Mission Statement

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.
 
 
The Petroleum Quality Institute of America
serves buyers and consumers of lubricants through
the support of:

Afton Chemical


Chemlube International

Chevron

CHS Industries

CITGO

Eni USA R&M Co. Inc.


Gulf Lubricants

Infineum USA L.P.

JAX

KOST USA

Lubrication Engineers

Lubricating Specialties Co.


Lubrizol

Oronite

Petro-Canada

Phillips 66

Pinnacle Oil

Reliance Fluid Technologies

Royal Mfg

Royal Purple

Safety-Kleen

Universal Lubricants, LLC

Warren Distribution

Warren Oil




Lubricant Distributor Supporters

   

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.
 

PQIA CODE

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

 


Results Are In On the First Batch Of Diesel Engine Oils - All Look Good

May 8, 2013

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America purchased numerous samples of heavy duty diesel engine oil at retail stores and the test results on the first batch examined are in.  

 

While you can be sure performance differences exist among the brands tested, the viscometrics for the samples meet the required targets for a 15W-40. In addition, the total base numbers (TBNs), and additive levels for each brand tested are consistent with what one would expect to see for their stated API Service Categories.

 
RelaDyne Expands its Recall to Pull More Bullet off the Shelves

On March 29, 2013, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America issued a Consumer Alert on RelaDyne's Bullet brand 5W-30 motor oil. Bullet brand motor oils were observed on the shelves at convenience stores operated by Gilligan Oil Company, United Dairy Farmers, and others in the Ohio market. 


Understanding the fluid in the bottle falls far short of meeting its labeled, and notably obsolete specifications, and would likely cause harm to an engine, PQIA was pleased that RelaDyne took action to recall the product after we published the alert.  

 

The recall included the 5W-30, 5W-20, and 10W-30 grades of Bullet branded motor oils. In addition PQIA appreciates the fact that John Matarese with ABC News WCPO in Cincinnati did a piece on this recall in an effort to help get the word out to consumers.

 

Click for ABC News 9 ON YOUR SIDE

    

With the consumer's best interest in mind, PQIA contacted RelaDyne following their announced recall of the motor oils to advise they should also examine the quality of their Bullet Premium Non-Detergent 30 Wt motor oil and Bullet Premium Type A Transmission Fluid still on retail shelves.

 

Aside from the fact that both of these products are labeled as meeting obsolete specifications that have not been suitable for use in automobiles for decades, the samples PQIA obtained appeared to be the same product as those recalled. It takes little more than a shake of the bottle and note of its solvent like odor to raise suspicions.

 

Subsequently, RelaDyne advised PQIA that it is also "replacing" the Bullet Premium Non-Detergent 30 WT motor oil and Bullet Premium Type A Transmission Fluid currently on the shelves and issued a press release about the recall the day after PQIA brought this issue to their attention.  

Further, RelaDyne's CEO informed PQIA that it will quarantine the recalled products pending receipt of test results from an independent laboratory to assure these products do not contain hazardous materials that may be harmful to consumers and/or the environment.

 

PQIA is pleased that RelaDyne is promptly addressing its quality issues. At the same time, we remain hopeful RelaDyne will revisit its decision to continue to sell obsolete engine oils and transmission fluids, that are, in RelaDyne's words, "positioned only as an entry level, lowest price point product, and one that does not meet todays' specifications for the customer looking for that level of product."   

 

PQIA believes such obsolete motor oils with a real potential to cause harm to most vehicles currently on the road have no place on retail shelves, especially when labeled "Premium" and containing no warning about their limited use. 

    

 

Cancelled!

  As noted in last week's issue of PQIA news, we found trouble in the drum when looking into complaints received about Silogram motor oils sold in the New York Metro Market. In taking it to the lab, PQIA found that the Silogram 5W-30 API SN, GF-5 tested did not meet the requirements stated on its label. As a result, we issued a consumer alert.  

 

In addition to PQIA's findings on the Silogram oil, it should be noted that the API has cancelled several Silogram API certifications, as well as the Auto Club brand PQIA reported on in June 2012. (click for API cancelled list).   

 

But buyer beware, although Auto Club's API certifications have been cancelled, PQIA observed Auto Club motor oil bearing the API donut on the shelves at high traffic convenience stores in NY and NJ just this this past weekend.    

 

April 4, 2013
Silogram - Trouble in the Drum 

In response to numerous calls received on the PQIA HOTLINE coming  from the NY metro area where Silogram is sold, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America arranged for the purchase of Silogram 5W-30 API SN, GF-5 motor oil in drums, and we cracked the bung to see what was inside. In doing so, we understand why buyers were concerned.

 

The product tested did not meet the labeled requirements, and because of this, PQIA is issuing a Consumer Alert on Silogram 5W-30 motor oil.  Understanding, however, that consumers rarely purchase motor oils in drums, this alert is directed at automotive repair garages, fast lubes, and other installers in the New York metro area where this product is sold.

CONSUMER ALERT: 

The label on this drum claims the oil is an SAE 5W-30 meeting the API SN and ILSAC GF-5 specifications.  PQIA's analysis on this drum sample, however, showed the oil is not a 5W-30, but in fact is a 15W or 20W-30.  In addition, the test results show the oil contains more than twice the maximum limit of phosphorus allowed by the API and ILSAC specifications, and the TBN is well below the range typically seen in SN/GF-5 oils.  The high level of silicon is also concerning and may be indicative of abrasive contamination.  Because of the high CCS viscosity, this oil may cause harm to engines operating at low temperatures where a 5W-30 oil is required. CLICK FOR DETAILS

It should be noted that Silogram had other serious quality issues which resulted in the company filing suit against its alleged supplier, Everclear of Ohio, LTD. The label on the Silogram product tested by PQIA, however, showed it was filled 10/2012, well after the suit was filed.

March 29, 2013
Another Round Of Synthetics

The results are in on the forth group of synthetic motor oils examined by PQIA.

The results of the tests conducted on each of these brands meet the requirements of an API SN, ILSAC GF-5, SAE 5W-30 engine oil. Click for details


Behind the Scenes

PQIA's mission is to serve the consumer of lubricants by testing and reporting on the quality and integrity of lubricants in the marketplace. While our website and newsletters are important vehicles to achieve this goal, a good deal of our activity takes place behind the scenes.

 

PQIA is very active in this regard, working behind the scenes with the EPA, Weights and Measures, States Attorney's General, Consumer Affairs departments, and others to help protect consumers from lubricants that can cause harm to their engines, transmissions, and other equipment.    

 

In addition, PQIA publishes press releases and reaches out to television stations, newspapers, trade journals, weblogs, and other media in an effort to inform consumers about the quality of products in the market.  

 

We also field many questions each day that come in through our "hotline," and follow-up on your concerns.

 

Keep in mind, we do it all with funding from our supporters.   

 

PQIA's supporters are required to comply with our stringent Code of Ethical Business Conduct and are not exempt from our testing programs and scrutiny. They choose to support PQIA for one simple reason - they share PQIA's passion for protecting consumers from unscrupulous and predatory oil marketers.  

 

By funding PQIA's activities, our supporters are helping to establish a level playing field where fair and honest competition advances oil technology and delivers quality products for consumers to choose from. Together, PQIA and its valued supporters are determined to make a difference in the lubricants market that will benefit everyone.

 

Please contact me at tglenn@pqia.org to find out more about how you can help support PQIA's efforts to assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the market.


March 29, 2013
 

PQIA is pleased to report that on March 28, 2013, RelaDyne took swift action to recall defective motor oil sold in quart bottles under the "Bullet" brand name.The recall is on Bullet 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40 grades.  "The product involved in the recall is identified with RED caps, (black caps are not affected)." CLICK FOR DETAILS 

March 27, 2013

Bullet Premium Motor Oil
 
Distributed by:
Oil Distributing Co, Cincinnati, OH

CONSUMER ALERT: 

Bullet Premium Motor Oil claims to be a 5W-30 and to contain detergents, protect against wear, and fight rust and corrosion.  PQIA's analysis of this sample shows that its viscosity is nearly 60% below the minimum requirements for a 5W-30, and it contains no detergents or anti-wear additives.  The test results show this product does not meet the requirements of the obsolete SC/CC specification it claims, or any other industry recognized specification for motor oils.

The extremely low viscosity of the product tested, together with the lack of vital additives, would likely result in damage to automobile engines.


March 20, 2013
The results of the third round of synthetic motor oils examined by PQIA are in. 
Each of these brands meets the requirements of an API SN, ILSAC GF-5, SAE 5W-30 engine oil. Let PQIA know what you think about synthetic motor oils. Visit the PQIA blog


CLICK HERE FOR ALL SYNTHETICS CURRENTLY IN THE PQIA SPOTLIGHT

Spotlight on Synthetics - Round 2
March 11, 2013
The results of the second round of synthetic motor oils examined by PQIA are in.  Each of these brands meet the requirements of an API SN, ILSAC GF-5, SAE 5W-30 engine oil. 


CLICK BOTTLES ABOVE FOR DETAILS 

 

Spotlight on Synthetics

March 5, 2013

The first round of synthetic motor oils examined by PQIA is brands offered by major oil companies. The results of the tests conducted on each of these brands meet the requirements of an API SN, ILSAC GF-5, SAE 5W-30 engine oil. 

 CLICK BOTTLES ABOVE FOR DETAILS 

               

Synthetics are typically considered the top line in motor oils. They comprise products formulated with superior base oils (API Group III, and/or polyalphaolefins, esters, and others), and additives. Synthetic engine oils are generally said to provide enhanced engine protection from wear and deposits, longer service intervals, superior high temperature operation and cold-flow properties, improved fuel economy, and other features and benefits.

In addition to major oil brand products, synthetic motor oils are produced by a number of independent lubricant manufacturers. Test results on some of these brands and others will be made available on this website in the near future.

 

More on MAXLife ATF
February 28, 2013


PQIA received a number of calls and emails following the update we published last week on the assessment of the Valvoline MaxLife DEX/MERC ATF. Understandably, due to the label on the product prominently stating "DEX/MERC," and the Product Information sheet stating "Suitable for use in: Ford MERCON®" most of the questions were directed at asking if the Valvoline MaxLife DEX/MERC ATF did in fact meet the DEXRON® III/MERCON® specification.

CLICK FOR THE ANSWER AND MORE

Results on Three More ATFs

February 28, 2013

Test results are in on samples of Gulfpride, Certified and Traveller automatic transmission fluids (ATF).

 

The results of the tests conducted on these samples meet the requirements of DEXRON® III/MERCON®. 

Click for Details

RESULTS IN ON FIVE ATFs
February 22, 2013

PQIA tests five more samples of automatic transmission fluids.
Click for Details f

Responsible Labeling Of Motor Oil...

Room For Improvement

February 7, 2013
 
The Petroleum Quality Institute of America Encourages Responsible Labeling of Motor Oils and Says There is Clearly Room for Improvement.

An area where PQIA sees considerable room for improvement is with motor oils only meeting obsolete API specifications (SA, SB, SC, SD, SE). Whereas there are certain applications where these products are appropriate, they generally have limited use and can cause harm to most passenger car engines. Unfortunately, PQIA frequently finds these products on store shelves with labels that not only lack any precautionary statements to advise consumers of their limited use, but instead use marketing terms suggestive of a high quality product. One example of such a brand is XCEL shown below.

 

The XCEL labels display terms suggestive of high quality and  lack any precautionary statements about the fact these products are not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automobile engines built after 1930. Further, whereas API SA oils are generally monogrades due to the lack of additives, consumers can easily assume these XCEL motor oils are appropriate for use in their vehicle because they are offered in multi-grade viscosities commonly required in vehicles currently on the road.       

 

CLICK BOTTLES FOR LABEL DETAILS AND TEST RESULTS

What the XCEL labels say: 

  • Protects like no other
  • PREMIUM
  • SPECIAL  
  • A multi-grade highly refined general purpose automotive oil
  • Formulated from a quality blend of selected lubricants to provide protection against oxidation and corrosion of engine parts.
  • This economical quality blended lubricant provides excellent and durable lubrication for automobiles and light truck engines to minimize oil consumption cost.
  • Recommended for older cars where a minimum amount of additive is required
  • API Service SA

 What the XCEL labels don't say:

  • Is not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1930.
  • Use in more modern engines may cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm.

Whereas marketers might argue they advise consumers accordingly by including the "API Service SA" on the label, the fact is, less than 1% of consumers are even vaguely familiar with the API Service Classification system. In fact, often when asked, many consumers relate the API rating to school grades and as such, believe and SA must be better than and B, C, or D.

So rather than fooling ourselves, or worse yet, taking advantage of the consumer's lack of knowledge about the codes on labels that speak to quality levels, PQIA encourages the use of language consumers understand. The API recommends specific warning labels for many obsolete specification motor oils to clearly communicate the limited use for these oils, and we applaud those marketers who use it. Click here for an example of responsible labeling of API SB engine oil.  

Let PQIA know if you see deceptive or misleading lubricant labels on the/span> shelves. PQIA will include a list of these products and their labels on its website.


Follow-up tests on Golden Stallion

February 7, 2013

On July 11, 2012, PQIA issued a Consumer Alert on Golden Stallion Super Pro Plus 10W-30. Days after publishing the alert, PQIA received phone calls and a letter from, Dean Mohammad, president and CEO of US Global Petroleum, the manufacturer of Golden Stallion. The letter does not dispute PQIA's analysis, but claims a limited quantity of bottles were incorrectly labeled and production was immediately stopped. Further U.S. Global Petroleum encouraged PQIA to proactively test its products and visit its facility to see its "state-of-the-art packaging equipment" in action.  

In an effort to assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the marketplace, PQIA took US Global Petroleum up on its offer to visit its facility and proactively test its packaged and bulk products. We did so on two occasions, including September and October 2012 and randomly pulled samples of quart bottles from inventory and two samples from discharge lines leading to bulk tanks. Each of the samples tested meet their stated specifications as an API SN, ILSAC GF-5 for the 5W-, and 10W-30 viscosity grades.   

Click here for the follow-up test results.

 

Five Automatic Transmission Fluids Tested, CONSUMER ALERT issued on Liberty Gold Plus

January 23, 2013

 

PQIA recently put five brands of Automatic Transmission Fluids (ATFs) to the test. The results for one brand are concerning enough for PQIA to issue a Consumer Alert. The brand is Liberty Gold Plus ATF.

 

The viscosity @ 100°C for Liberty Gold Plus ATF is far below the typical specified viscosity for automatic transmission fluids. In addition, the test results for this sample show unusually high levels of silicon, iron, manganese, copper, and lead, indicating that this product may contain used and/or contaminated oil.

 

Also concerning is that the product label on Liberty Gold ATF says "A SPECIALLY FORMULATED TOP OFF FLUID" It is important to note that there is no such category as "top-off" oil, and use of this fluid could lower the viscosity of the transmission fluid to levels that could harm the transmission.

 

Click for test results on the five most recent brands of ATF tested

Alarms should go off when you read "Top Off" on the label

 

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America advises consumers to be cautious of motor oil and transmission fluids labeled or sold as "top off" oil.

According to Thomas Glenn, President of PQIA, "we are seeing an increase in the number of poor quality motor oils and transmission fluids in the marketplace with labels describing the products as "top off oil." Glenn says the term "top off oil" is not recognized by any governing body in the lubricants industry as a specification or service classifications defining the performance of such products." 

Of concern, Glenn says, "PQIA's test results show oils bearing the "top of oil" terms are often wolves in sheep's clothing. Instead of referencing such globally accepted and required engine oil standards as SAE viscosity grades and API Service Categories, these so called "top off" oils prey on the consumer's lack of knowledge about industry standards by simply ignoring them, or referencing obsolete specifications. They play on the appeal of terms consumers are familiar with and often hear when getting their oil changed." 

As an example, Glenn says, it's not unusual for a consumer to hear a fast lube say they "topped off" the fluids (windshield washer fluid, power steering fluid, or coolant) when they get their oil changed. Because of this, it's a familiar term and one that would seem to be a valued service. But whereas it's true a car owner may need to top off these fluids and the oil in an engine if it's down a quart or so, Glenn says the quality of the engine oil required to top off is no different than the quality of oil required for an oil change. Further Glenn adds, most of the so called "top off" oils PQIA has tested are so far off specification they can do damage to your engine. 

So don't fall for it. Alarms should go off when you read "Top Off" on the label. Whereas your engine oil may need to be topped off when low, the oil required to top it off is no different that the oil required for an oil change.  READ YOUR OWNERS MANUAL. 

CONSUMER ALERTS

January 7, 2013

PQIA ISSUES CONSUMER ALERTS ON SUPERXXX and LIBERTY GOLD PLUS SMO

 

There are two brands of engine oils in the mid-west that consumers should avoid at any price. These brands include Super XXX marketed by New World Sales in Midlothian, IL, and Liberty Gold Plus SMO sold by Pinnacle Brands, Chicago, IL. Whereas these products may be plentiful in convenience stores and priced a few cents lower than others on the shelf, they will likely cost you plenty in engine repairs if you use them.


PQIA tested these brands in 2011 and 2012 and found serious deficiencies with the products each time tested. Whereas the details of the most recent round of testing can be found by clicking on the bottles, in short, these brands are not fit to be used in any car engine currently on the road. In fact, if used, it's likely the car will not be on the road for long. This is because these products have viscosities painfully lower than needed to protect an engine. In addition, they contain little to no additives to protect moving parts, and they have very high levels of silicon which is often attributed to abrasive contamination.

New Car or Old, Be it a Bentley or a beater...steer clear of these brands.


 

PREVIOUS TEST RESULTS ON THESE BRANDS

Super XXX SAE 5W30 Motor Oil, API SB

Purchased in:
Clark Store, Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL
Date of purchase:
July 14, 2011 http://www.pqiamerica.com/superxxx.htm

 


Liberty Gold Plus SMO 5W-30 Motor Oil (no API designation)
Purchased in:
Wickliffe Shell, Austintown, OH
Date of purchase:
January 6, 2011 http://www.pqiamerica.com/Liberty2011.htm

December 21, 2012

It's Time To Get These Bad Bottles Off the Shelves!

Whereas most private label lubricant brands on the shelves are typically quality products that meet the most recent specifications and often provide consumers with lower price alternatives to major brands, PQIA has found some that give the industry a bad name. This is because these bad bottles in the business can cause damage to engines and transmissions. Of particular concern are bottles shown below bearing the Super Star, Royal Star, City Star, and Royal (see footnote 1) brand names. These brands are frequently found in the urban areas in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois and they will cause harm to car engines and transmissions.

In addition to test results showing these brands have very serious deficiencies, they share other concerning issues. One is that, with exception of the samples of City Star 5W30 purchased on 7/14/2011 and the City Star ATF purchased on 8/26/2012 (see footnote 2), the labels on these brands do not identify its manufacturer or distributor. Instead, they simply state "MADE IN USA." This makes it very difficult to file a consumer complaint or seek other remedies should your car be damaged by the use of these brands.

 In addition, these brands either reference API SA specification, or no specifications at all with regards to the types of vehicles they can be used in. With that in mind, consider that even if they didn't have serious deficiencies (i.e. viscosity 80% below where it should be), the API SA service classification has been obsolete since 1933.

Another common thread among these brands is apparent references to viscosity grades. As seen on the brand labels to the right, the engine oils display a viscosity grade without the hyphen following the "W." As an example, 5W30 instead of the official "5W-30." Whereas one might conclude these omissions are typos or never take notice, some say they don't show the hyphen because they don't know what the viscosity of the product is.

Come on, let's be honest.

 If you don't know the viscosity of the product you produce, or know it's not an SAE 5W-30, and adorn the front label with a very visible "5W30," you are intentionally misleading consumers into believing it's a 5W-30 multigrade oil. This is called fraud, and in this country, fraud is a crime and a civil violation.

 So enough is enough.

 It's time to warn the public, particularly in the urban areas where these brands appear to be preying on those who can ill afford to have their rides ruined because they were trying to save a dime by unknowingly running some of this slop in their engines and transmissions. Whereas you can be sure the Petroleum Quality Institute of America has and will continue to take action to make the appropriate authorities aware of these bad oils, we ask our readers to let us know when and where you see these brands on the shelves.   

See our CONSUMER HOTLINE at the top right of this website...

In addition, let us know if you see other brands of multigrade engine oils with an API SA designation and no hyphen in the viscosity grade on the label. PQIA will have it tested and report on our findings.

 Footnote 1- The "Royal 10W40 Motor Oil" brand tested and shown is Not affiliated or associated with products made by Royal Mfg Co.

Footnote 2- The samples of City Star purchased in July 2011 and August 2012 identify the product comes from City Petroleum in Dearborn, MI. The sample of City Star 10W40 purchased on 8/26/2012 only states "MADE IN USA."
 

 
December 21, 2012

 

City Star 10W40, API SA

CONSUMER ALERT:  The product tested shows an oil that will cause harm to a car engine. 

The label on this product states "10W40 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 80% below where it should be for a SAE 10W-40. Also of high concern is that the sample of City Star tested has in excess of 1,000 parts per million of silicon. Such levels are unheard of in engine oils and strongly suggest the sample is highly contaminated.  

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.    

CLICK HERE FOR MORE 


 


December 17, 2012

SUPER STAR AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID

Purchased in Allen Park, Michigan 

Petroleum Quality Institute of America recently tested a brand of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) on the shelves in Michigan that will cause damage to automotive transmissions. The brand is "Super Star ATF." The viscosity of the product tested is more than 20% below where expected, it contains water, and has unusually high levels of silicon, potassium, sodium, aluminum, and iron, indicating that this product may contain used oil and/or antifreeze.

Should you be one of the unfortunate consumers to have your transmission damaged by Super Star ATF, good luck in finding who makes this product. Other than the label on this product stating it's "Made in USA," it does not show the name or location of the manufacturer or distributor of the brand.

Note: Although the sample of Super Star ATF tested was purchased in Allen Park, MI, this brand was observed at other locations in the state. 


December 17, 2012
THE RESULTS OF THE TESTS CONDUCTED ON FOUR BRANDS OF ATF RECENTLY SAMPLED MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF DEXRON III / MERCON.

November 9, 2012

PQIA recently purchased four samples of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in the mid-west market and had them tested. 

Whereas the test results on two of the brands checked out fine, the other two have deficiencies serious enough for PQIA to issue consumer alerts,these brands include City Star and Everclear.   

The results of the tests conducted on both the City Star and Everclear brands show products that do not meet any definition of Automatic Transmission Fluid.  The very low viscosity of these products, lack of additives, and high silicon level indicate these products may cause damage to automatic transmissions.   

It should be noted that in addition to finding serious issues with City Star ATF, PQIA issued a Consumer Alert on City Star engine oil in July 2011/ Further, on October 13, 2011, North Carolina officials ordered that three grades of City Star Motor Oil be removed from retail stores throughout the state because of the manufacturer's failure to meet stated viscosity claims. Click here for details     



October 19, 2012

PQIA TESTS FOUR MORE BRANDS OF ENGINE OIL AND ISSUES A CONSUMER ALERT ON ONE

PQIA recently purchased three samples of engine oils in Wisconsin and one in Michigan. A Consumer Alert is issued on one; "Platinum Plus"

CONSUMER ALERT :  Platinum Plus 5W-30

 

The label on this product states "5W-30" motor oil. Test results show this product is not a SAE 5W-30, and does not meet any recognized specifications for motor oil. The viscosity of this oil is 76% below where it should be for a SAE 5W-30. 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 more like water in a bottle than oil.  

 

Further, other than stating "Motor Oil," this product's label includes no information as to the API Service Classification it meets. It's clear, however, from the data that the sample tested contains no additives. Because of this, and its very low viscosity, it is not suitable for use in any gasoline-powered automotive engines and will cause unsatisfactory performance and/or harm to an engine.
CLICK FOR DETAILS

BRANDS CHECKING OUT FINE.

 

Cenex Auto Gold and Blain's Farm & Fleet.  

The results of the tests conducted on these samples meet the requirements of an API SN, ILSAC GF-5, SAE 5W-30 engine oil.

  Click Bottles for Details

 



PolyGUARD All Season High Performance Motor Oil 5W-30  

Whereas the results of the tests conducted on this sample meet the requirements for an SAE 5W-30, it cannot be determined if it meets API SG/CD since these specification are obsolete.
CLICK FOR DETAILS



October 11, 2012

 

PQIA Issues a "DON'T BUY" on Royal 10W40 Motor Oil and Royal Star 5W30

Warning to Consumers in Illinois and Michigan: The Petroleum Quality Institute of America recently purchased brands in your State that can cause serious damage or failure to your car's engine. Each has a viscosity far below that shown on its label.  For those who don't know what viscosity is, if you see these bottles on the shelves, shake and listen. They will sound more like water than oil. In fact, we asked the operator at a store where PQIA purchased one of these brands to do just that. And when he shook the bottle, it was clear from his expression that the shaking was shocking.   He said, something is obviously wrong with this product "it's too thin" and he suggested we should buy another brand. All well and good... But if you think there is something obviously wrong with it, why are you selling this engine oil


Because of this, in addition to warning consumers about the dangers of these oils to car engines, PQIA advises retailers to be aware of the issues PQIA found with these brands.pan> 

 

Please let PQIA know the names and locations of stores where you find these brands sold and/or any distributors handling them.

   CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS

October 11, 2012

A National Survey of Lubricant Industry Stakeholders: 2012 - DIFM Labeling 

Ninety percent of those in the know in our industry would not have their car serviced with engine oil without knowing the brand, viscosity grade, and API Service Classification of the product used. 

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America conducted a survey completed by 161 industry participants, including major oil companies, independent lubricant manufacturers, lubricant additive suppliers, and others, in September 2012.

 

Interesting and very telling takeaway from the survey is that 90% of those in our industry responding to the survey would not have their car serviced with engine oil without knowing the brand, viscosity grade, and API Service Classification of the product used. They say consumers have a right to this information to protect them from fraud and product misrepresentation. In addition, such information is critical to assuring their warranties remain intact.

CLICK HERE FOR SURVEY RESULTS


September 21, 2012


A Call to Action: Help Stop the Slop of Harmful Engine Oils Sold in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America just completed a tour collecting engine oils and transmission fluid samples in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Whereas we will publish the test results of these samples in a few weeks, we feel a sense of urgency to advise consumers about the proliferation of engine oils on the shelves in these states that can cause serious harm to your engine.       

If you care about the car you, your wife, husband, son, daughter, auntie, uncle, cousin or friends are driving in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, click here and read on.



August 24, 2012

Four More Brands Tested

 

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America tested four brands of API SN, 5W-30 engine oils purchased in New England during July 2012.  

 

Click bottles for details
       
Interestingly, the front label of one brand tested (Homelife), states in the upper right corner, “Compare to Pennzoil®.”

For those interested in seeing how this product compares to Pennzoil in the tests run by PQIA,
click here.

 

 

Are You Running Your Car on Cake and Cola?


The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA recently covered 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; namely, close to 20% of engine oils on convenience store shelves meet only the American Petroleum Institute (API) SA Service Category; these are obsolete oils formulated for use in passenger car engines built before 1930, and they will do damage to nearly all cars currently on the road. 

Click here for full story 

 

August 8, 2012

Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) test results

 

PQIA completes analysis on 7 samples of Automatic Transmission Fluid.

 

Click Bottles for details





July 11, 2012

Five Brands Tested... Consumer Alerts Issued on Two


Click bottles below for details.

5W-30   10W-30
 

Advisory
Click Bottles for
 details
  Click Bottles for details

June 28, 2012
Consumer Alerts on Auto Club Engine Oil and  ATF

 

While consumers may take comfort in its familiar sounding name, the Auto Club™ brand  tested by PQIA suggests there is reason not to. The Petroleum Quality Institute of America issues Consumer Alerts on Auto Club™ engine oil and transmission fluid.  

 

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. 

CLICK FOR DETAILS


Consumer Alert: The labels for this product claim the oil meets the "engineering material standards" for both General Motors Dexron III and Ford Motors Mercon.  PQIA's test results for this sample show the oil fails both standards with respect to viscosity at 100°C, Brookfield viscosity at -40°C, and flash point.  In addition, the results show higher levels of calcium, zinc, and sulfur than would normally be expected for an ATF meeting these specifications, and an unusually low viscosity index.  Use of this oil could potentially cause damage to automatic transmissions designed for Dexron III and Mercon. 

CLICK FOR DETAILS


June 25, 2012

 

 

PQIA Issues a DON'T BUY on MAXIGUARD
Distributed by MG Lube, New York, NY and MG Lubricants, Old Tappan, NJ


Warning: This oil can cause damage to passenger car engines. In addition to warning consumers about the dangers of this oil to car engines, PQIA also advises retailers to be aware of the issues PQIA found with this brand.

PQIA first became aware of an issue with MaxiGuard when it purchased a sample in September 2011 in Elizebeth, NJ. Based on the test results of that sample, PQIA issued a Consumer Alert on MaxiGuard Super Premium Motor Oil on November 18, 2011. Test results showed a product that could cause damage to a passenger car engine. The analysis also showed high levels of iron, aluminum and silicon, which indicate the product may contain used oil.

Here we are seven months later and this product is still on shelves in New Jersey and New York.

We took another look at MaxiGuard when an angry consumer contacted PQIA after recently purchasing MaxiGuard at a store in Matawan, New Jersey. He said the product looked and smelled like used oil and he was very concerned it might do damage to his engine. He also said he brought this issue to the attention of the store owner and was told the product would be removed from the shelves.

In response to the call, and understanding PQIA had previously issued a Consumer Alert on this brand, PQIA visited the store in Matawan, NJ and found the product was still on the shelf. We purchased samples of MaxiGuard 10W-30 and 10W-40 and what we found is nothing short of appalling. The products not only fail to meet their labeled viscosity grades, but their chemical signature, appearance, and odor strongly suggest  these bottles contain used oil. 

Based on these findings, PQIA issues a DON'T BUY on MAXIGUARD
This oil can cause damage to a passenger car engine.
   
CLICK HERE FOR MORE

June 18, 2012

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America recently covered nearly 1,000 miles of highways and byways in the Lone Star State and visited over 40 convenience stores along the way. Whereas the majority of the samples purchased and tested have no issues, surprisingly, 20% of the engine oil on the shelves at the stores PQIA visited meets only the obsolete API SA Service Classification. These oils are formulated for use in passenger car engines built before 1930 and, they can cause damage to modern engines. Because of this, PQIA issues a BIG read before you buy to our friends in Texas.

The following are test results for brands purchased during PQIA's tour of Texas. PQIA issues an Advisory on one.

10W-30     5W-30    
              
SAE 30     10W-40      
         

 

May 22, 2012

Test results are in on two 10W-30 engine oils, one 5W-20, and a 15W-40. All tests conducted on these samples meet the labeled specifications. PQIA does, however, issue an Advisory on one brand due to labeling issues.

Click Individual Bottles Below for Test Results

        

 good. 

 May 8, 2012

Test results are in on five samples of 10W-40 engine oil. Click bottles below for test results. 


PQIA MOVES FORWARD WITH BULK OIL TESTING PROGRAM

 

Bulk SampleUntil now, PQIA has focused its efforts on the retail class of trade. It has done so by randomly purchasing quart samples of engine oil and transmission fluids at such retail outlets as convenience stores, big box stores, auto parts, and other retail outlets.  Based on these samples, 27% of the products tested over the past 2 years have issues, and 11% have issues serious enough to warrant PQIA announcing Consumer Alerts warning that use of these oils can cause engine damage. 

Whereas it’s clear there are reasons for concern about lubricants sold on the retail shelves, and PQIA will continue to vigorously test and report on these products, Thomas Glenn, President of PQIA says “PQIA is now expanding its efforts to take a look at the bulk oils sold to and by fast lubes, service stations, new car dealers and other operations changing oil for a fee.” 

According to Glenn, “roughly 75% of the passenger car engine oil servicing consumer’s cars comes out of bulk tanks at do-it-for-me (DIFM) operations.” Because of this, Glenn adds, “we are expanding our program to take a good look at the quality and integrity of engine oils in bulk tanks.” 

PQIA’s bulk lubricant testing program kicks off this month. Installers, dealers, lubricant marketers and others interested in participating in the program can contact PQIA at:
tglenn@pqiamerica.com

 

May 2, 2012 

Result are in for three samples of 5W-30 engine oil; Amsoil, Atlas Team Clear Blend, and SuperS dexos1 approved. All look good.Click here for test results  

 
Bad Engine Oils are Not Hard to Find
The Petroleum Quality Institute of America receives calls from time-to-time from those in the lubricants business saying some of the off-spec products we test represent a minor volume in the market. As such, there is little chance consumers will find it, let alone use it and harm their engines.

Whereas you can be sure PQIA would like this to be true, it clearly is not. To the contrary, we often find that some of the brands we test with serious deficiencies and labeling issues are the predominate brands on the shelf and convenience stores.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE


 
April 25, 2012

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) issues a Don't Buy for Bullseye Motor Oil. This product can cause significant damage to car engines. Click here for full story 

 
March 22, 2012
PQIA completes analysis on 11 samples of Automatic Transmission Fluid and issues a Consumer Alert on one.  Click Bottles for details


 

 

March 22, 2012

Silogram Lubricants Files Suit Against Everclear

 

Silogram Lubricants, a New York Corporation with a manufacturing and distribution facility in Bayonne, NJ filed a $25 million breach of contract suit against Everclear of Ohio, Ltd. on March 1, 2012.

       

Silogram alleges the 10W-30 engine oil it purchased from Everclear for resale to Silogram's customers from late 2010 to early 2012 was defective and improper for use in automobiles. As such, it damaged passenger cars and trucks where it was intended for use and caused damage to Silogram's business and reputation.    

 

Note: The Petroleum Quality Institute of America tested a sample of Everclear (click here for results) in July 2011 and issued a Consumer Alert on the product.  

     

 
  February 2012

PQIA completes analysis on 4 samples of 10W-40 passenger car motor oil, and issues an Advisory on one.  Click bottles for details.

 

 

PQIA takes a look at Toyota's 5W-30. Click bottle for details.


Hat's off to the DCH Brunswick Toyota dealer in NJ where this sample was purchased. When we asked the parts department for a 5W-30, they expressed concern about use of this viscosity grade in our vehicle, and asked questions about the make and model year of the car.     

 

 
 February 8, 2012

 PQIA completes analysis of 5 samples of passenger car  motor oil. Whereas 4 look fine, PQIA issues a Consumer Alert on one.  Click Bottles for details.

The results of the test conducted on a 10W-30  meet requirements.

Click Bottle for details.


 
 
  January 20, 2012

PQIA reports on six new samples; issues a Consumer Alert on one.  Click here  for details.





  November  2011

PQIA completes analysis of 5 more samples of passenger car motor oil. Whereas 4 look fine, PQIA issues an Advisory on one due to labeling issues.

Click Bottles for details.

November 28, 2011
PQIA Reports on Six Brands of 5W-30 Motor Oils.

Click here for details






November 18, 2011

 

PQIA tested three brands of 10W-40 motor oils and issues a Consumer Alert on  MaxiGuard. Click here for Alert.

Click bottle below for details on the 10W-40 oils tested.



November 7, 2011

Test results are in on major brands of API SN ILSAC GF-5 5W-30 engine oil... All look good.

Click bottles below for test results


Click bottles below for more test results



 

September 1, 2011

New Results are in...

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America is disappointed to report that 8 of the 12 brands we purchased at convenience stores (c-stores) in July 2011 while traveling from Illinois to Pennsylvania have issues. PQIA issues Consumer Alerts on six samples tested. 

 

Click here for the 5W-30 brands tested

   Click here for the 10W-30 brands tested

  

June 24, 2011

Five of the 11 engine oils recently tested have issues... 

The results are in for the Petroleum Quality Institute of America's most recent round of quality testing on passenger car engine oils. Eleven oil brands were randomly purchased in five states: California, Nevada, Georgia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Whereas the tests conducted on six of the brands indicate the products meet the specifications stated on the labels, others did not. In addition, there are a number of labeling issues to consider when purchasing some of these products. Click here for details.    

March 9, 2011

 

Alert! CONSUMER ALERT! - Issued March 9, 2011

The following brands of passenger car engine oil were purchased by the Petroleum Quality Institute of America in January 2011. The test results for the samples show they do not meet the product's labeled viscosity. In fact, the viscosity of these products is significantly below specifications. Whereas the Petroleum Quality Institute of America feels the viscosity of these samples alone is enough to issue a consumer alert, other test data for the samples tested indicate use of these products can cause damage to an engine.
Everclear 5W-30 Motor Oil, API SC/CC Liberty Gold Plus SMO 5W-30 Motor Oil Bullseye Automotive Products High Mileage 10W-30 Motor Oil (SC/CC)

 

Click here for Alerts

 

More results from PQIA January 2011 Sampling

Now for the good news... TEST RESULTS FOR THE SAMPLES BELOW LOOK GOOD...

bottles

Click for data on 5W-30 Engine Oils shown above

 

New Test Results for 10W-30s - December 2010

Two West Coast Sample Results are in, both look good.

bottles

Click for data on 10W-30 Engine Oils shown above

New Test Results for 5W-30s - December 2010

The good news... other than one off-spec NOACK Volitility result, all other test results for all of the samples look good...

bottles

Click for data on 5W-30 Engine Oils shown above

Test Results from Southern Tour in June 2010

PQIA issues advisories on engine oil samples tested in June, 2010.

June Samples

ALERT:Test results find three of the six samples of engine oils PQIA purchased in the Mid-Atlantic States fail to meet their labeled API/ILSAC specifications. In addition, one of the brands labeled SA "5-30" is not an API SA, SAE 5W-30. Instead, it more closely resembles a heavy duty engine oil and is clearly not an SAE 5W-30.

 

Click bottles for test data on the 5W-30s that passed and those that didn't. And click link below for the one 10W-30 tested.

Click for data on 5W-30 Engine Oils

  Click for data on 10W-30 Engine Oil

Test results for private label brands

Test Results for Private Label Look Good - but, alarms are tripped for one

Private Label

Ten brands of Private Label PCEO in quart bottles were purchased by PQIA at retail outlets. Blind samples were prepared by PQIA and sent to an ISO Certified laboratory for chemical and physical analysis.

The samples include both 5W-30 and 10W-30 viscosity grades. The variations in grades is a function of the random sampling process and the fact that some locations sampled did not have 5W-30 engine oil available.

ALERT: All but one of the private label samples tested show data indicative of what one would expect to see for an API SM GF-4 engine oil. One brand (PittPenn), however, gives serious cause for concern. Click here for alert.

 

Click for test results

Test results for the major brands

The Data are in: The Majors Look Good

Major Brands

In an effort to assess where the bar is set for passenger car engine oil (PCEO), the Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) made the decision to test 10 brands of PCEO produced by major oil companies. The results are in and the major brands tested look good. 

Ten brands of PCEO in quart bottles were purchased by PQIA at retail outlets in New Jersey. Blind samples were prepared by PQIA and sent to an ISO Certified laboratory for chemical and physical analysis.

Click for the data on the Major Brands






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
732-201-4033

 

 

Report Concerns About Lubricant Quality to PQIA
Information provided is Treated as Confidential and
Callers can remain anonymous

or

email PQIA at:

 tips@pqia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

L.F. Powers Joins to Support PQIA

Ocean State Oil Joins to Support PQIA

Keller-Heartt Supports PQIA

Leahy-Wolf Joins to Support PQIA's Efforts to Help Assure the Quality and Integrity of Lubricants in the Marketplace

PQIA Adds Automatic Transmission Fluids to its Motor Oil Timeline

David Fenderson, from G.H. Berlin Joins the Petroleum Quality Institute of America Advisory Board

API cancelled several Silogram API certifications, as well as the Auto Club brand

RelaDyne took swift action to recall defective motor oil sold in quart bottles under the "Bullet" brand

Responsible Labeling Of Motor Oil...Room For Improvement

Alarms should go off when you read "Top Off" on the label

CLICK FOR MORE

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


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 IN THE NEWS
July 19, 2012 -US Global Petroleum Responds to PQIA Consumer Alert on Golden Stallion

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
 
 
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