Automobile manufacturers generally warrant their vehicles to remain free of defect in manufacture or workmanship for a certain mileage or time period. Whether an automaker will honor a warranty claim depends on the vehicle owner providing proper maintenance for the vehicle. For this reason, it is important for vehicle owners to maintain maintenance records. Proper maintenance includes installing appropriate oil and filters.
Synthetic Motor Oil
Automakers cannot deny warranty claims solely on the basis of using synthetic motor oil, and they cannot specify a certain oil brand to be used in their vehicles. Instead, they require the oil meets the appropriate API, ACEA or OEM performance classification, or equivalent, and SAE viscosity grade specified in the owner’s manual. Many modern vehicles are factory filled with synthetic motor oils and the manufacturers encourage continued use of synthetic motor oils in order to achieve maximum performance. Many other automobile manufacturers neither recommend nor discourage the use of synthetic motor oils, requiring only that the oil meets a certain performance classification, or equivalent, and viscosity grade.
Extended Drain Intervals
Automakers may not void warranties based solely on an owner’s practice of extending oil drain intervals. Dealership personnel and district managers may be unaware of the serviceability of synthetic oils over an extended period, but they may not summarily dismiss a warranty claim based on the owner’s practice of changing oil at extended intervals. To do so does not disprove a defect in manufacture or workmanship as the immediate cause of failure. Vehicle owners may appeal to a factory representative if the dealership and district manager do not satisfactorily settle the warranty claim. Factory representatives appreciate the value of used oil analysis and do consider preventive maintenance oil analysis reports in their evaluations of warranty claims, while post-failure oil analysis is critically important to the disposition of a warranty claim. Their findings pull more weight than the opinions of dealerships or district managers. If used engine oil is discarded without an independent analysis, the dealership and vehicle manufacturer lose their evidence to support a claim that the oil, and not a mechanical problem, caused the failure.
For example, sludge may be formed through several avenues, not all related to the oil’s performance. Antifreeze contamination or nitration due to poor electronic sensor performance may cause sludge, and both may be directly related to a defect in vehicle manufacture or workmanship, but clearly neither may be blamed on the oil. Vehicle manufacturers base their owner’s manual maintenance recommendations on their own research and to best protect their equipment based upon lubricants of varying quality, reliability and value in the marketplace. A move toward extended drain intervals is in progress now. Ford extended its recommended drain interval to 10,000 miles in normal service conditions, while GM has been recommending increased intervals when indicated by its oil monitoring system.
AMSOIL offers superior synthetic motor oils fully capable of providing extended drain service. AMSOIL is committed to backing its products, as well as protecting the interests of its customers. Therefore, AMSOIL INC. offers its customers a limited warranty. “AMSOIL INC. warrants that the use of its lubricants will not cause mechanical damage to any mechanically sound equipment when AMSOIL INC. products are used in full compliance with the company’s recommendations and instructions.” AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are formulated to surpass engine test specifications, offering superior protection for extended drain intervals. With its unparalleled oil and warranty program, AMSOIL offers consumers unprecedented protection and economics. See warranties to view the AMSOIL limited warranty for lubricant and filtration products.
Amsoil Warranty Specifics
• Any lubricant meeting performance specifications, or equivalent, and viscosity may be used.
Vehicle manufacturers describe lubricants by their viscosity grade and service classification (API, ACEA or OEM). API classifications are defined by the Tripartite Committee, composed of the American Petroleum Institute, the Society of Automotive Engineers and the American Society for Testing and Materials. All AMSOIL synthetic motor oils state their SAE viscosity grade and API performance classification on the product container, and all are recommended for
the highest performance classification for their application.
If personnel at a vehicle dealership claim that a vehicle warranty is void simply by using AMSOIL synthetic motor oil, obtain this statement in writing and send a copy to AMSOIL INC. AMSOIL will follow-up with the dealership.
• The vehicle manufacturer may not specify by brand name the products you may use in your vehicle.
The Magnuson-Moss Act is a U.S. federal law which states that a manufacturer may not require the use of a specific brand of aftermarket product, including lubricants, unless that part is provided by the manufacturer free of charge. To do otherwise constitutes an infringement upon free trade.
If any representative of the vehicle dealership or manufacturer informs you that you must use a specific brand of lubricant or filter, obtain a written statement to that effect and send a copy to AMSOIL INC. AMSOIL will call the entity directly to correct the situation.
• Cause of failure is paramount to warranty claim payment.
Vehicle manufacturers warrant their products to be free of defect in manufacture or workmanship. All claims must be covered unless a vehicle manufacturer proves a failure is lubricant-related. The manufacturer may not arbitrarily blame a failure on the consumer’s practice of changing oil at extended intervals.
• Verbal notification of refusal to honor a claim is insufficient.
The refusal should be in writing and must state the specific reason a claim has been refused. If you still think a failure is due to a defect in vehicle manufacture or workmanship, contact the dealership, district manager, manufacturer or arbitrator.
• The AMSOIL warranty assumes protection where the vehicle warranty stops.
AMSOIL offers protection to its customers through the AMSOIL limited warranty. Customers following AMSOIL recommendations are protected by the AMSOIL limited warranty if they experience a failure caused by an AMSOIL product.
• Customers are covered.
As long as customers maintain their vehicles properly and follow either the vehicle manufacturer recommendations or AMSOIL recommendations, their vehicles are warranted against failure by either the vehicle manufacturer or AMSOIL INC. In the unlikely event of an AMSOIL lubrication-related issue, the AMSOIL limited warranty covers the cost to repair or replace the damaged components.