Lubricant Distributors

   

PQIA MISSION

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.  

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.
 
Code of Ethical Business Conduct


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

 

Are You Running Your Car on

Cake and Cola?

By Thomas F. Glenn

 

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA), an independent, non-biased organization that monitors the quality of engine oils in the marketplace, recently travelled nearly 1,000 miles of highways and byways in Texas, taking note of the types of engine oils sold at 41 convenience stores visited along the way.

 

To our disappointment, what we found in Texas is not much different than what we found in many other states; that is, close to 20% of engine oils on convenience store shelves visited meet only the American Petroleum Institute (API) SA Service Category.  

 

For those unfamiliar with the API categories; SA engine oils are obsolete products formulated for use in passenger car engines built before 1930, and they will do damage to nearly all cars currently on the road.

 

Yes, you heard it right, nearly 20% of the engine oils PQIA found on the shelves at convenience stores in Texas are products formulated for use in cars built before 1930. And unless you have a Ford Model A, T or some other antique,  I encourage you to read on. That's because API SA engine oils have no ability to prevent sludge, varnish and wear, and if high in volatility, they can cause low oil pressure that could lead to engine seizure. 

 

So one has to ask:   Are there really that many 1930 and older cars on the road in Texas and other states to justify nearly 20% of the engine oils on shelves being API SA? Clearly, the answer is no.   On this road trip, we saw only two vehicles that even came close: one was on the road (and as you can see, a bit rusty,); the other was on a trailer.  Assuming the latter is restored, you can bet the vehicle enthusiast who owns it will not use API SA or any other obsolete engine oil in that classic pickup. In an old lawnmower -- maybe -- but in virtually any car on the road today, PQIA cautions NO!

  

Why is API SA engine oil so readily available in the market?

 

Although you can be sure there are many reasons why these oils continue to be sold, one of the most common and disturbing was expressed by someone we met at a gas station outside of Austin who was adding two quarts of oil to his vintage 1963 Ford Galaxie 500.

 

When PQIA asked what oil he uses, the answer was a friendly but quick ’40 weight.‘ In response to our question about what API Service Category the oil met, his response was equally quick, “I don’t know, and I really don't care since this car burns a lot of oil and it really doesn’t matter, so I buy whatever is cheap.”   

   

It’s unfortunate that this car owner was in such a rush to move on. PQIA would have been happy to explain why it is important for him to care about the API Service Classification system and the dangers of using obsolete oils.  Saving a dime or two on a quart of obsolete engine oil can cost thousands in repairs and cut thousands of miles off an engine’s life.

  

The importance of proper care and feeding

 

In effect for more than 80 years, the API Service Classification system for passenger car engine oils spans categories API SA to SN (see illustration below).  Any engine oil, regardless of brand, bearing API SA to SH designation is considered obsolete by the American Petroleum Institute and should not be used in virtually any car currently on the road. Using these oils is like feeding only cake and cola to your family.  Sure they can live on this diet, but they will more than likely suffer from heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems, and possibly an abbreviated life as a result.

 

The same goes for your car. Although your car can run on obsolete oil for a period of time and may not break down on the road or burst into flames as a result, over time it too will suffer a premature death after costing you plenty in repairs along the way. 

 

Further, pouring obsolete engine oil down the throat of an old car with the thought that it “burns a lot of oil so it really doesn’t matter” is exactly the opposite of how you should be thinking. It’s no more logical than feeding your grandma a diet of spoiled milk and stale crackers just because she is old. Of course, it matters. The owner of that 1963 Ford Galaxy 500 would do well to remember that his grandma and his Galaxie will live longer and run stronger with the right ‘food’.  And API SA engine oil is food for your car that has been stale for close to 80 years.  

  

SO READ THE LABEL FOR THE HEALTH OF YOUR CAR… AND YOUR WALLET

 

Companies sell obsolete oils because they can make or buy them much cheaper than current API Service Category oils, therefore, they can sell them cheaper. But unfortunately, they do so without regard to the likely consequences to the consumer’s car. 

 

So next time you buy oil, keep in mind that a significant number of containers on the shelves may be obsolete oils (API SA to SH) that can harm your engine and lead to costly repairs.

 

Check your owner’s manual for the proper API Service Category and, also importantly, the viscosity grade. Look for this information on the label of the oil you buy at retail stores; and on the receipts you get from fast lubes, new car dealers, repair shops and other facilities that change your oil for a fee. Doing so could add years to the life of your engine and save you big bucks in repairs.

Click here to enlarge image below


 

 

About the author: Thomas Glenn is president of the Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA). He has over 30 years of experience in the lubricants business in technical, sales and marketing, and consulting positions. In addition, Glenn has written numerous articles appearing in Lubes'n'Grease magazine, JobbersWorld, and other industry trade journals.

 


Copyright © 2012 Petroleum Quality Institute of America, LLC. All rights reserved.

 






The Petroleum Quality Institute of America is able to serve buyers and consumers of lubricants in part through the generous 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
732-640-6797


Click Bottles for Details

 DHTML scripts provided by
Dynamic Drive

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

CLICK FOR MORE


Join our FREE Email Mailing List
Email:  
For Email Newsletters you can trust

 IN THE NEWS
June 11, 2012 CITGO filed a lawsuit last month against Trimen Oil Sales, Inc. (Gardena, CA).

June 4, 2012 - Mid-States Energy enjoined from selling or offering for sale any lubricant products in five-gallon buckets or 55-gallon drums bearing a label with CITGO trademark or name.  

May 12, 2012
-Safety-Kleen Steps Up to Help Support PQIA’s Efforts to Clean Up the Lubricants Business

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

 

Articles Of Interest

Knowing What Motor Oils Not to Use

Engine Oil Labels 101

Are 4% of "Good" oils bad?

What is currently done to insure the quality of lubricants?

The games people play with tractor hydraulic fluid

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