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.






City Star 5W30 Motor Oil API SA 

City Petroleum, Dearborn, MI 


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




Purchased in: Shamsan Food Mart, 1501 Broadway, Gary, IN

Date of purchase: July 14, 2011 




CONSUMER ALERT:  The label on this product states it is an "SAE 5W30" motor oil. Test results show this product is not a SAE 5W-30, and does not meet any recognized specifications for a motor oil.   The viscosity for this oil is 74% below where it should be for a SAE 5W-30.



Further, this product is labeled as meeting API SA which is an obsolete specification. The API cautions this specification "Contains no additives. Not suitable for use in gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1930. Use in more modern engines may cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm.







PHYSICAL TESTS Standard/ranges-b Average-e

City Star 5W30 Motor Oil API SA

 TBN, mg KOH/g, (ASTM D2896)   8.0 0.0
 Viscosity @ 100ºC, cSt, (ASTM D445) 9.3 to 12.5 10.39 2.38
 Viscosity @ 40ºC, cSt, ASTM D445   60.48 9.48
 Viscosity Index (ASTM D2270)   163 50
 Viscosity @ -30ºC mPa s (cP) (ASTM D5293) 6,600 Max 5,793 850
 Volatility, mass % loss, 1 hr, @ 250ºC (ASTM D5800)   13.5 N/A
    Nitrogen μg/g (ASTM D-5762)   860 13
    Calcium,ppm   2,043 0
    Magnesium, ppm   11 0
    Phosphorus,  ppm   772 0
    Zinc, ppm   851 0
    Molybdenum,  ppm   93 0
    Barium, ppm   <1 0
   Additives and/or other
    Boron,  ppm   84 0
    Silicon,  ppm-d   5 5
    Potassium, ppm   <1 0
    Manganese, ppm   1 0
    Titanium, ppm   <1 0
    Sulfur, ppm   3,021 542
    Copper, ppm   <1 0
    Sodium, ppm   82 4
    Vanadium, ppm   <1 0
    Silver, ppm   <1 0
    Aluminum, ppm   <1 0
    Chromium, ppm   <1 0
    Iron, ppm   1 0
    Nickel, ppm   <1 0
    Lead, ppm   <1 0
    Antimony, ppm   <1 0
    Tin, ppm   5 0

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.





The viscometrics of City Star 5W30 Motor Oil does not meet the required targets for a 5W-30 (SAE J300 specification).