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.

 

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

 

 

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.

 

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

 

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.

 

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

 

MidWest Guard Navi Guard SuperS
Custom Plus
Vantage PolyGuard
Type A

ADVISORY

 

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.

 

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

 

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®.

 

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

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  

MORGAS SAE 5W-20

 

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.

 

CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

 

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...

  

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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
732-201-4033


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

or

email PQIA at:

 tips@pqia.org

 

 


 



PQIA NEWSLETTER
 ARCHIVES





 

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

 

CLICK FOR MORE

 

Read the
Labels!

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



CLICK FOR MORE

 


 

 

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