Petroleum Quality Institute of America

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) is an independent resource for information and insights on the quality and performance of lubricants in the marketplace.  Our mission is to serve the consumer of lubricants by reporting on the quality and integrity of lubricants in themarketplace.






Liberty Gold Plus SMO 10W-40 Motor Oil (no API designation)

Pinnacle Brands, Chicago, IL

Note: Pinnacle Brands is not affiliated or associated with Pinnacle Oil in Indianapolis, IN.  

Test Results on this sample indicate the product can cause damage to passenger car engines.


Purchased in: Mannheim Citgo, Franklin Park, IL

Date of purchase: 11-14-2012


CONSUMER ALERT:  The label on this product states "10W-40 Motor Oil." Test results show this product is not an SAE 10W-40, and does not meet any recognized specifications for motor oil.   The viscosity for this oil is close to 70% below where it should be for a SAE 10W-40.


To consumer's who likely don't relate to what viscosity means, if you see this brand on the shelf at a convenience store, shake the bottle; it will sound like water in a bottle. See Video-->



Further, the product tested contains 52 parts per million of silicon. Silicon is typically associated with abrasive material that can be harmful to an engine.  The sample tested shows an oil that should not be used in an automobile engine as it could cause engine damage.


Consumers should also take note of the marketing terms used on the product's label. This product is branded as "Liberty Gold Plus SMO." According to the back label, the "SMO" is an abbreviation for "Superior Motor Oil." Tests results indicate this product is certainly not a superior motor oil. In fact, it does not meet any recognized motor oil specifications.





The ranges and averages shown in the table below are for
current specifications (API SN GF-5). Comparison of sample tested is shown at right.

PHYSICAL TESTS Standard/ranges-b Average-e Liberty Gold
 TBN, mg KOH/g, (ASTM D2896)   7.2 0.20
 Viscosity @ 100ºC, cSt, (ASTM D445) 12.5 to 16.3 n/a 3.9
 Viscosity @ 40ºC, cSt, ASTM D445   n/a 19.1
 Viscosity Index (ASTM D2270)   n/a 94
 Viscosity @ -25ºC mPa s (cP) (ASTM D5293) 7,000 Max n/a 1,511
 Volatility, mass % loss, 1 hr, @ 250ºC (ASTM D5800)   14.2 n/r
    Nitrogen μg/g (ASTM D-5762)   804.2 n/r 
    Calcium   2,051 21 
    Magnesium, ppm   12.3
    Phosphorus,  ppm   703 147 
    Zinc, ppm   791 11 
    Molybdenum,  ppm   60 <1 
    Barium, ppm   <1 <1 
    Boron,  ppm   79 <1 
    Silicon,  ppm-d   5 52
    Potassium, ppm   11 <1
    Manganese, ppm   <1 <1 
    Titanium, ppm   11 <1 
    Copper, ppm   <1
    Sodium, ppm   172 1
    Vanadium, ppm   <1 <1 
    Silver, ppm   <1   <1
    Aluminum, ppm   1   2
    Chromium, ppm   <1   <1
    Iron, ppm   1   7
    Nickel, ppm   <1   <1
    Lead, ppm   <1   <1
    Antimony, ppm   <1   <1
    Tin, ppm   <1   1

a- Click here for product label.

b- Standards, shown in orange, are established by API, SAE and others. Ranges, shown in teal, represent the high and low data for the 13 major brands of API SN ILSAC GF-5 tested in September 2011.

c-Test Method for metal analysis is ASTM D5185.

d- Although silicon is used as an antifoam additive in lubricants, concentrations above 7ppm have been linked to contamination from abrasive material,

e- Average of the 13 major brands of API SN ILSAC GF-5 tested in September 2011.


Liberty Gold

  The American Petroleum Institute sets forth a number of laboratory and engine tests required to meet their performance specification. Although laboratory tests alone cannot be used to establish if an engine oil meets API specifications they can be used to determine if it doesn't.



The viscometrics of the sample of Liberty Gold tested DO NOT meets the required targets for a 10W-40.

Viscosity @ 100║C, cSt, (ASTM D445)
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áViscosity @ -25║C mPa s (cP) (ASTM D5293)
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 Click here for more on chart and Viscosity@100║C,cSt                Click here for about chart and Viscosity @ -25║C