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.









Auto Club 5W-30 Motor Oil, API SH/CD

Auto Club Oil & Chemicals Corp. New York, NY


Purchased in: Cherry Hill Citgo, Cherry Hill, NJ

Date of purchase: 6/2/2012

Consumer Alert: The labels for this product claim the oil is a 5W-30 motor oil meeting the warranty requirements for API SJ, SH, SG, and SF.  The labels also bear the API certification marks for API Service Categories SH/CD and an unidentified ILSAC specification.  PQIA's test results for this sample show the oil is a not a 5W-30, but rather a 10W-20.  In addition, although the labels on this product display the API certification marks, a check with the API shows this product has not been certified by them since 2005. 

The analysis also shows lower levels of additives than would normally be expected for an SJ. SH, SG, SF, CC, CD engine oil. API SH/CC is an obsolete specification that is not recommended for engines built after 1996. The label on this product fails to give adequate warning to consumers about its limited use.Use of this oil could potentially cause damage in modern automobile engines.







    Auto Club

PHYSICAL TESTS Standard/ranges-b Average-e
 TBN, mg KOH/g, (ASTM D2896)     3.1 
 Viscosity @ 100ºC, cSt, (ASTM D445) 9.3 to 12.5 10.5 8.8 
 Viscosity @ 40ºC, cSt, ASTM D445     57.4 
 Viscosity Index (ASTM D2270)     129 
 Viscosity @ -30ºC mPa s (cP) (ASTM D5293) 7,000 Max 5,775 13,110 
 Volatility, mass % loss, 1 hr, @ 250ºC (ASTM D5800)     21.0 
    Nitrogen μg/g (ASTM D-5762)     379.8 
    Calcium     801 
    Magnesium, ppm    
    Phosphorus,  ppm     360 
    Zinc, ppm     360 
    Molybdenum,  ppm    
    Barium, ppm     <1 
  Additives and/or other
    Boron,  ppm     38 
    Silicon,  ppm-d     11 
    Potassium, ppm    
    Manganese, ppm     <1 
    Titanium, ppm    
    Sulfur, ppm     4,651 
    Copper, ppm     <1 
    Sodium, ppm    
    Vanadium, ppm     <1 
    Silver, ppm     <1
    Aluminum, ppm     <1
    Chromium, ppm     <1
    Iron, ppm     2
    Nickel, ppm     <1
    Lead, ppm     <1
    Antimony, ppm     <1
    Tin, ppm     <1

a- Click here for product label.

b- Standards, shown in yellow 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 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.


Auto Club 5W-30, API SH

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 do not meet the required specifications for a 5W-30.

Viscosity @ 100șC, cSt, (ASTM D445)
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 Viscosity @ -30șC mPa s (cP) (ASTM D5293)
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Click here for more on chart and Viscosity@100șC,cSt               Click here for about chart and Viscosity @ -30șC