Message 10

Hydrotreated petroleum oil can now be legally called synthetic. Here are the emails sent to our subscribers explaining all about it. Start at MESSAGE ONE, then TWO etc..

Message 10

Postby ogrady » 2005 Wed Nov 02, 12:26 pm


Here is part 2 of ‘Lubes-n-Greases’ May 2004 article.

GM to 'Supersize' drain intervals!


‘Supersize Me! GM moves to extend drain intervals by David McFall


Revolution is an often overused word, but for engine oils, the OLS may at least be a mini-revolution. As a growing percentage of vehicles use the OLS or similar oil monitoring devices, the service-fill engine oil market can be expected to decline.

Asked about the OLS, ExxonMobil, a worldwide giant in lubricants, turned to John Lyon, vice president of Lubricants and Petroleum Specialties. "ExxonMobil sees technology advancing to include actual monitoring of the condition of the oil itself," he said. "The quality
of engine oil plays an instrumental role in affecting oil drain interval and the overall performance of the engine.

"We have a longstanding commitment to supporting technology and continuous improvement efforts," Lyon noted. "Our own research and development program is aimed at providing technologies that improve the quality of our products as well as our operational, safety and
environmental performance.

"ExxonMobil has been and remains a leader in working with car manufacturers to extend vehicle service intervals. However, because various factors affect vehicle service intervals, we suggest
customers rely on the manufacturers' recommendations to determine appropriate oil drain frequency. Consequently, we approach GM's OLS as their method to establish oil drain frequency in vehicles where this technology is available."

More succinct was the American Petroleum Institute: `API's considered opinion is that oil drain intervals are the responsibility of vehicle manufacturers," an official there stated.

Members of the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association supply about a quarter of U.S. engine oil needs. "On its face, it appears that the OLS `change oil' light calibration is consistent with other automakers' recommended drain intervals," observed Jeff Leiter, the
group's legal counsel, "and may provide more benefit to consumers in determining whether they are operating their vehicles under `severe' conditions, thereby requiring more frequent oil changes.

"In many ways, GM's OLS is similar to the analyses of used oil from customer fleets that many ILMA members provide as a service to their customers to determine service intervals, including oil changes," he added.
ILMA believes the issue of drain interval selection is up to the automakers, who have to balance a number of factors, including emission system protection, fuel economy, used oil recycling, vehicle durability and customer maintenance activities, Leiter pointed out. "The robustness of engine oil in the marketplace also plays a role in the decision-making."

In 2002 about 44 percent of all oil changes were done by do-it-yourselfers, a big drop from 60 percent 10 years earlier. Of the installer market - known as do-it-for-me or DIFM - just under a
quarter of the oil changes are done by dealers and another quarter by repair garages and mass merchandisers, according to Car Care Trac.
The quick-lube sector has about 28 percent of the market with the rest spread among service stations, tire stores and auto parts stores.
The quick-lube industry's national trade group is the Automotive Oil Change Association, which represents the owners of some 3,500 facilities, out of a total of 10,000 to 12,000 in the United States.

"Our training courses simply inform installers to follow the instructions in the owner's manual," AOCA Executive Director Stephen Christie remarked. "They don't go below that level of detail. We are aware that owner's manuals for GM's 2004 models which include the Oil Life System no longer contain any mileage recommendations at all and we haven't, as yet, developed any approach to this change. Our experience with previous GM vehicles, which did include a recommended drain interval range in addition to the dashboard alerts of the OLS, was that their actual drain intervals didn't vary much from the national average of about 4,700 miles for vehicles in severe service."

The two biggest quicklube operations are Shell's Jiffy Lube, at just over 3,000 stores, and Valvoline Instant Oil Change, with more than 700 outlets. Larry Burch, Jiffy Lube's president, was on extended spam and unavailable to comment on the impact of the OLS. (His views on drain intervals did appear in January's issue, page 7.)

Valvoline Instant Oil Change recommends auto maintenance services based on accepted industry standards or owner's manual specifications, observed Craig Grenko, the chain's marketing vice
president. "In a recent survey, 88 percent of America's top certified mechanics recommended oil changes every three months or 3,000 miles.

In the same survey, 93 percent of top mechanics said changing oil frequently is the most important thing consumers can do to preserve engine life and keep engines running great."

He concluded, "Our business continues to grow in the face of longer oil drain intervals because consumers trust our service; the vehicle population continues to age; and many consumers themselves choose to change oil more frequently than vehicle manufacturers recommend."

End of 'Lubes-n-Greases' article

Sean Aughey from here again.
I can't let Craig Grenko's comment - "In a recent survey, 88 percent of America's top certified mechanics recommended oil changes every three months or 3,000 miles." - go unchallenged...

As a 'top certified' mechanic in a couple of fields as well as a fellow that has amassed 15 years of extended knowledge dealing with high end lubricants on top of my mechanical background I know to what level certified mechanics are taught lubrication facts not only in classes as they work towards their certification but also what they are taught in car manufacturer class after they are certified.

Not to take anything away from these fine ladies and gentlemen in the automotive service field who for the most part have YOUR interest in mind when they service your vehicle I submit that there is very little in the way of lubrication knowledge imparted to automotive mechanics beyond what can be gleaned from the oil company data sheet or from the back of an oil container!

The short of what I'm saying?

Automotive mechanics are taught to specifications and unless they have taken it upon themselves to learn lubrication facts outside of the automotive mechanical service field are not qualified to make oil drain interval recommendations.

The people who are qualified are the lubrication ENGINEERS, (tribologists) employed by the vehicle manufacturer's themselves.

The 3000 mile oil drain interval has been DEAD for decades.

I solute GM for taking this initiative!

Drive safe!

Sean Aughey
Are you still on the 3,000 mile oil change treadmill? Put some convenience in your life!
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