A National Survey of Lubricant Industry Stakeholders

2012 - DIFM Labeling

 

If an API obsolete engine oil is used to service an older car, should the fast lube operator tell its customer that the oil is "obsolete?" If not, why? - Comments

Answers 

 

  • If the API service classification is what was originally specified for the vehicle being serviced it should not be an issue.  However, if an installer performs an oil change using a spec that does not meet the current requirements of the vehicle being serviced they must explain that to the customer BEFORE doing the service.  This all presumes the person speaking to the consumer has any idea what is being used and what should be used which is in many cases very questionable.

  •  So the customer could understand why the pricing was probable cheaper.

  •  Consumers should be given as much information as possible to make informed decisions, on engine oil, or any other product.

  •  Why does it matter if it the correct oil for the make and model. 

  • All current oils are backward compatible so stocking obsolete products is unnecessary.

  • We need to get SA and other old classifications off the shelf and out of bulk tanks

  • It gives the operator a chance to up sell the customer to a newer service category engine oil that should be backwards compatible.

  • Fuel economy and engine performance are important aspects of the automobile buying decision. Obsolete oils affect those aspects.

  • The operator should tell them the oil does not meet current specs, but does meet the specs from when the vehicle was made. However, any operator who is willing to go to that length probably doesn't keep much obsolete product.

  •  We don't use obsolete oils

  •  Obsolete may be the wrong word if the year of the car aligns with the oil recommendation of the mfg.

  • He/she should inform you the API service category for your engine oil is obsolete and recommend the current API category for engine oil that would be appropriate for your engine. With the exception of a few API service categories, the current category is backward compatible.

  • New oils are meant to be back serviceable, no need to sell obsolete engine oils.  Providers should also have to say if product is licensed or not.

  • Always a good idea to educate the consumer as to the products available and what is up to date for the current market.

  • IF IT IS THE RIGHT SPEC FOR THAT VEHICLE THEN DON'T MAKE IT AN ISSUE.

  • Because in truth, for that engine, the oil is not 'obsolete' but rather perhaps a better 'medicine' for that particular patient; particularly in cases of older cars which may require higher levels of zinc-based AW additive

  • Obsolete - hard to believe any on the shelf if they follow the three year rule.

  • I think "obsolete" gives the customer the wrong idea. Many would possibly think that the oil would be no good and do harm under any condition or application. Maybe a more descriptive wording could be "older technology" or "older class."

  •  When SN came in, it was many cents higher than SM.  When CJ-4 came in, it was many cents higher than CI-4.  Yes, the API does matter!  I feel that when the API changes to a better grade, all fast lubes should change within so many months.

  •  Because it could potentially cause problems.

  •  So that the customer will be informed and not think he can use the same oil on his newer car. 

  •  If it matched the vehicles requirements then it is fine!

  •  A good retailer or distributor believes in the products they sell if they are too ashamed to state that, then in my view they are ripping off the customer to put dollars in their pocket. They give our business a bad name.

  •  Obsolete is obsolete. Engine oils are designed to be backward compatible.

  •  I would want to know why the operator is even selling obsolete oil in the first place.  API and ILSAC service categories are backward compatible, so why would someone stock or sell obsolete API/ILSAC oils???  The only reason is to try and cut corners.  If they would cut that corner, what else would they potentially do???

  • But he should show the API classification on the invoice

  • Right to know!

  • In most all instance today's oils are backwards compatible, so the car should be serviced with the latest spec product.  No fast lube should have material on hand that meets an obsolete engine oil spec.

  • But if the obsolete oil used meets the service requirement of that vehicle, I would let the customer know that as well.

  • Most of the time the product should not be available

  • Selling obsolete oil to a consumer is akin to selling food or medicine that is past its expiration date.  It may not be harmful; then again, it may be VERY harmful.  The consumer should absolutely have the right to know what they are buying.  Further, the installer should proactively educate his/her customer on the consequences of using an obsolete product.  Unfortunately, many installers are either uneducated about this themselves or are unscrupulous... or both!

  • As long as the API Service Classification is listed and correct for the application, labeling the oil as "obsolete" will cause more confusion rather than be relevant information for most customers.

  • Helps with educating the public

  • As long as the API rating of the engine oil meets or exceeds the needs of the engine the oil is being placed in, the operator should have no requirement to inform the customer that the API rated oil is "obsolete."

  • It's the right thing to do!

  • This would cause undue concern to the average consumer

  • Checking products on Big Box shelves shows many Group II, S/M (early electronic units) grades as current, with no delineation as to Engine year model. If that were included, the public would be aware and be cautioned for their DIY preference.

  •  If it meets spec for that vehicle, it meets spec...

  • I have some lube centers that use non API approved oil for classic cars. This is sold mostly by cases, but still should state non-approved API oil.

  • If an older car requires oil that has been deemed "Obsolete" and that cars engine could be damaged by using the modern / current API spec oil, then API is wrong in deeming that oil obsolete. i.e., older cars with Flat tappet cams. Industry has proven that today‚Äôs modern oil will and has destroyed these Older / Classic engines.

  •  This is not fair to the consumer.

  • Let's make full disclosure the default option.

  • How old is the car, how old is the spec of the oil? You don't put an API SA/SB oil in anything newer than 1945. I know API SJ,SL & SM oils are still being sold by oil companies.

  • If the service grade is appropriate to the era of the car, it isn't a vital element