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.






Custom Plus Motor Oil SAE 5W-30 "Recommended for use where a SM/GF-4 SAE 5W-30 Motor Oil is Required"

Manufactured by Smitty's Supply Inc., Roseland, LA






Purchased in: Luck Family 76, Ontario, CA

Date of purchase: April 29, 2011 



Advisory: The label on the sample tested states "Recommended for use where a SM/GF-4, SAE 5W-30 Motor Oil is required," but the sample tested does not meet the NOACK Volatility requirements of an API SM ILSAC GF-4 5W-30 Engine Oil. The product also does not carry an API Certification Mark and therefore is not subject to quality testing conducted by the API's Aftermarket Audit Program (AMAP). In addition, it should be noted that the Total Base Number (TBN) is below that typically seen in an API SM/GF-4 engine oil, and the product is not labeled as meeting API/ILSAC specifications.







PHYSICAL TESTS Standard/ranges-b Average-e

Custom Plus Motor Oil

 TBN, mg KOH/g, (ASTM D2896) 7.4 to 9.0 8.0 4.9
 Viscosity @ 100ºC, cSt, (ASTM D445) 9.3 to 12.5 10.39 9.77
 Viscosity @ 40ºC, cSt, ASTM D445 55.0 to 82.0 60.48 55.51
 Viscosity Index (ASTM D2270) 156 to 167 163 163
 Viscosity @ -30ºC mPa s (cP) (ASTM D5293) 6,600 Max 5,793 4,980
 Volatility, mass % loss, 1 hr, @ 250ºC (ASTM D5800) 15 Max 13.5 21.8/23.1-f
    Nitrogen μg/g (ASTM D-5762) 720 to 1,000 860 550
    Calcium  1,648 to 2,301 2,043 1,232
    Magnesium, ppm  6 to 43 11 23
    Phosphorus,  ppm 600 to 800 772 623
    Zinc, ppm  789 to 887 851 685
    Molybdenum,  ppm  <1 to 226 93 37
    Barium, ppm  <1 <1 0
    Boron,  ppm  <1 to 246 84 91
    Silicon,  ppm-d  4 to 8 5 4
    Potassium, ppm  <1  <1 17
    Manganese, ppm  <1 to 8 1 0
    Titanium, ppm  <1 <1 0
    Sulfur, ppm  5,000 max 3,021 2,604
    Copper, ppm  <1  <1 0
    Sodium, ppm  <1 to 467 82 8
    Vanadium, ppm  <1 <1 0
    Silver, ppm  <1 <1 0
    Aluminum, ppm  <1 to 2 <1 2
    Chromium, ppm  <1 <1 0
    Iron, ppm  <1 to 1 1 0
    Nickel, ppm  <1 <1 0
    Lead, ppm  <1 to 1 <1 0
    Antimony, ppm  <1 <1 0
    Tin, ppm  4 to 5 5 2

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 major brands tested.

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 10 major brands tested. Click here for brands tested.

f- Initial Noack test result was 21.8. A recheck of the test gave 23.1% loss.


Custom Plus Motor Oil 5W-30
The American Petroleum Institute sets forth a number of laboratory and engine tests required to meet an API SM performance specification. Although laboratory tests alone cannot be used to establish if an engine oil meets API SM, they can be used to determine if it doesn't.

What follows is a comparison of the test results for Custom Plus Motor Oil 5W-30 as compared to the API SM ILSAC GF-4 requirements.

The API limits for each test are shown by the yellow bars. The test result for Custom Plus Motor Oil 5W-30 are illustrated by the horizontal line.


The viscometrics of Custom Plus Motor Oil 5W-30 meets the required targets for a 5W-30 API SM (SAE J300 specification).


Volatility Phosphorus
The volatility of Custom Plus Motor Oil 5W-30 sample tested does not meet the specifications limits required for an API SM ILSAC GF-4 designation.

Click here for more on Volatility.

The phosphorus content in Custom Plus Motor Oil 5W-30 meets the requirements for an API SM ILSAC GF-4 designation.