by Ed Newman
AMSOIL Director of Advertising
This article appeared in National Oil & Lube News, August, 2011
Every now and then over the past several years I go online to find pictures of my first car, a 1961 white Mercury Meteor with a black interior. I loved that car, and could tell you a lot of stories about all the places it took me.
My dad brought it home the day I got my license. I was 17, which in New Jersey was the legal age at the time. The car had hit a wall at an angle, crumpling the right front end, smashing the headlight, but not disturbing anything in the engine compartment. What a contrast to today’s cars which can fling shattered plastic across half the universe upon even a minor impact. Dad and I chained the car to a telephone pole, yanked out the wrinkles, replaced the lights… and voila! I had a “new car” for $125.
Last month I found on YouTube a 30 second television commercial for that Meteor. This was a car of the future, they said. Stylish, yet affordable. And “4,000 miles between oil changes,” the announcer exclaimed, the numeral 4000 superimposed upon the screen.
A 4,000 mile oil drain interval, can you believe it? And why didn’t something like this catch on? Changing oil was not the highlight of most motorists’ lives, especially in those early days before fast oil change facilities sprang up like mushrooms.
Against this backdrop my interest was peaked by a June story in USA Today regarding Jiffy Lube’s new position on drain intervals. Throughout the week the story received attention in all of the major lube related enewsletters, and even gained the attention of publications like Time magazine. It was a pretty big deal to many of these folks.
The Time.com story begins,
“Today, automakers are more likely to recommend that owners of new cars need to change the oil in their vehicles every 5,000, or even 10,000 miles. So why do some quickie lube service stations keep pushing the one-size-fits-all mantra of ‘three months or 3,000 miles’?”
It’s clear from the tone that the editors at Time do not have the highest respect for our quick lube industry, nor for the oil companies that feed the channel. Sadly, bad press from certain kinds of stories has a lingering effect, tarnishing many companies’ good reputations and earnest desires to do what is right by their customers.
Once the industry relinquishes its insistence on a 3,000 mile oil change, many good things can happen. Here are a few of them.
First, by educating motorists about what their owners’ manuals teach regarding oil change intervals we enhance our own credibility as a reliable source of information regarding their cars. I know a magazine editor who knew that her car carried a 7500 mile oil change recommendation, but the oil change shop insisted on placing that 3,000 mile sticker on her windshield. This kind of action undercuts everyone’s veracity, leading people to think we’re pre-disposed to gouging.
In an increasingly complex world motorists are desperately wanting to know who they can trust. Has the oil change industry’s reputation been damaged beyond repair by its overlong adherence to a 3,000 mile oil drain recommendation? If nothing else, Jiffy Lube’s new position on drain intervals is a move in the right direction.
I’m not going to stand here and throw stones at people who were pushing the 3,000 mile oil change. Old ideas are held on to because they are familiar and people feel comfortable holding them. Besides, conventional crude really did have problems as the bi-products of combustion caused sludge and varnish to gum up engines. Anyone who has worked on cars for any amount has seen what a gunked engine looks like.
I do, however, take issue with those who denied that there was another class of oil with superior performance attributes, a class of oil that resisted breakdown and kept engines cleaner longer.
Twelve years ago or more I wrote about a two-tier drain interval recommendation which would allow quick lubes to maintain a 3,000 mile oil change recommendation for conventional petroleum while acknowledging and promoting a longer drain interval for premium synthetic oils. Certain people criticized this notion because it was complicated. It would be better to just have a single recommendation they said, and the proponents of a 3,000 mile oil drain distanced themselves from this idea.
Today some of these same people have no problem stating we should educate consumers about normal and severe service, an even more complicated task than the original recommendation with regard to conventional and synthetic at alternative drain intervals.
The second good thing about the Jiffy Lube news is that we may begin to see a less adversarial relationship between the oil industry and the auto manufacturers. Honesty is the basis of trust.
The internet has become a game changer for many industries, and ours is no different. There is a new demand for a higher level of transparency than ever before. When leading auto websites like Edmunds.com are publishing articles about insider tricks to rip off customers, you know there’s only one route to go here. Integrity is what consumers are looking for.
Personally, I recommend a synthetic solution.
INFORMATION ABOUT AMSOIL EXTENDED DRAIN INTERVALS. Click here to view Amsoil products
AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil delivers extraordinary lubrication in all types of automotive gasoline engines. By combining industry-premier synthetic technology with AMSOIL premium additives, Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil exceeds the higher performance demands of modern engines. It withstands the stress of higher horsepower, higher heat and complicated emissions control systems. Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil is engineered to outperform competitive conventional and synthetic motor oils. It delivers long-lasting performance and protection.
AMSOIL, the leader in automotive synthetic lubrication, produced the world’s first API-qualified synthetic motor oil in 1972. Trust the extensive experience of AMSOIL, the First in Synthetics®, to do the best job protecting your engine.
Extends Drain Intervals
AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil can extend drain intervals far beyond those recommended for conventional oils. Its unique synthetic formulation and long-drain additive system are inherently stable to resist oxidation and neutralize acids over longer periods. Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil is designed to deliver the best possible engine protection, cleanliness and performance over extended drain intervals. It reduces vehicle maintenance and waste oil disposal costs.
Maximizes Fuel Economy
AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil is designed to maximize energy efficiency for improved fuel economy. Unlike conventional oils, its uniform molecular structure helps it flow more freely and reduce friction between metal surfaces. Anti-friction additives are included to further improve energy efficiency.
Reduces Engine Wear
Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil provides outstanding anti-wear protection. It has excellent viscosity film strength to separate metal surfaces and robust anti-wear additives to further reduce wear in metal-to-metal contact regions for improved engine life.
Reduces Oil Consumption and Emissions
Volatility (burn-off) occurs when oil gets hot, causing high oil consumption and emissions. AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil exhibits an extremely low volatility rate; it controls volatility-related oil consumption and emissions.
Excels in Extreme Temperatures
AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil resists thermal (heat) breakdown better than conventional oils. It is heavily fortified with detergent and dispersant additives to help prevent sludge deposits and keep engines clean. And unlike conventional oils, Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil contains no wax, staying fluid in the coldest winter temperatures for easier starting, improved oil flow and reduced bearing wear.
AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil is excellent for use in all types of gasoline-fueled vehicles. It is recommended for all domestic and foreign vehicles requiring any of the listed performance specifications:
Amsoil 0W-30 (AZO): API SN (Resource Conserving), SM…; ILSAC GF-5, GF-4…; ACEA A5/B5, A1/B1; Ford WSS-M2C946-A, WSS-M2C929-A; Chrysler MS-6395N; Suitable as a replacement for GM dexos1™ (supersedes LL-A-025, 6094M and 4718M)
AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil is compatible with other conventional and synthetic motor oils. Mixing AMSOIL motor oils with other oils, however, will shorten the oil’s life expectancy and reduce the performance benefits. AMSOIL does not support extended drain intervals where oils have been mixed. Aftermarket oil additives are not recommended for use with AMSOIL synthetic motor oils.
AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil is recommended for extended drain intervals in unmodified(1), mechanically sound(2) gasoline-fueled vehicles as follows:
• Normal Service(3) – Up to 25,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first.
• Severe Service(4) – Up to 15,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first.
• In all non-gasoline-fueled vehicle applications, extend the oil change interval according to oil analysis or follow the OEM* drain interval.
*OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer
(1) Engines operating under modified conditions (non-stock) are excluded from extended drain recommendations. Examples include the use of performance computer chips; non-OEM approved exhaust, fuel or air induction systems; and the use of fuels other than those recommended for normal operation by the manufacturer.
(2) Mechanically sound engines are in good working condition and do not, for example, leak or consume excessive amounts of oil, are not worn out, do not overheat, do not leak antifreeze and have properly working emissions control systems. AMSOIL recommends repairing malfunctioning engines prior to the installation of AMSOIL synthetic oils.
(3) Personal vehicles frequently traveling greater than 10 miles (16 km) at a time and not operating under severe service.
(4) Turbo/supercharged engines, commercial or fleet vehicles, excessive idling, vehicles with more than 100,000 miles without prior continuous use of AMSOIL motor oil, daily short-trip driving less than 10 miles (16 km), frequent towing, plowing, hauling or dusty condition driving.
AMSOIL Ea® Full-Flow Oil Filters are designed for extended change intervals. They stop smaller particles, flow more oil and last longer than regular filters. For best performance, use AMSOIL Ea Full-Flow Oil Filters.
HEALTH & SAFETY
This product is not expected to cause health concerns when used for the intended application and according to the recommendations in the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). An MSDS is available via the Internet at www.amsoil.com or upon request at (715) 392-7101. Keep Out of Reach of Children. Don’t pollute. Return used oil to collection centers.
For warranty information, visit www.amsoil.com/warranty.aspx.
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